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§ 97-3-54.6. Human Trafficking Act; Injunctive And Other Relief For Victims Of Trafficking; Confidentiality

(1) Any circuit court may, after making due provision for the rights of trafficked persons, enjoin violations of the provisions of this act by issuing appropriate orders and judgments, including, but not limited to:

(a) Ordering any defendant to divest himself of any interest in any enterprise, including real property.

(b) Imposing reasonable restrictions upon the future activities or investments of any defendant, including, but not limited to, prohibiting any defendant from engaging in the same type of endeavor as the enterprise in which he was engaged in violation of the provisions of this act.

(c) Ordering the dissolution or reorganization of any enterprise.

(d) Ordering the suspension or revocation of a license or permit granted to any enterprise by any agency of the state.

(e) Ordering the forfeiture of the charter of a corporation organized under the laws of the state, or the revocation of a certificate authorizing a foreign corporation to conduct business within the state, upon finding that the board of directors or a managerial agent acting on behalf of the corporation in conducting the affairs of the corporation, has authorized or engaged in conduct in violation of this chapter and that, for the prevention of future criminal activity, the public interest requires the charter of the corporation forfeited and the corporation dissolved or the certificate revoked.

(2) Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in Section 99-37-1 et seq., the court shall order restitution to the victim for any offense under this chapter. The order of restitution under this section shall direct the defendant to pay the victim, through the appropriate court mechanism, the full amount of the victim's pecuniary damages. For the purposes of determining restitution, the term "victim" means the individual harmed as a result of a crime under this chapter, including, in the case of a victim who is under eighteen (18) years of age, incompetent, incapacitated, or deceased, the legal guardian of the victim or a representative of the victim's estate, or another family member, or any other person appointed as suitable by the court, but in no event shall the defendant be named as such a representative or guardian. The court may order restitution even if the victim is absent from the jurisdiction or unavailable.

(3) Any person who is injured by reason of any violation of the provisions of this chapter shall have a cause of action against any person or enterprise convicted of engaging in activity in violation of this chapter for threefold the actual damages sustained and, when appropriate, punitive damages. The person shall also recover attorney's fees in the trial and appellate courts and reasonable costs of investigation and litigation.

(4) The application of one (1) civil remedy under any provision of this act shall not preclude the application of any other remedy, civil or criminal, under this act or any other provision of law. Civil remedies under this act are supplemental.

(5) At any time after a conviction under this act, the court in which the conviction was entered may, upon appropriate motion, vacate the conviction if the court finds the defendant's participation in the offense was the result of being a victim. Official documentation from a federal, state or local government agency as to the defendant's status as a victim at the time of the offense creates a presumption that the defendant's participation in the offense was a result of being a victim, but official documentation is not required to grant a motion under this subsection.

(6) In a prosecution or civil action for damages for an offense under this act in which there is evidence that the alleged victim was subjected to sexual servitude, reputation or opinion evidence of past sexual behavior of the alleged victim is not admissible, unless admitted in accordance with the Mississippi Rules of Evidence.

(7) In any investigation or prosecution for an offense under this act, the responsible law enforcement agency or prosecutor's office are required to take all reasonable efforts to keep the identity of the victim and the victim's family confidential by ensuring that the names and identifying information of those individuals are not disclosed to the public. SOURCES: Laws, 2013, ch. 543, § 6, eff from and after July 1, 2013.

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Local Government
Phil Bryant
Phil Bryant
January 10, 2012 -
200 South Lamar, Suite 800, Jackson, MS, 39201