2021 Regular Session
To: Military Affairs
By: Representatives Carpenter, Newman, Crawford
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 75-24-15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT ANY CLAIM OR ACTION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWS FILED ON BEHALF OF A VETERAN FOR A FEE MUST INCLUDE CERTAIN ACKNOWLEDGMENTS THAT THE MISSISSIPPI STATE VETERANS AFFAIRS BOARD OFFERS THE SAME SERVICE FREE OF CHARGE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 75-24-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-24-15. (1) In addition to all other statutory and common law rights, remedies and defenses, any person who purchases or leases goods or services primarily for personal, family or household purposes and thereby suffers any ascertainable loss of money or property, real or personal, as a result of the use or employment by the seller, lessor, manufacturer or producer of a method, act or practice prohibited by Section 75-24-5 may bring an action at law in the court having jurisdiction in the county in which the seller, lessor, manufacturer or producer resides, or has his principal place of business or, where the act or practice prohibited by Section 75-24-5 allegedly occurred, to recover such loss of money or damages for the loss of such property, or may assert, by way of setoff or counterclaim, the fact of such loss in a proceeding against him for the recovery of the purchase price or rental, or any portion thereof, of the goods or services.
(2) In any private action brought under this chapter, the plaintiff must have first made a reasonable attempt to resolve any claim through an informal dispute settlement program approved by the Attorney General.
(3) In any action or counterclaim under this section of this chapter, a prevailing defendant may recover in addition to any other relief that may be provided in this section costs and a reasonable attorney's fee, if in the opinion of the court, said action or counterclaim was frivolous or filed for the purpose of harassment or delay.
(4) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to permit any class action or suit, but every private action must be maintained in the name of and for the sole use and benefit of the individual person.
(5) Any claim under this section filed on behalf of a veteran that charges the veteran a fee for the service shall include a form signed by the veteran acknowledging that the State of Mississippi through the Mississippi State Veterans Affairs Board offers the same or similar service free of charge. The veteran must sign this form stating that he/she has read and understands it.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2021.