2002 Regular Session

To: Judiciary B

By: Representative Reeves

House Bill 1547



     SECTION 1.  It shall be the duty of every sheriff to execute and return all criminal process of the justice court and to administer all duties related to the criminal jurisdiction of the justice court.

     SECTION 2.  Section 19-19-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     19-19-5.  (1)  It shall be the duty of every constable to keep and preserve the peace within his county, by faithfully aiding and assisting in executing the criminal laws of the state; to give information, without delay, to the proper officer, of all riots, routs and unlawful assemblies, and of every violation of the penal laws which may come to his knowledge in any manner whatsoever; to execute and return all civil process, * * * lawfully directed to him, according to the command thereof; and to pay over all monies, when collected by him to the person lawfully authorized to receive the same.  No constable shall receive any fee provided by law for making an arrest, or attending any trial, wherein the defendant has been arrested, or is being tried for any violation of the motor vehicle laws committed on any designated United States highway located within the district or county of the constable.

     (2)  (a)  During a constable's term of office, each constable shall attend and, to the extent to which he is physically able, participate ina curriculum having a duration of two (2) weekswhich addresses the nature and scope of specific duties and responsibilities of a constable and which includes firearm use and safety training, to be established by the Board on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training in the field of law enforcement at the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers' Training Academy or such other training programs that are approved by the Board on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training pursuant to Section 45-6-9.  No physical fitness test shall be required to be successfully completed in order to complete the training program.

The board of supervisors of the county shall be responsible for paying, only one (1) time, the tuition, living and travel expenses incurred by any constable of that county in attendance at such training program or curriculum.  If such constable does not attend and, to the extent to which he is physically able, participate in the entirety of the required program or curriculum, any further training which may be required by this section shall be completed at the expense of such constable.  No constable shall be entitled to the receipt of any fees, costs or compensation authorized by law after the first twenty-four (24) months in office if he fails to attend the required training and, to the extent to which he is physically able, participate in the entirety of the appropriate program or curriculum.  Any constable who does not complete the required training when required may execute and return civil process but thereafter shall not be paid any fees, costs or compensation for executing such process and shall not be allowed to exercise any law enforcement functions or to carry a firearm in the performance of his duties until he has completed such training.

          (b)  (i)  The Board of Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training shall develop a program of continuing education training for constables to attend consisting of eight (8) hours annually.  The program shall be divided equally between firearms training and safety and instruction in both substantive and procedural law.  The training program shall be conducted by the Mississippi Constables Association, and appropriate parts of the program may be conducted by members who have been certified by the board to conduct the training program.  The cost of travel, tuition and living expenses in attending the continuing training shall be paid out of the Law Enforcement Officers Training Fund created in Section 45-6-15.

              (ii)  No constable elected prior to January 1, 2000, shall be required to comply with the continuing education requirements of this paragraph (b); however, any constable may elect to attend the annual training and shall be reimbursed therefor as provided in this paragraph (b).

          (c)  The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to a constable who has received a certificate from the Board on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training evidencing satisfaction of subsections (2) and (3) of Section 45-6-11, or who is exempt from the requirements of subsections (2) and (3) of Section 45-6-11 by the provisions of subsection (1) of Section 45-6-11.

     SECTION 3.  Section 19-19-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     19-19-7.  It shall be the duty of the constable to attend to civil matters in the justices' courts of his district, and to obey their lawful orders.  He shall execute all judgments of said courts in any civil case before them.

     SECTION 4.  Section 19-25-35, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     19-25-35.  The sheriff shall be the executive officer of the circuit and chancery court of his county and civil matters in justice court and he shall attend all the sessions thereof with a sufficient number of deputies or bailiffs.  He shall execute all orders and decrees of said courts directed to him to be executed.  He shall take into his custody, and safely keep, in the jail of his county, all persons committed by order of either of said courts, or by any process issuing therefrom, or lawfully required to be held for appearance before either of them.

     SECTION 5.  Section 19-25-37, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     19-25-37.  Every sheriff, by himself or his deputy, shall from time to time execute all notices, writs, and other process, * * * from courts of law and chancery and civil notices, writs and decrees in justice court, and all orders and decrees to him legally issued and directed within his county, and he shall make due returns thereof to the proper court.  If any sheriff fail herein, he shall, for every offense, be fined by the court to which the writ or process, order or decree, is returnable, in any sum not exceeding One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), on motion, five (5) days' previous notice thereof being first given to said sheriff.  The sheriff may be arrested and committed to jail until payment of the fine and cost.  The sheriff and his sureties shall likewise be liable to the action of the party aggrieved by such default, for all damages sustained thereby, and also liable to all other penalties provided by law for such offenses.

     SECTION 6.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2002.