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2016 Op. Miss. Att'y Gen. 1 (2016)

handle is hein.sag/sagms0089 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Gary  L. Carnathan,  Esquire                                      Office of the Attorney General
                                                                       January 29, 2016

                                                   Office of the Attorney General

                                                        State of Mississippi
                                                            Opinion No.
                                                       * January  29, 2016

Re:  Bid Requirements for Legal Advertising

*1 Gary L. Carnathan, Esquire
*1 Attorney for the Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors
*1 Post Office Drawer 70
*1 Tupelo, Mississippi 38802-0070

Dear Mr. Carnathan:
*1 Attorney General Jim Hood is in receipt of your opinion request and has assigned it to me for research and reply.


*1 In your letter, you explain:

*1 The Chickasaw County  Board of Supervisors advertised for bids for legal advertising for the next two years. The Board received two bids,
namely, the Chickasaw Journal in Houston, and the Okolona Messenger in Okolona. The bids were received and it appeared that the
Chickasaw  Journal in Houston had the lowest bid. The owner of the Okolona Messenger has objected to the awarding of the bid to the
Chickasaw  Journal and objected on the grounds that they were not qualified to bid because they gave their papers to every household in the
county and this did not meet the qualification of Miss. Code Ann. Section 13-3-31.

*1 After further investigation it does appear that the Houston Journal does receive subscriptions for their newspapers, but that they also
supply newspapers to households in Chickasaw County free of charge.

                                                       Question  Presented

*1 Can Chickasaw  County award the bid for legal advertising in the next two years to the Chickasaw Journal?

                                                   Legal Research  and Analysis

*1 The publication requirements for legal notices in newspapers are set forth in Section 13-3-31. We have previously opined that all the
qualifications of Section 13-3-31 are equally important and that a newspaper must meet all the statutory qualifications to be qualified to
publish legal notices. MS AG Op., Haque (May 22, 1990).

*1 Mississippi Code Annotated Section 13-3-31 specifically provides, in its definition of the term general circulation, that bona fide paying
subscribers are a factor in determining whether a newspaper meets the requirements of general circulation. In fact, the term general
circulation is defined in Section 13-3-31 as numerically substantial, geographically widespread, demographically diversified circulation to
bona fide paying subscribers. In addition, the term bona fide paying subscribers is defined as persons who have subscribed at a
subscription rate which is not nominal, whether by mail subscriptions, purchases through dealers and carriers, street vendors and counter
sellers, or any combination thereof, but shall not include free circulation, sales at a token or nominal subscription price and sales in bulk for
purposes other than resale for individual subscribers. MS AG Op., Chamberlin (July 26, 2002). Clearly, the actual number of bona fide
paying subscribers, as defined in Section 13-3-31, must be considered when determining whether a newspaper is one of general
circulation. MS AG Op., Jacks (January 11, 2008).

*2 The determination of whether the publication in question satisfies the requirements of Section 13-3-31 is factual, and this office, by way of
official opinion, cannot make such factual determination pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. Section 7-5-25. MS AG Op., Brooks (March 8, 2002).
Rather, this is a determination that the board of supervisors must make.

*2 If this office may be of any further assistance to you, please let us know.

*2 Jim Hood
*2 Attorney General

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