2007 Regular Session

To: County Affairs

By: Representative Mayo

House Bill 368



     SECTION 1.  Section 19-25-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     19-25-13.  The sheriff shall, at the July meeting of the board of supervisors, submit a budget of estimated expenses of his office for the ensuing fiscal year beginning October 1 in such form as shall be prescribed by the Director of the State Department of Audit.  The board shall examine this proposed budget and determine the amount to be expended by the sheriff in the performance of his duties for the fiscal year and may increase or reduce said amount as it deems necessary and proper.

     The budget shall include amounts for compensating the deputies and other employees of the sheriff's office, for insurance providing protection for the sheriff and his deputies in case of disability, death and other similar coverage, for travel and transportation expenses of the sheriff and deputies, for feeding prisoners and inmates of the county jail, and for such other expenses as may be incurred in the performance of the duties of the office of sheriff.  In addition, the budget shall include amounts for the payment of premiums on bonds and insurance for the sheriff and his deputies which, in the opinion of the board of supervisors, are deemed necessary to protect the interests of the county or the sheriff and his deputies.  Such amounts may include official bonds and any bonds required of his deputies by the sheriff; liability insurance; insurance against false arrest charges; insurance against false imprisonment charges; theft, fire and other hazards insurance; and hospitalization insurance as provided for in Sections 25-15-101 and 25-15-103.  The board may authorize the reimbursement of the sheriff and deputies for the use of privately owned automobiles or other motor vehicles in the performance of official duties at the rate provided by law for state officers and employees, or may authorize the purchase by the sheriff of such motor vehicles and such equipment as may be needed for operation of the sheriff's office, such vehicles and equipment to be owned by the county.  In counties which have elected to purchase the motor vehicles and such equipment for the operation of the sheriff's office, if a sheriff or deputy shall be required in the performance of his official duties, in the event of an emergency, to use his privately owned automobile or other motor vehicle, the board of supervisors may, in its discretion, authorize the reimbursement for such use at the rate per mile provided by law for state officers and employees.  This shall not be construed as giving an officer a choice of whether to use his own or the county's vehicle, but shall be construed so as not to penalize an officer who must use his own vehicle because the county's vehicle was not available.

     The board of supervisors may acquire one or more credit cards which may be used by the sheriff and his deputies to pay expenses incurred by them when traveling in or out of state in the performance of their official duties.  The chancery clerk or county purchase clerk shall maintain complete records of all credit card numbers and all receipts and other documents relating to the use of such credit cards.  The sheriff shall furnish receipts for the use of such credit cards each month to the chancery clerk or purchase clerk who shall submit a written report monthly to the board of supervisors, which report shall include an itemized list of all expenditures and use of the credit cards for the month, and such expenditures may be allowed for payment by the county in the same manner as other items on the claims docket. The issuance of a credit card to a sheriff or his deputy under the provisions of this section shall not be construed to authorize such sheriff or deputy sheriff to use such credit card to make any expenditure which is not otherwise authorized by law.

     The board of supervisors is hereby authorized and empowered, in its discretion, to appropriate and pay a sum not to exceed  Eight Hundred Dollars ($800.00) annually as a clothing allowance to each sheriff and plainclothes investigator employed by the sheriff's office of such county.  The board of supervisors of any county bordering on the Gulf of Mexico and having a population of more than thirty-one thousand seven hundred (31,700) but less than thirty-one thousand eight hundred (31,800) according to the 1990 Federal Census may appropriate and pay a sum not to exceed Four Hundred Dollars ($400.00) annually as a clothing allowance to the administrator of the county jail.

     The board of supervisors shall, at its first meeting of each quarter beginning on October 1, January 1, April 1 and July 1, appropriate a lump sum for the sheriff for the expenses of his office during the current quarter.  The quarterly appropriation shall be one-fourth (1/4) of the amount approved in the annual budget unless the sheriff requests a different amount.  Except in case of emergency, as provided in the county budget law, the appropriation for the quarter beginning in October of the last year of the sheriff's term shall not exceed one-fourth (1/4) of the annual budget.

     The sheriff shall file a report of all expenses of his office incurred during the preceding month with the board of supervisors for approval at its regular monthly meeting in a form to be prescribed by the Director of the State Department of Audit, and upon filing thereof, and approval by the board, the clerk of the board shall issue warrants in payment thereof but not to exceed the budget appropriation for that quarter.  Any appropriated funds which are unexpended at the end of the fiscal year shall remain in the county general fund.

     The budget for the sheriff's office may be revised at any regular meeting by the board of supervisors.  Upon recommendation of the sheriff, the board may at any regular meeting make supplemental appropriations to the sheriff's office.

     Any fees previously required to be paid by a sheriff shall be paid by the board of supervisors by including the estimates therefor in the sheriff's budget.  All fees and charges for services heretofore collected by sheriffs shall be collected by said sheriff and paid monthly into the general fund of the concerned county.  However, any fees heretofore collected by such sheriffs from the county shall not be paid.

     SECTION 2.  Section 25-7-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     25-7-19.  (1)  The sheriffs of the various counties of the State of Mississippi shall charge the following fees:

(a)  A uniform total fee in all criminal and civil cases for the service of any process, summons, warrant, writ or other notice as may be required by law or the court, each................ $40.00

(b)  In all cases where there is more than one (1) defendant residing at the same household, service on each additional defendant.......................................................... $5.00

(c)  After final judgment has been enrolled, notice of further proceedings involving levy of execution on judgments, and attachment and garnishment proceedings, shall be deemed a new suit and the sheriff shall be entitled to the following fee....... $40.00

(d)  Taking bonds of every kind (for purposes of this fee multiple bonds for criminal charges arising out of a single incident or transaction shall be considered a single bond)........ $40.00

(e)  Attendance in habeas corpus proceeding in vacation, eminent domain court and commitment cases................ $40.00

          (f)  On all money made by virtue of any decree, execution or attachment, or other process, the following commissions, to wit:

              On the first One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), five percent (5%),

              On the second One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), four percent (4%),

              On all sums over Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00), three percent (3%).

(g)  For all service of all process of every kind and nature issued from without the county wherein it is to be served, a fee of     $25.00

     In civil cases, all process sent out of the county, where issued to another county for service, shall be accompanied by a fee of Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) to pay the sheriff's fee for his execution of such process unless the clerk or justice shall endorse on the process that the party at whose instance it issued had filed an affidavit of inability to pay costs thereof.  All fees sent and unearned, and the whole of it, shall be unearned if the writ be not legally and properly executed and returned, and shall be remitted by the sheriff with the writ at his own expense.

     (2)  The sheriff shall keep a complete account of every fee of every nature, commission or charge collected by him, and shall file an itemized statement thereof monthly, under oath, with the clerk of the board of supervisors of his county who shall preserve same as a part of the records of his office, and he shall make a remittance to the clerk of the board of supervisors of his county on or before the fifteenth of each month for deposit into the general fund of the county of all said fees, commissions and charges collected during the preceding month.

     (3)  Any sheriff who shall knowingly fail to collect any fee established by law which was in fact collectible by him or having collected the fee shall fail to keep account of such fee or fail to deposit the fee with the clerk of the board of supervisors as provided by subsection (2), or such other person or office entitled thereto, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor in office and, upon conviction therefor, shall be fined in an amount not to exceed double the amount he failed to collect or pay over, or imprisoned for not to exceed six (6) months in the county jail, or be punished by both such fine and imprisonment.

     This provision shall in no way lessen the sheriff's civil liability on his bond, but shall be an additional penalty for misfeasance or nonfeasance in office.

     SECTION 3.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.