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Mississippi Workers' Compensation Legal Library

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Rule 1.15 Inspection and Reproduction of Records.

1. Each person has a right to inspect and reproduce any public record on file in the offices of the Commission, except those records expressly exempted by a statute or a Commission Rule.

(a) To insure protection of Commission records and to prevent interference with the regular duties of the Commission, all Commission claim files shall be made available for inspection and copying only in the offices of the Commission during usual business hours, provided:

(1) A written request marked "Request for Public Records" is submitted to the Secretary of the Commission;

(2) The written request sufficiently identifies the claim file by referencing the names of parties and/or the Commission file number; and

(3) The written request states the desired time for inspection and/or the number of copies sought.

On the requesting party's compliance with (1), (2) and (3) above, the Commission shall respond in writing by granting or denying the request within ten (10) working days after receipt of the request. A Commission response denying a "Request for Public Records" shall specifically state the grounds for the denial and shall remain on file with the Commission for three (3) years.

The Commission shall attach an estimate of its actual copy costs to its response to the “Request for Public Records.” Actual costs to the Commission shall be determined as follows:

(1) For copies of records not required to be certified by the Commission, $.50 per page;

(2) For certified copies of records, $1.00 per page and $3.50 for every certificate under seal affixed thereto;

(3) For copies of transcripts not required to be certified by the Commission, such cost per page shall be equal to the prevailing cost per page of transcripts in the trial courts of this state.

Within ten (10) business days after receiving payment of copy costs, the Commission shall supply machine copies of the material sought. The Commission may also elect to respond to a records request by making the requested records available for inspection in its offices or by electronically transmitting the records.

Any excess costs exceeding the previously paid estimated charges shall be due no later than ten (10) business days after Commission compliance with the request. Non-payment of estimated charges shall justify Commission denial of future requests.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision contained herein, the Commission shall provide to any party to a claim a copy of any record in the file of such claim, including but not limited to, transcripts prepared for review by the Full Commission, at a charge of ten cents ($.10) per page, with a minimum charge of five dollars ($5.00).

2. As provided in Miss. Code Ann. Section 71-3-66 (1972), the following records are exempt from public disclosure under the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983 and shall not be available for public inspection: medical reports, rehabilitation counselor reports and psychological reports on file with the Commission in controverted and non-controverted cases, insofar as they refer to accidents, injuries and settlements.

(a) Such information contained in controverted and non-controverted case files shall be made available only to the claimant or to the employer or its insurance carrier which is called upon to pay claimant compensation in the same or any other workers' compensation claim. However, such information shall be subject to inspection by proper representatives of the Social Security Administration, Medicaid Commission, Employment Security Commission, or other

state or federal agency which, in the opinion of the Commission, can show a compelling state interest requiring disclosure. The Commission may also issue statistical information where the individual claimants are not identified.

(b) The Commission may also make such information available to interested parties involved in proceedings or negotiations regarding the legal liability owing claimant from a third party. However, such request for disclosure, just as all other requests not specifically referred to in (a), above, shall be accompanied by a statement of the requesting party's interest in disclosure of exempt materials. On Commission receipt of such request, the Secretary of the Commission, by certified mail, shall provide claimant a copy of the request and notify claimant of his right to file with the Commission an objection to such disclosure within ten (10) working days. Should claimant file an objection to the request, the parties shall be entitled to a hearing before the Commission. If claimant files no objection within ten (10) working days, such failure to respond shall be a waiver of any objection to the release of such requested information, and such information shall be provided upon payment of fees as set forth in section 1(a).

(c) To assure the right of individual privacy, any "Request for Public Records" referring to non-exempt information contained in a claim file shall be accompanied by a statement of the requesting party's interest in such records. Should the requesting party satisfy the Commission of its right to inspect records contained in a claim file, the Commission shall separate exempt material from non-exempt material and make the non-exempt material available after the requesting party's payment of costs.

The Rule shall be in force and effect on and after January 18, 2018.

Source: Miss. Code Ann. § 71-3-85.

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