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Mississippi Court Records

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Mississippi Bankruptcy Records

Mississippi Bankruptcy Court records refer to filings of persons or agencies that submit an official notice for legal intervention because they cannot pay their debts. Title 11 of the United States Code interprets the legal underpinnings of bankruptcy matters across the country, including Mississippi. These courts also have exclusive jurisdiction over cases of bankruptcy and debt relief.

Two Bankruptcy Courts in Mississippi cover the northern and the southern districts:

  • The Southern District serves 45 counties at Jackson, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, and Natchez court locations.
  • Aberdeen, Greenview, and Oxford are the Northern District court locations that serve the rest of the counties in the state.

There are different chapter categories in the US Bankruptcy Code. Each bankruptcy case gets assigned under any of these chapters accordingly by the court. When the court receives a notice of filing, it opens a record that documents all activities related to the case. There is a continuous update on the progress until there is a closure of the case. While there may be fragments of information about the case in other repositories, the court having current jurisdiction has the most comprehensive record of the suit. These records are available to view or copy on request.

What Do Mississippi Bankruptcy Records Contain?

Bankruptcy records contain all information that helps describe a bankruptcy case and locate it among others in a repository. Some primary contents are:

  • The case file number of the bankruptcy case
  • Names of the owing party and that of the creditors
  • Outline of the chapter code relevant to the case
  • Names of trustees involved
  • Name of the judge handling the case
  • The date of discharge of the case
  • An outline of capital or fixed assets
  • Docket ID of the case

Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information?

Yes, they are in Mississippi, under the Public Records Act of 1983. Some contents of the bankruptcy record, however, remain closed to the public. They include financial or business proprietary information. The state’s laws also impose that identifying information must undergo redaction such as telephone numbers, date of birth, and social security numbers.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How to Get Mississippi Bankruptcy Records

The search for bankruptcy records should begin at the district courthouse that handled the case. Within the facility, there are self-service computer terminals in which users can search for a record electronically. Should they require a hard copy, they can either opt to print out the electronic document or formally request a court-issued copy. Either way, it will involve some charges. The following information is necessary to search for a case or request a case file:

  • The bankruptcy case file number
  • The docket ID
  • The name of the filing party
  • Inquirer daytime phone number (applicable for record copy requests)

If the bankruptcy case file number is unknown, go to the facility’s public service terminal and use the Court Automated Voice Information System to retrieve one. Docket numbers are available at the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER), a federal database that keeps all federal cases. Open a user account and follow further instructions. Note that requesters can call for bankruptcy records through a phone call to the courthouse of interest or by mail. Visit the District Court website for the fee schedule (Southern and Northern District) to determine the cost of record requests. Occasionally, older records may be available only at the Mississippi State Office of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). If this is the case, be sure to route the request through the relevant courthouse office. It is essential to get the reference numbers for the documents before placing a direct request to NARA.

How Do I Find Out If My Bankruptcy Case Is Closed in Mississippi?

If there are no legal reasons to extend a bankruptcy case’s resolution time, most of them get resolved quickly in Mississippi, especially Chapter 7 cases. After the court concludes proceedings on a case, the judge closes the case. When this happens, it means the court rulings on the case are complete. Besides this, an involved trustee must have submitted an official document stating that there are no pending obligations. Officially the court issues a notice to the filing party or its representative attorney about its closure. The Southern District Bankruptcy Court of Mississippi also provides a Bankruptcy Noticing Centre on their website that allows users to sign up for free to get notices of closure. Parties can get notices delivered electronically by an email address or a designated mail address. Either way, it requires a user to sign up for the bankruptcy noticing service.

Can Bankruptcy Be Expunged in Mississippi?

Most bankruptcy records expire after a period. Chapter 7 bankruptcy record types usually expire after about ten years. Chapter 13 types are generally shorter. Either way, get the services of an attorney to get a bankruptcy record removed. Some plausible reasons for removal are:

  • If the filing party is not the indebted party, and the indebted party gave no consent before filing;
  • If it was a case of identity theft;
  • If the information in the record contains potential future litigants;
  • If the contents of the record contain proprietary information about the business.

The removal of a bankruptcy record only serves to close access to the public. The record remains in the confidential section of the primary record custodian agency.

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