2005 Regular Session
To: Fees and Salaries of Public Officers
By: Representative Green
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 27-43-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCREASE THE CLERK'S FEE FOR EXAMINING THE COUNTY PROPERTY RECORDS TO DETERMINE THE RECORD OWNER OF PROPERTY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 27-43-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-43-3. The clerk shall issue the notice to the sheriff of the county of the reputed owner's residence, if he be a resident of the State of Mississippi, and the sheriff shall be required to serve personal notice as summons issued from the courts are served, and make his return to the chancery clerk issuing same. The clerk shall also mail a copy of same to the reputed owner at his usual street address, if same can be ascertained after diligent search and inquiry, or to his post office address if only that can be ascertained, and he shall note such action on the tax sales record. The clerk shall also be required to publish the name and address of the reputed owner of the property and the legal description of such property in a public newspaper of the county in which the land is located, or if no newspaper is published as such, then in a newspaper having a general circulation in such county. Such publication shall be made at least forty-five (45) days prior to the expiration of the redemption period.
If said reputed owner is a nonresident of the State of Mississippi, then the clerk shall mail a copy of said notice thereto in the same manner as hereinabove set out for notice to a resident of the State of Mississippi, except that personal notice served by the sheriff shall not be required.
Notice by mail shall be by registered or certified mail. In the event the notice by mail is returned undelivered and the personal notice as hereinabove required to be served by the sheriff is returned not found, then the clerk shall make further search and inquiry to ascertain the reputed owner's street and post office address. If the reputed owner's street or post office address is ascertained after the additional search and inquiry, the clerk shall again issue notice as hereinabove set out. If personal notice is again issued and it is again returned not found and if notice by mail is again returned undelivered, then the clerk shall file an affidavit to that effect and shall specify therein the acts of search and inquiry made by him in an effort to ascertain the reputed owner's street and post office address and said affidavit shall be retained as a permanent record in the office of the clerk and such action shall be noted on the tax sales record. If the clerk is still unable to ascertain the reputed owner's street or post office address after making search and inquiry for the second time, then it shall not be necessary to issue any additional notice but the clerk shall file an affidavit specifying therein the acts of search and inquiry made by him in an effort to ascertain the reputed owner's street and post office address and said affidavit shall be retained as a permanent record in the office of the clerk and such action shall be noted on the tax sale record.
For examining the records to ascertain the record owner of the property, the clerk shall be allowed a fee of Fifty Dollars ($50.00); for issuing the notice the clerk shall be allowed a fee of Two Dollars ($2.00) and, for mailing same and noting such action on the tax sales record, a fee of One Dollar ($1.00); and for serving the notice, the sheriff shall be allowed a fee of Four Dollars ($4.00). For issuing a second notice, the clerk shall be allowed a fee of Five Dollars ($5.00) and, for mailing same and noting such action on the tax sales record, a fee of Two Dollars and Fifty Cents ($2.50), and for serving the second notice, the sheriff shall be allowed a fee of Four Dollars ($4.00). The clerk shall also be allowed the actual cost of publication. Said fees and cost shall be taxed against the owner of said land if the same is redeemed, and if not redeemed, then said fees are to be taxed as part of the cost against the purchaser. The failure of
the landowner to actually receive the notice herein required shall not render the title void, provided the clerk and sheriff have complied with the duties herein prescribed for them.
Should the clerk inadvertently fail to send notice as prescribed in this section, then such sale shall be void and the clerk shall not be liable to the purchaser or owner upon refund of all purchase money paid.
SECTION 2. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.