2005 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Franks
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 81-5-55, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THE DISCLOSURE OF CERTAIN INFORMATION REGARDING THE ABUSE OF VULNERABLE ADULTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 81-5-55, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
81-5-55. In no instance shall the name of any depositor, or the amount of his deposit, be disclosed to anyone, except to report to approved parties, such as credit bureaus, account verification services and others, the forcible closure of a deposit account due to misuse, such as fraud, kiting or chronic bad check writing or when required to be done in legal proceedings, for verification of public assistance in cases wherein the depositor has applied for public assistance and the Department of Human Services submits a written authorization executed by the depositor authorizing the receipt of such information, for verification of the financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult in cases wherein the Attorney General submits a written authorization, or in case of insolvency of banks. The parties referred to herein must be approved by the Commissioner of Banking and Consumer Finance and must satisfactorily demonstrate their reliability and credibility of their activities. Disclosure of depositor information to any affiliate or agent providing services on behalf of the bank shall not be considered disclosure of depositor information within the meaning of this section. The term "affiliate" means a corporation or business entity that controls, is controlled by or is under common control with the bank. The term "agent" means anyone who has an agreement, arrangement or understanding to transact business for the bank by the authority and on account of the bank, provided such agreement binds the agent to the same degree of confidentiality of disclosure of bank records as the bank. Any violation of this provision shall be considered a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, in any court of competent jurisdiction, such person shall be punished by a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or imprisoned in the county jail not more than six (6) months or both, and in addition thereto, shall be liable upon his bond to any person damaged thereby.
This section shall not be construed to prohibit the disclosure, to the State Treasurer, State Auditor, Legislative Budget Office, Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review or the Department of Finance and Administration, of any information about any type of account or investment, including certificates of deposit, owned by any public entity of the State of Mississippi. In addition, this section shall not be construed to prohibit, or to impose liability for, the disclosure of information to the Department of Human Services, the Child Support Unit of the Department of Human Services, or their contractors or agents, pursuant to Chapter 19 of Title 43, Mississippi Code of 1972. This section shall not be construed to prohibit, or to impose liability for the disclosure of information to the Attorney General's office investigating the financial abuse of vulnerable adults pursuant to Chapter 47 of Title 43.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.