Mississippi Public Record Laws

Citations

Miss. Code, §§25-61-1, et seq.
(http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/mscode/)

Exemptions to Disclosure

The following records are exempt:

  • Public interest best served by nondisclosure;
  • Archaeological records (see § 39-7-41);
  • Attorney work product (see § 25-1-102);
  • Environmental self-evaluation reports (see § 49-2-71);
  • Records which best serve the public interest by non-public disclosure. Miss. Code Ann. § 25-59-27
  • Confidential information §25-61-11.

The following records are not subject to examination or copying:

  • Trade secrets and confidential commercial and financial information of a proprietary nature developed by a college or university under contract with a firm, business, partnership, association, corporation, individual or other like entity shall not be subject to inspection, examination, copying or reproduction under this chapter.

Access Rights

  • Any person
  • In accordance with “reasonable written procedures,” notice of which must be publicly given; if agency lacks written procedures, requestor’s written request must be granted within one working day; in no event can agency authorize itself to respond to request later than 7 working days
  • If records cannot be produced within 7 working days, custodian must provide written explanation as to why, and absent mutual agreement, date for production cannot be any later than 14 working days following original request
  • Denials must be in writing, contain statement of specific exemptions relied upon, and kept on file for at least 3 years; must be available for inspection and/or copying during regular office hours to any person upon written request
  • Fees charged must be reasonable; cannot exceed actual cost; custodians who charge unreasonable fees may be personally liable civilly for up to $100/violation
  • Can appeal denial to chancery court; have option of first requesting opinion of Mississippi Ethics Commission on whether access is required; court can move on its own to privately view the records to aid in determination as to whether public or not

Destruction of Public Records

  • Must have consent of director
  • Must submit lists and schedules of records proposed for disposal
  • The Director has 60 days to respond to any request for the destruction of public records.