Mississippi FOIA Laws

Mississippi Open Meetings Act

The Mississippi Open Meetings Act legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted. The law defines meetings as any official assembly of a public body in order to deliberate or decide on public policy. The definitions includes meetings using electronic telecommunication equipment but does not apply to chance meetings or social gatherings. If violated, individuals must file complaints with the Mississippi Ethics Commission. The Commission has 14 days to respond and violations are punishable to up to $100.

Open Meetings Act Miss. Code Ann. 25-4-1 et seq.

Closed: Personnel matters; impending litigation; security personnel, plans, and devices; misconduct investigations; extraordinary emergencies posing immediate or irrevocable harm to persons or property; the purchase, sale or leasing of lands; admissions tests; and the location, relocation or expansion of a business or industry.

Mississippi Public Records Act

The Mississippi Public Records Act is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of government bodies at all levels. Records are defined as “all books, records, papers, accounts, letters, maps, photographs, films, cards, tapes, recordings or reproductions thereof, and any other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, having been used, being in use, or prepared, possessed or retained for use in the conduct, transaction or performance of any business, transaction, work, duty or function of any public body, or required to be maintained by any public body.”

Anyone can request access to Mississippi’s public records and no state of purpose is required. There are no restrictions placed on the use of records.The Mississippi Public Records Act states that, if not decided upon by the individual department, departments have one working day to respond to PRA requests. However, departments may establish their own time limits of up to fourteen working days.

Public Records Act Miss. Code Ann. 25-61-1 et seq.

Exempt: Personnel matters; employment applications; individual tax records; academic examination questions; appraisal information concerning the sale or purchase of property for public purposes; and attorney work product concerning litigation.

Visit, Mississippi Sample FOIA Request, to view a sample FOIA request for the state.