Mississippi Citizen Act
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Subject Matter:
Mississippi Citizen Act  (See Comments)

Original Filing:
Re: "Mississippi Citizens Act" IN THE MATTER OF PROPOSED INITIATIVE TO AMEND THE MISSISSIPPI CONSTITUTION OF 1890 RELATING TO THE MISSISSIPPI CITIZENS ACT; A. PROVIDE A METHOD WHEREBY CITIZENS MAY INTRODUCE LEGISLATIVE IDEAS TO THE MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE OFFICE; B. TO PROVIDE A METHOD WHEREBY CITIZENS MAY FILE COMPLAINTS AGAINST LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS REGARDING POLICE MISCONDUCT; TO PROVIDE FOR A HEARING FOR SUCH COMPLAINTS; TO PROVIDE PENALTIES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES. C. TO PROHIBIT CERTAIN ACTS BY JUDGES, PROSECUTORS AND ATTORNEYS; TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES. SECTION 1. This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Mississippi Citizens Act." SECTION 2. A. Any citizen legally registered to vote in the State of Mississippi can introduce legislative ideas to the State of Mississippi legislature's office without the bill being introduced or sponsored by a State Representative or State Senator. The citizen submitting the legislative idea must have a high school diploma or GED and have earned at least twenty-four (24) hours from a University or College to make a legislative submission to the State Legislature's office. The citizen must abide by all State guidelines concerning submitting legislative ideas. B. Any person aggrieved by an action by a law enforcement officer against such person may file a complaint in the circuit court district where the action took place. The court shall hold a jury trial hearings within forty-five (45) days after receiving the complaint to determine if a violation has occurred. The jurors will be seven citizens residing in the State of Mississippi all of different ethnicity and gender. The person filing the complaint and the law enforcement officer shall take a polygraph examination two weeks prior to the court hearing regarding the incident. The case will utlimately be reviewed and determined by the jurors. If the court finds that the law enforcement officer has committed a violation of misconduct, racial misconduct, unnecessary physical abuse or other improper conduct, the officer shall be subject to a find of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) by the State of Mississippi to be paid over a one year period and a suspension from the law enforcement agency for thirty (30) days. Any person who files a false claim under this section shall be subject to a fine of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or imprisonment for not more than 30 Days or both. If the conduct of the officer is found to be a violation of law, the district attorney shall file the appropriate criminal charges and prosecute the officer. C. Any judge, prosecutor or attorney who deprives any person of their constitutional and civil rights, who is found guilty of false pretense, who abuses or exceeds their judicial power, who is guilty of improper courtroom decorum or who engages in unethical conduct shall, in addition to any other offense, be guilty of a violation of this act and shall, upon conviction, be fined Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) by the State of Mississippi. In addition to such fine the person shall be suspended from the practice of law for ninety (90) days for the first offense and shall be suspended from the practice of law for one (1) year for a second or subsequent offense. A party with legal standing may petition the court and The Mississippi Bar to disbar a violator for up to five (5) years if the actions of the violator are found to be acts of malice. No judge shall issue any ruling on a legal matter without conducting a fair hearing which allows all interested parties to participate. A violation of this section shall be subject to the penalties provided in Section 2-C of this act. ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT The amount and source of revenue to implement the initiative would be paid by the state's General and Special Fund estimated to be $100,000 or less.

Proposed Ballot Title:
Should the right to directly propose legislation, and file court complaints against law enforcement officers, be put into the Constitution?

Proposed Ballot Summary:
Initiative #35 would amend the Mississippi Constitution to allow citizens to introduce ideas directly to the legislature without being sponsored by a legislator, would provide that persons may file a complaint in court against law enforcement officers who may be fined and suspended for misconduct, and would provide that judges, prosecutors or attorneys who engage in certain unlawful or improper conduct may be fined, suspended from the practice of law, and disbarred.

Initiative Petition:
Click here to view Initiative Petition

Carlos Jackson
108 Addison Way
Canton, MS 39046

Phone: 310-774-9002


Town Meeting Location:

Initiative Information:
The official ballot title and ballot summary for an initiative measure are prepared by the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office. Initiative measures are valid for one year. During this one-year period, a petition may be circulated to place the measure on the next statewide general election ballot to allow the voters of Mississippi to determine whether the measure should become a part of the Mississippi Constitution. According to Mississippi law, for an initiative measure to be placed on the ballot, a minimum of 106,190 certified signatures must be gathered, with at least 21,238 certified signatures from each of the five congressional districts as they existed in the year 2000. This required number of signatures represents twelve percent (12%) of the total number of votes cast for Governor in the last gubernatorial general election. Signatures must be certified by county circuit clerks as belonging to registered voters in Mississippi. A completed petition should be filed with Secretary of State, together with a filing fee of $500.00. For more information on the initiative process in Mississippi, consult the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, Section 273, and Mississippi Code Annotated §§ 23-17-1 through 23-17-61 (1972).

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