Public Records Requests In The State Of Mississippi
Every governmental entity in the state of Mississippi has to make their records accessible to the public, unless they are exempt for statutory reasons such as an investigation by a police department or an ongoing investigation by a district attorney’s office. Otherwise, they must be provided to the public in a timely manner and the cost to produce those records must be a reasonable cost at the minimum amount. This applies to the Executive Branch but does not apply to the legislature as they are exempt. Neither does it apply to the courts, as they are exempt also.
Many times, companies might be placing bids as a result of an RFP or QFP which an agency has advertised. There may be other information a company or an individual may want. The governmental entity, if it is a city or a county, must provide that public record at a reasonable cost. Sometimes, governmental entities either refuse to make their records and documents public or come up with various schemes to charge too much. The payment must be made before the records are delivered to the person or company who wants them. The law provides that if the cost is unreasonable or the public entity refuses to give the records to the public, a person or a business can either file for administrative relief with the Mississippi Ethics Commission or file suit in the chancery court of competent jurisdiction, generally the court where the governmental entity is located. A judge can order it to be done and they can assess cost, including reasonable attorney fees against the governmental entity for either refusal to provide the documents or charging an unreasonable amount.
For more information on Public Records Requests In Mississippi, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (601) 871-3377 today.
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