Holcomb Dunbar AttorneysEach year, July 1 marks the effective date of Mississippi’s newest laws.  Here are some of the the highlights for Mississippi’s new laws for 2018:

Hobos and bums apparently  remain on the outs, but Tramps will now be legal! All code sections regarding the definition, arrest and penalties for persons defined as “tramps” are repealed.  HB 668.  If you need more explanation about the the differences between Hobos, Tramps and Bums, Jara James sings about them here.

63-3-603   – (HB 80) –  No driving in the fast lane.  It will now be illegal to continuously drive in the left lane (i.e. fast lane) on a highway.

63-33-1 – HB 900 – They deleted the sunset provision on the texting while driving prohibition. Like Bums and Hobos, texting remains on the outs.

81-5-64 – (SB 2668) – Safe-Deposit Box Access Law.   We now have a statute that requires banks grants access to the Safe-Deposit boxes after death, without the necessity of opening an estate or probating a will provided the estate is valued at less than $50,000.  However, it appears the statute grants an interim right of access in order to inventory the contents and to remove any will or burial instructions, even without the $50,000 limitation.  The persons granted authority to access the box are:  the Executor named in the will, spouse, adult child, parent or sibling (in that order of priority).

HB 1091 amends the wrongful death statute (11-7-13) to clarify that a wrongful death action can be filed outside an Estate. The new law also provides that a viable unborn fetus may file a wrongful death action.

SB 3027  Oxford can now authorize the operation of Golf Carts on public roads in residential neighborhood.

SB 2277 Salvage Title amendments to 63-21-15 and 39 to not allow clear title, but branded title.

SB  2311  Tweaking the insurance statutes to allow for renewals to be made by affiliated insurance companies and to not be considered a nonrenewal.  Adds similar language to the UM statutes allowing affiliated insurance companies to issue replacement policies.

75-24-351 – HB 904   Patent infringement threats (i.e. Anti-Patent Trolling law).  An interesting very specific statute prohibits certain litigation threats.  Patent trolls have gotten a lot of press in recent years, and there has been a movement to address it.  You can not send a communication to someone that asserts that they have infringed someone else’s patent and then threatens litigation if they do not compensate or otherwise resolve the dispute, if there is a pattern of such threats without litigation being filed.   The statute also prohibits communications that assert false fact or lack a reasonable basis in fact or law or if the person does not have the proper rights to the patent.  The statute provides for damages, attorneys fees and treble punitives.

For more information about Mississippi’s new laws for 2018 and any other laws that may impact you, call Holcomb Dunbar Attorneys, 662.234.8775.

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Jonathan Masters

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