2005 Regular Session
To: Fees, Salaries and Administration
By: Senator(s) Thames
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 27-43-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCREASE THE FEE CHARGED BY THE CHANCERY CLERK TO ASCERTAIN THE RECORD OWNER OF PROPERTY SUBJECT TO TAX SALE FOR DELINQUENT TAXES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 27-43-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-43-3. The clerk shall issue the notice to the sheriff of
the county of the reputed owner's residence, if he be a resident
of the State of Mississippi, and the sheriff shall be required to
serve personal notice as summons issued from the courts are
served, and make his return to the chancery clerk issuing same.
The clerk shall also mail a copy of same to the reputed owner at
his usual street address, if same can be ascertained after
diligent search and inquiry, or to his post office address if only
that can be ascertained, and he shall note such action on the tax
sales record. The clerk shall also be required to publish the
name and address of the reputed owner of the property and the
legal description of such property in a public newspaper of the
county in which the land is located, or if no newspaper is
published as such, then in a newspaper having a general
circulation in such county. Such publication shall be made at
least forty-five (45) days prior to the expiration of the
If said reputed owner is a nonresident of the State of
Mississippi, then the clerk shall mail a copy of said notice
thereto in the same manner as hereinabove set out for notice to a
resident of the State of Mississippi, except that personal notice
served by the sheriff shall not be required.
Notice by mail shall be by registered or certified mail. In
the event the notice by mail is returned undelivered and the
personal notice as hereinabove required to be served by the
sheriff is returned not found, then the clerk shall make further
search and inquiry to ascertain the reputed owner's street and
post office address. If the reputed owner's street or post office
address is ascertained after the additional search and inquiry,
the clerk shall again issue notice as hereinabove set out. If
personal notice is again issued and it is again returned not found
and if notice by mail is again returned undelivered, then the
clerk shall file an affidavit to that effect and shall specify
therein the acts of search and inquiry made by him in an effort to
ascertain the reputed owner's street and post office address and
said affidavit shall be retained as a permanent record in the
office of the clerk and such action shall be noted on the tax
sales record. If the clerk is still unable to ascertain the
reputed owner's street or post office address after making search
and inquiry for the second time, then it shall not be necessary to
issue any additional notice but the clerk shall file an affidavit
specifying therein the acts of search and inquiry made by him in
an effort to ascertain the reputed owner's street and post office
address and said affidavit shall be retained as a permanent record
in the office of the clerk and such action shall be noted on the
tax sale record.
For examining the records to ascertain the record owner of the property, the clerk shall be allowed a fee of Fifty Dollars ($50.00); for issuing the notice the clerk shall be allowed a fee of Two Dollars ($2.00) and, for mailing same and noting such action on the tax sales record, a fee of One Dollar ($1.00); and for serving the notice, the sheriff shall be allowed a fee of Four Dollars ($4.00). For issuing a second notice, the clerk shall be allowed a fee of Five Dollars ($5.00) and, for mailing same and noting such action on the tax sales record, a fee of Two Dollars and Fifty Cents ($2.50), and for serving the second notice, the sheriff shall be allowed a fee of Four Dollars ($4.00). The clerk shall also be allowed the actual cost of publication. Said fees and cost shall be taxed against the owner of said land if the same is redeemed, and if not redeemed, then said fees are to be taxed as part of the cost against the purchaser. The failure of the landowner to actually receive the notice herein required shall not render the title void, provided the clerk and sheriff have complied with the duties herein prescribed for them.
Should the clerk inadvertently fail to send notice as prescribed in this section, then such sale shall be void and the clerk shall not be liable to the purchaser or owner upon refund of all purchase money paid.
SECTION 2. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended, or October 1, 2005, whichever occurs later.