Mississippi Public Records
Finding and requesting a public record can be a chore, mostly because records are scattered across multiple state agencies. With the help of this guide, it should be easier to locate what you’re looking for.
It can be confusing as some offices do not allow walk-in requests and require you to mail, email or fax.
However, other things most states typically list as private, such as government employee salary, are listed as public. Those needing to access records have a right to submit a request through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Every state has different processes, so it’s essential to know the state’s law before requesting any documents.
Table of Contents
- 1 What does the Mississippi public records law say?
- 2 How can I access public records in Mississippi?
- 3 Mississippi Criminal Records
- 4 Mississippi Inmate Records
- 5 Mississippi Court Records
- 6 Mississippi Vital Records Records
- 6.1 What information do I need to request a Mississippi birth certificate?
- 6.2 Where can I find a Mississippi birth certificate?
- 6.3 What information do I need for a death certificate in Mississippi?
- 6.4 Where can I find a Mississippi death record?
- 6.5 What information do I need to request a marriage certificate in Mississippi?
- 6.6 Where can I find an existing Mississippi marriage record?
- 6.7 What information do I need to request a divorce certificate in Mississippi?
- 6.8 Where can I find a Mississippi divorce record?
- 7 Mississippi Property Records
- 8 FAQs
- 8.1 Can a request be submitted by non-residents of Mississippi?
- 8.2 How long does Mississippi have to respond?
- 8.3 Is there a records custodian in Mississippi?
- 8.4 What exemptions exist for public records requests in Mississippi?
- 8.5 Is there an appeals process in place for public records requests in Mississippi?
- 8.6 What fees are associated with requesting public records?
What does the Mississippi public records law say?
The Mississippi Public Records Act is a succession of laws designed to allow the general public access to public records.
These open records include books, papers, letters, accounts, photographs, maps, cards, films, documentary materials, and other data required to be maintained by any public body.
All state agencies are subject to the law.
Exemptions include employment applications, personnel matters, tax records of an individual, academic examination questions, information regarding the purchase or sale of property for public purposes, and attorney work product concerning the litigation.
Anyone can publicly request access to Mississippi’s public records. You do not have to state a reason for your request. There are no restrictions placed on the use of records either.
The Mississippi Public Records Act says state departments have seven business days to respond to a records search.
However, departments may establish their time limits of fourteen working days.
To learn more about freedom of information in Mississippi, visit Mississippi.gov.
How can I access public records in Mississippi?
Some records can be accessed online, while others must be formally requested. If a request is necessary, the form can be delivered via mail, email, or phone to the record-holding department.
Every department is different, so expect some variation to the rules if you access records from multiple places.
In general, a public records request should include:
- Your name
- Parties name
- Contact information
- The name of the document
- Details about the document
- A time frame that you would like to receive the materials by
- Document delivery method, mail or email
Mississippi Criminal Records
Criminal activities can be found easily through a criminal record search. Mississippi criminal records are usually assembled from various sources and compiled into one database, where they are availed to the public.
The Department of Public Safety Criminal Information Center (CIC) maintains criminal records in Mississippi.
What’s on a Mississippi criminal record?
A criminal record provides a detailed record of a person’s interactions with law enforcement. These records are pulled from various sources and include arrest records, convictions, and incarcerations within the state’s four prisons.
The Mississippi criminal records may not include traffic violations or misdemeanors.
More specifically, a criminal record or a background check will provide the following information:
- Date of birth
- Current and past addresses
- Former arrest records
- Current and past warrants
- Arrest report
Where can I find Mississippi criminal records?
The Mississippi Department of Public Safety (MDPS) is the parent agency of the Criminal Information Center (CIC), serving as the administrator for criminal history improvement programs for the State of Mississippi.
You can access Mississippi Criminal Records through various third-party searches.
You can contact the law enforcement agency to inquire about local background checks.
The department’s mission is to maintain a repository of criminal records and provide fingerprint-based identification services to law enforcement and other criminal justice entities in the State of Mississippi and throughout the United States.
These generated criminal background reports may be accessed online, from local sources, or through the official Mississippi State Records Online Database.
Mississippi Inmate Records
Persons who commit offenses in Mississippi are taken to correctional facilities such as prisons, jails, and penal institutions.
Requestors can access inmates’ records upon request.
The Mississippi Department of Corrections maintains inmate records in the state.
What’s on a Mississippi inmate record?
The information listed on an inmate record varies.
However, in Mississippi, the records usually contain personal information and specific details about a person’s incarceration situation.
Public access to inmate records can provide the following information when accessed:
- Name and aliases
- Date of Birth
- Social security number
- Height and weight
- DOC ID
- Booking photo
- Assigned location
- Sentence summary
Where can I find Mississippi inmate records?
All information about incarcerated persons in Mississippi State is maintained by the individual institutions.
You will conduct a simple search of the Mississippi Inmate Records database using a person’s name or ID number.
Mississippi Court Records
According to the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1941, all residents within a state have a right to access court records to ensure transparency between the government and its residents.
Court records can be the most complicated to request because you often need to visit specific courthouses to gain access.
However, Mississippi has an online system that will ease your search.
What’s on a Mississippi court record?
In most cases, court records are quite large and come with many different documents. Most people find the following documents the most helpful:
- Names of parties
- Attorney name
- City and state
- Case number
- Case type
- Case information
- Date of birth
- Court orders
Where can a person find Mississippi court records?
The Mississippi court system encompasses eight different types of courts, each with a specific delegated role in the judicial system.
The Mississippi Judiciary is a site designed to provide public access to these courts and their decisions. General information about every level of the court system and judicial and staff directories are available for each court.
You will search the Mississippi court records database to access the public court record.
If you cannot find what you are looking for online, you will need to reach out to the court clerk where the case was heard.
Dockets, briefs, orders, and opinions of the courts where the individual cases were held can be accessed online by searching the name or identification number of the inmate or the attorney’s name.
Mississippi Vital Records Records
The Mississippi State Department of Vital Records and Statistics maintains public vital records in the state.
Mississippi public vital records include:
- Birth Certificates
- Death Certificates
- Marriage Licenses
- Divorce Decrees
Public record requests for vital records will differ depending on which document you are seeking.
Mississippi State Department of Vital Records and Statistics
State Department of Health
P.O. Box 1700
Jackson, MS 39215-1700
What information do I need to request a Mississippi birth certificate?
The Application for a Certified Mississippi Birth Certificate will require specific details.
- The full name on the birth record
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Parents’ full name before marriage
Where can I find a Mississippi birth certificate?
You can order a Mississippi birth certificate online by using VitalCheck.
Or, you can request a certified copy of a birth record by completing the Application for a Certified Mississippi Birth Certificate and submitting it by mail or in person.
The cost for a certified birth certificate in Mississippi is $17.
What information do I need for a death certificate in Mississippi?
The Application for a Certified Mississippi Death Certificate requires specific details.
- Full name of the deceased
- Date of death
- Place of death
- Social Security number
- Age at death
- Name of parents
- Funeral home
Where can I find a Mississippi death record?
You can order a Mississippi death certificate online using VitalCheck.
Or, you can obtain a Mississippi death record by completing the Application for a Certified Mississippi Death Certificate and submitting it in person or by mail.
The cost for a certified death certificate in Mississippi is $17.
What information do I need to request a marriage certificate in Mississippi?
The Circuit Clerk’s Office maintains marriage records in Mississippi.
However, you can request a copy of a marriage certificate through the Mississippi State Department of Health and Vital Records and Statistics.
- The name of both spouses before marriage
- Date of marriage
- Place of marriage
- The place the license was issued
Where can I find an existing Mississippi marriage record?
You can use VitalCheck to order a copy of a marriage record.
Or, you can complete the Application for Certified Mississippi Statistical Records of Marriage and submit it by mail or in person.
The cost of a certified copy of a marriage certificate is $17.
Mississippi State Department of Vital Records & Statistics
222 Marketridge Dr
Ridgeland, MS 39157
What information do I need to request a divorce certificate in Mississippi?
The County Chancery Court maintains divorce records in Mississippi.
You will need to contact the Chancery Clerk in your jurisdiction to inquire about forms, fees, and office hours.
Where can I find a Mississippi divorce record?
You will need to contact the Chancery Court where the divorce decree was issued.
Example – Hinds County Chancery Court
316 S President St
Jackson, MS 39201
Mississippi Property Records
The Chancery Court maintains public property and voter records in Mississippi.
The property records you can access include:
- Property deeds
- Property tax assessment records
- Zoning information
What information do I need to request property records in Mississippi?
Public property record requests vary depending on the Mississippi county where the property record is maintained.
Contact your Chancery County Court Clerk to inquire about forms, fees, and office hours.
Where can I find a Mississippi property record?
You will contact the Chancery Court in the county that maintains the Mississippi property record.
Example – Desoto County Chancery Court
Desoto County Chancery Court Public Records Requests
365 Losher Street
Hernando, MS 38632
Phone number: 662-469-8000
Can a request be submitted by non-residents of Mississippi?
Non-residents of the state can submit a request. Residents in Jackson, Chancery, or Manhattan can access records in the state.
How long does Mississippi have to respond?
The state has precisely seven days to respond.
If an extension is needed, the agency can extend it for seven days upon request.
Is there a records custodian in Mississippi?
The Mississippi Public Records law does mandate a records custodian.
What exemptions exist for public records requests in Mississippi?
Mississippi has 32 exemptions on the books.
Generally, these exemptions resemble those listed by other states that protect personal information, public safety, and trade secrets.
Is there an appeals process in place for public records requests in Mississippi?
Yes, there is an appeals process in place, although there is a short time window.
One has to appeal within 30 days with the Mississippi Supreme Court from the day the agency rejected your request.
Unlike other states with an administrative appeal process through the Attorney General, Mississippi has this option.
However, you can speak with the Ethics Commission per the Mississippi code to get their opinion before filing an appeal suit.
What fees are associated with requesting public records?
In Mississippi, each department can develop its own “reasonable” fee structure for making copies of requested records.
In some cases, a requester may also be charged for labor, especially if the request is lengthy and ties up office staff and resources.