2005 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division B
By: Senator(s) Nunnelee
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 97-5-3 AND 99-1-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE CRIMINAL STATUTE FOR NONPAYMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT TO INCREASE THE APPLICABLE AGE OF THE CHILD, EXTEND THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS, PROVIDE FOR THE VENUE OF SUCH ACTIONS AND CREATE A PRESUMPTION OF ABILITY TO PAY UPON PROOF OF A SUPPORT ORDER; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 97-5-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-5-3. Any parent who shall desert or willfully neglect or refuse to provide for the support and maintenance of his or her child or children, including the natural parent of an illegitimate child or children wherein paternity has been established by law or when the natural parent has acknowledged paternity in writing, while said child or children are under the age of twenty-one (21) years shall be guilty of a felony and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished for a first offense by a fine of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or by commitment to the custody of the Department of Corrections not more than five (5) years, or both; and for a second or subsequent offense, by a fine of not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) nor more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), or by commitment to the custody of the Department of Corrections not less than two (2) years nor more than five (5) years, or both, in the discretion of the court. The existence of a support obligation and statement of arrearage shall create a presumption of desertion, neglect or nonsupport. Venue for the offense shall lie in the county where (a) the support obligation was obtained, (b) the custodial parent resides, (c) the child or children reside, or (d) where the noncustodial parent resides.
SECTION 2. Section 99-1-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
99-1-5. A person shall not be prosecuted for any offense, with the exception of murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, kidnapping, arson, burglary, forgery, counterfeiting, robbery, larceny, rape, embezzlement, obtaining money or property under false pretenses or by fraud, felonious abuse or battery of a child as described in Section 97-5-39, touching or handling a child for lustful purposes as described in Section 97-5-23, sexual battery of a child as described in Section 97-3-95(1)(c), (d) or (2)or, exploitation of children as described in Section 97-5-33, or desertion or nonsupport of a child as described in Section 97-5-3, unless the prosecution for such offense be commenced within two (2) years next after the commission thereof, but nothing contained in this section shall bar any prosecution against any person who shall abscond or flee from justice, or shall absent himself from this state or out of the jurisdiction of the court, or so conduct himself that he cannot be found by the officers of the law, or that process cannot be served upon him.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.