INITIATIVE MEASURE NO. 17
SPONSOR: John R. McCarty, P.O. Box 13987, Jackson, MS 39236; 601-352-7867
SUBJECT MATTER: Damages in civil actions.
PROPOSED BALLOT TITLE: Should a non-prevailing party in any civil action be required by the Constitution to pay a prevailing party's attorneys' fees?
PROPOSED BALLOT SUMMARY: This initiative would amend the Mississippi Constitution to require a non-prevailing party in a civil action to pay attorneys' fees to a prevailing party. A non-prevailing party could avoid liability for attorneys' fees only if he offers to allow judgment to be entered against himself for a specified amount, the prevailing party then rejects that offer but does not obtain more than that offer at the conclusion of the trial.
ORIGINAL FILING: November 16, 1998
The official ballot title and ballot summary for an initiative measure are prepared by the Mississippi Attorney General's Office. Initiative petitions are valid for one year. According to Mississippi law, for an initiative petition to be sufficient a minimum of 91,673 certified signatures must be gathered; with at least 18,355 certified signatures from each of the five congressional districts. The number of signatures required represents 12% of the total number of votes cast for Governor in the last gubernatorial general election. All signatures on the petition must be certified by county Circuit Clerks as those of registered Mississippi voters.
For more information on the initiative process in Mississippi, consult the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, Section 273; and Miss. Code Ann., Sections 23-17-1 through 23-17-61 (1972).