Mississippi House Bill 898 Would Exempt Process Servers from Trespassing
- January 27, 2014
- by Kimberly Faber
A message from Mississippi Association of Professional Process Servers President Davy Keith:
"I am pleased to announce that House Bill 898 to exempt process servers from trespassing has been introduced by Representative Toby Baker. I need your help to get this bill out of committee. If you are a server's from Rankin or Madison County (Bobby McGuffie!) as well as other servers, please call, email and mail your concerns to the head of Judiciary Committee A, Mark Baker, Representative for Madison & Rankin Co. I have included a sample text letter below."
Sample Letter to Send to Representative
Representative Mark Baker
P. O. Box 947
Brandon, MS 39043
Dear Representative Mark Baker,
I am a process server from _______ county, MS. I am writing to you today to express my support for House Bill 898 to exempt process servers from trespassing while in the course of serving legal process.
As a member of MAPPS, Mississippi Association of Professional Process servers, this bill has been a goal for process servers here in Mississippi for years. It is extremely important as I have personally been charged with trespassing while serving legal process. Although I have never been convicted, recipients of process continue to use the current trespassing law to avoid process. I have discussed this issue with judges and attorneys and have been advised that if a homeowner tells a private process server to not return to their home, there is nothing that can be done in regards to getting the person served. Please consider bringing up this bill for a vote.
Mississippi House Bill 898
TITLE: Process servers; exempt from trespass prosecution while performing job.
January 20, 2014
SUMMARY: AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 97-17-85, 97-17-93 AND 97-17-97, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXEMPT PROCESS SERVERS FROM PROSECUTION FOR TRESPASS WHILE SERVING PROCESS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
2014 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Barker
House Bill 898
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 97-17-85, 97-17-93 AND 97-17-97, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXEMPT PROCESS SERVERS FROM PROSECUTION FOR TRESPASS WHILE SERVING PROCESS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 97-17-85, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-17-85. Except as otherwise provided in Section 73-13-103, if any person shall go upon the enclosed land of another without his consent, after having been notified by such person or his agent not to do so, either personally or by published or posted notice, or shall remain on such land after a request by such person or his agent to depart, he shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) for such offense. The provisions of this section shall apply to land not enclosed where the stock law is in force. A process server who is carrying out the official duties of service of process shall be exempt from prosecution under this section.
SECTION 2. Section 97-17-93, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-17-93. (1) Any person who knowingly enters the lands of another without the permission of or without being accompanied by the landowner or the lessee of the land, or the agent of such landowner or lessee, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished for the first offense by a fine of Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00). Upon conviction of any person for a second or subsequent offense, the offenses being committed within five (5) years of the last offense, such person shall be punished by a fine of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), and may be imprisoned in the county jail for a period of not less than ten (10) nor more than thirty (30) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. This section shall not apply to the landowner's or lessee's family, guests, or agents, to a surveyor as provided in Section 73-13-103, or to persons entering upon such lands for lawful business purposes.
(2) (a) It shall be the duty of sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, constables and conservation officers to enforce this section.
(b) Such officers shall enforce this section by issuing a citation to those charged with trespassing under this section.
(3) The provisions of this section are supplementary to the provisions of any other statute of this state.
(4) A prosecution under the provisions of this section shall be dismissed upon the request of the landowner, lessee of the land or agent of such landowner or lessee, as the case may be.
(5) A process server who is carrying out the official duties of service of process shall be exempt from prosecution under this section.
SECTION 3. Section 97-17-97, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-17-97. (1) Except as otherwise provided in Section 73-13-103, if any person or persons shall without authority of law go into or upon or remain in or upon any building, premises or land of another, including the premises of any public housing authority after having been banned from returning to the premises of the housing authority, whether an individual, a corporation, partnership, or association, or any part, portion or area thereof, after having been forbidden to do so, either orally or in writing including any sign hereinafter mentioned, by any owner, or lessee, or custodian, or other authorized person, or by the administrators of a public housing authority regardless of whether or not having been invited onto the premises of the housing authority by a tenant, or after having been forbidden to do so by such sign or signs posted on, or in such building, premises or land, or part, or portion, or area thereof, at a place or places where such sign or signs may be reasonably seen, such person or persons shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and , upon conviction thereof , shall be punished by a fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or by confinement in the county jail not exceeding six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(2) A process server who is carrying out the official duties of service of process shall be exempt from prosecution under this section.
( * * * 3) The provisions of this section are supplementary to the provisions of any other statute of this state.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2014.
© Copyright 1970-2014 Mississippi Legislature All rights reserved.
2014 MS H.B. 898 (NS)
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