Oral arg. – COA – Jan. 27, 2016

At 1:30 the Court will hear the case of Miss. Dep’t of Audit v. Gulf Publishing.  This case deals with a public records request engendered by a state and federal investigation into  the Miss. Department of Marine Resources.  The Sun Herald filed a chancery court lawsuit  against the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources over the agency’s refusal to provide financial records under the state’s Public Records Act.   DMR refused to comply.  The chancellor held DMR and the Dep’t of Audit  in contempt.   It also fined some individuals working for the Dep’t of Audit and Jim Hood $100 in their individual capacities (hence the million briefs).

The Dep’t of Audit argues that

The DMR records at issue here were subpoenaed by the Grand Jury which never 10 relinquished control of those records. The Grand Jury subpoena designated the Department of Audit as its custodian. Ex.7, Audit R.E.3; Ex.8, Audit R.E.4. Only an order from the Circuit Court with jurisdiction of the Grand Jury could authorize release of those records


Dep’t of Audit’s brief.

Melissa Patterson’s brief

Jim Hood’s brief

Harold Pizzetta’s brief

Gulf Publishing’s brief

Dep’s of Audit’s reply brief

Dep’t of MArine Resource’s reply brief

Melissa Patterson’s reply brief

Harold Pizzetta’s reply brief

Jim Hood’s reply brief

Watch the argument here

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