2006 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Reynolds, Cummings, Moss, Watson, Robinson (84th), Lane, Moore, Formby, Jennings
An act prohibiting the disruptiVE PROTEST AND DESECRATION of a military funeral, burial service, or memorial service, AND PROVIDing penalties and civil remedy FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF; TO REQUIRE ANY PERSON WHO WISHES TO DISPLAY THE NAME OR IMAGE OF ANY MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES WHO WAS KILLED ON ACTIVE DUTY TO FIRST OBTAIN THE WRITTEN CONSENT FROM THE FAMILY OF THE DECEASED; and for related purposes.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
Section 1. (1) For purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(a) "Funeral ceremony" means a service or rite commemorating the deceased with the body present.
(b) "Funeral service" means any services which may be used to:
(i) Care for and prepare dead human bodies for burial, cremation or other final disposition; and
(ii) Arrange, supervise, or conduct the funeral ceremony or the final disposition of dead human bodies.
(c) "Graveside service" means a service or rite, conducted at the place of interment, commemorating the deceased with the body present.
(d) "Memorial service" means a ceremony or rite commemorating the deceased without the body present.
(e) "Targeted residential picketing" includes the following acts when committed on more than one (1) occasion:
(i) Marching, standing or patrolling by one or more persons directed solely at a particular residential building in a manner that adversely affects the safety, security or privacy of an occupant of the building; or
(ii) Marching, standing or patrolling by one or more persons which prevents an occupant of a residential building from gaining access to or exiting from the property on which the residential building is located.
(2) (a) Whoever does any of the following shall be guilty of a misdemeanor:
(i) With intent to disrupt a funeral service, graveside service, memorial service, or funeral ceremony, protests or pickets within 1,000 feet of the location or locations at which the service or ceremony is being conducted within one (1) hour before, during, and one (1) hour following the service or ceremony;
(ii) With intent to disrupt a funeral procession impedes vehicles that are part of the funeral procession;
(iii) Intentionally blocks access to a funeral service, funeral ceremony, graveside service or memorial service; or
(iv) Engages in targeted residential picketing at the home or domicile of any surviving member of the deceased person's immediate family on the date of the service or ceremony,
and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(b) Whoever is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of paragraph (a) shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year, or by both such fine and imprisonment. For purposes of this paragraph, a second or subsequent violation includes a violation of a statute from another state in conformity with this statute.
(3) In addition to the criminal penalties provided in subsection (2) of this section, the court may enjoin conduct prohibited in subsection (2) of this section, and may in such proceeding award damages, including attorney fees or other appropriate relief against a person, if there is credible evidence that the person has violated, or is likely to violate, subsection (2) of this section. Any surviving member of the deceased person's immediate family who is damaged or threatened with loss or injury by reason of a violation described in subsection (2) of this section is entitled to sue for and have injunctive relief and appropriate remedial compensation in any court of competent jurisdiction against any damage or threatened loss or injury by reason of a violation thereof.
SECTION 2. Any person or group that wishes to display on signs, goods or clothing the name or image of any member of the United States Armed Forces who was killed while on active duty shall first obtain the written consent for that display from the family of the deceased.
SECTION 3. Section 1 of this act shall be codified within Chapter 35, Title 97, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.