2005 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division A
By: Senator(s) Dawkins
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 25-61-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE FEES FOR COSTS INCIDENT TO PROVIDING RECORDS UNDER THE PUBLIC RECORDS ACT; TO AMEND SECTION 25-61-15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCREASE THE CIVIL PENALTY FOR WRONGFUL DENIAL OF ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 25-61-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-61-7. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, each public body may establish and collect fees reasonably calculated to reimburse it for, and in no case to exceed, the actual cost of searching, reviewing and/or duplicating and, if applicable, mailing copies of public records. Such fees shall be collected by the public body in advance of complying with the request.
(2) A public body may establish a standard fee scale to reimburse it for the costs of creating, acquiring and maintaining a geographic information system or multipurpose cadastre as authorized and defined under Section 25-61-1 et seq., or any other electronically accessible data. Such fees must be reasonably related to the cost of creating, acquiring and maintaining the geographic information system, multipurpose cadastre or other electronically accessible data, for the data or information contained therein or taken therefrom and for any records, papers, accounts, maps, photographs, films, cards, tapes, recordings or other materials, data or information relating thereto, whether in printed, digital or other format. In determining the fees or charges under this subsection, the public body may consider the type of information requested, the purpose or purposes for which the information has been requested and the commercial value of the information. However, charges for labor performed by employees of the public body shall not exceed the lowest hourly pay scale of an employee in the public body's administration office. An itemized invoice for the fees or charges shall be presented at the time of delivery to the person requesting the public records.
SECTION 2. Section 25-61-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-61-15. Any person who shall willfully and knowingly deny to any person access to any public record which is not exempt from the provisions of this chapter shall be liable civilly in a sum not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), plus all reasonable expenses incurred by such person bringing the lawsuit.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.