2006 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division B
By: Senator(s) Albritton
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 9-11-19, 21-23-11 AND 99-17-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE ENTRY ON THE COURT DOCKET OF ALL TRAFFIC CITATIONS AND TRIAL IN ABSENTIA OF ANY PERSON ISSUED A TRAFFIC CITATION WHO FAILS TO APPEAR; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 9-11-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
9-11-19. (1) It shall be the duty of every clerk of the justice court to enter on the court docket, immediately upon receipt from the charging officer, a record of every traffic citation, and to receive and account for all fees, costs, fines and penalties charged and collected in the justice court, and, monthly to report in writing under oath, to the clerk of the board of supervisors who shall upon receipt submit such report to the board of supervisors of all such fees, costs, fines and penalties received, including cash bonds and other monies which have been forfeited in criminal cases and at least semiannually any delinquent fines and penalties, giving the date, amount, and names of persons from whom such monies were received, and to pay so much thereof as shall have been received to the clerk of the board of supervisors for deposit into the general fund of the county. Any clerk of the justice court who shall fail to make such report or to pay the money so received shall, in addition to any other fine or punishment provided by law for such conduct, not be entitled to compensation for the period of time during which such report or money is outstanding.
(2) The provisions of this section shall not, except as to cash bonds and other monies which have been forfeited in criminal cases, apply to monies required to be deposited in the justice court clerk clearing account as provided in Section 9-11-18, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 2. Section 21-23-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
21-23-11. The clerk of the municipality shall be the clerk of the municipal court, unless the governing authorities shall otherwise elect. The clerk of the court shall attend the sittings of the court in person or by duly appointed deputies, and he shall be under the direction of the municipal judge. The governing authorities may authorize the municipal judge to appoint other municipal employees as deputy clerks of the court to assist the clerk of the court in the conduct of the court's responsibilities or the governing authorities may appoint deputy clerks of the court. The authorization to appoint and/or appointment of deputy clerks of the court shall be entered in the minutes of the municipality. A police officer of the municipality may be the clerk of the court or a deputy clerk of the court. The governing authorities shall provide for the training of court personnel.
The clerk of the court shall keep permanent dockets, upon which all cases shall be entered, including a record of every traffic citation immediately upon receipt from the charging officer; said docket shall contain the style of the case and the nature of the charge against an accused, and the names of witnesses for the prosecution and defendant. The clerk of the court shall also keep a minute record in which all orders and judgments shall be entered. One (1) record may serve as both the docket record and minute record. The clerk of the court or deputy clerk of the court shall issue all process from the court, except arrest warrants or process for the seizure of persons and property, and shall administer the collection of all fines, penalties, fees and costs imposed by the court and deposit all collections with the municipal treasurer or equivalent officer. The clerk of the court shall purchase all dockets, minute record, stationery and other supplies for the municipal court, and have the account allowed by the municipal judge; the order allowing the same shall be entered upon the minutes, and the municipal authorities shall pay the same. The clerk of the court and deputy clerks of the court shall have power to take acknowledgments, administer any oaths required by law to be taken by any person, and take affidavits charging any crime against the municipality or state.
When the municipal judge is unavailable, persons charged with the commission of misdemeanor violations within the municipality may be brought before the clerk of the court for initial appearances required by the Mississippi Uniform Criminal Rules of Circuit Court Practice where the clerk of the court has satisfactorily completed a course of training and education on this subject conducted by the Mississippi Judicial College of the University of Mississippi Law Center and the municipal judge has established written guidelines and procedures for the clerk of the court to discharge this function. Such guidelines shall be entered in the minutes of the court and be deemed a public record and made available to defendant or counsel.
SECTION 3. Section 99-17-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
99-17-9. In criminal cases the presence of the prisoner may be waived(a) if the defendant is in custody and consenting thereto, or (b) is on recognizance or bail, has been arrested and escaped, or has been notified in writing by the proper officer of the pendency of the indictment against him, and resisted or fled, or refused to be taken, or, having been issued a citation for a violation of Title 63, fails to appear, or is in any way in default for nonappearance, the trial may progress at the discretion of the court, and judgment made final and sentence awarded as though such defendant were personally present in court.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.