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2018 Op. Miss. Att'y Gen. 1 (2018)

handle is hein.sag/sagms0091 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Hon.  David F  Delgado                                         Office of the Attorney General
                                                                     January 26, 2018

                                                   Office of the Attorney General

                                                        State of Mississippi
                                                      Opinion No. 2017-00379
                                                      -1 January  26, 2018

Re: Service   of Process  on  Defendants   for Alleged  Violations  of City Code  andlor  Zoning   Ordinances

*1 Hon. David F. Delgado
*1 Southaven Municipal Court Judge
*1 8889 Northwest Drive
*1 Southaven, Mississippi 38671

Dear Judge Delgado:
*1 Attorney General Jim Hood has received your request and assigned it to me for research and reply.

*1 Your letter states:

*1 As the City of Southaven (City) Municipal Judge, I am writing to request an official opinion regarding service of process on defendants
for alleged violations of city code and/or zoning ordinances. As the city code is presently written, a violator may be subject to criminal fines
and penalties for violations. Due to the City's geographic location, there are many real property owners of commercial property who reside
out-of-state. A number of these violations are maintenance violations of the City's code ordinance.

*1 Since the owners of these parcels reside out-of state, it is our understanding that the officers of the City's police department have not
been able to effectuate service of process on these alleged violators. Accordingly, I pose the following questions:

*1 1. How may the Municipal Court properly effectuate process on an alleged violator of the City's zoning ordinance?

*1 RESPONSE:   To serve a person within the State of Mississippi, you must follow the provisions of Rule 3 of the Mississippi Rules of
Criminal Procedure.! A copy is enclosed.

     *12. How  may the Municipal Court properly effectuate process on an alleged violator of the City's zoning ordinance if the alleged
     violator is an out-of-state resident?

*1 RESPONSE:   Rule 3 provides the manner in which a summons can be issued. Rule 3.2(c)(2) provides an arrest warrant shall be
executed by arrest of the defendant. Arrest of a person generally requires that the person be found within this state. In the event the arrest
of a person outside of the state is sought, the provisions of Miss. Code Ann Section 7-1-31 regarding extradition must be followed. A copy is

     *1 3. If personal service of process is required upon an alleged violator and the alleged violator resides out-of-state, can the City
     retain a private process server to effectuate personal service?

*1 RESPONSE:   No.

     *14. If the alleged violator is properly served and they do not appear in court, may the Municipal Court issue a show cause

*1 RESPONSE:   The facts of the particular case will determine what action should be taken if a person fails to appear after having been
properly served with an order to appear. A show cause order potentially could be appropriate depending on the facts. We cannot answer this
question in the abstract. Rule 3.1 (b)(2) would potentially be responsive to your question and provides as follows:

*1 (2) Subsequent Issuance of Arrest Warrant. After the issuance of a summons, the judge shall issue an arrest warrant if:

*2 (A) the defendant, having been duly summoned,   fails to appear;

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