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Mississippi Sample Request

Brief Description of this Request

The Center for Constitutional Rights made this request in support of our movement partners fighting for safe drinking water in the predominantly Black city of Jackson, MS, where residents have been experiencing complete water shutdowns and receiving tap water that has not been proven safe to drink. For more information on this work, you can visit our case page here.  


April 3, 2023[EE1] 


Sent via USPS Priority Express Mail[IH2] 

Mississippi State Department of Health
ATTN: Office of Data Governance, Public Records Liaison
P. O. Box 1700
Jackson, MS 39215-1700


Re: Public Records Act Request

Dear Public Records Liaison:

Pursuant to the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983, Miss. Code § 25-61-1 et seq., [EE3] we request the following records from the Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH):[EE4] 

  1. The current draft, [EE5] as of the date of this request, of MSDH’s Intended Use Plan for the $450,000,000 in Safe Drinking Water Act capitalization grants appropriated by Congress for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and disbursed or expected to be disbursed to the state of Mississippi pursuant to the December 2022 federal spending bill.1

Where exemptions to the Public Records Act are discretionary, we ask you not to withhold such records, even if they might qualify for withholding under the law. If you withhold any records as exempt, please redact the exempted portions and release all segregable portions of the records as required by the Public Records Act. Miss. Code Ann. § 25-61-5(2). Note that any redactions require an explanation in writing with reference to the specific statutory exemption(s) upon which you rely. Id. § 25-61-5(3).

Please send us the requested records electronically via the email addresses listed below.

We are willing to pay costs and fees for responding to this request up to a maximum of $50.00. If you estimate that the fees will exceed this limit, please inform us before complying with this request.[EE6]

We look forward to your reply as soon as is practicable, and no more than seven working days from your receipt of this request. See Miss. Code Ann. § 25-61-5(1)(a). Please contact Jessica Vosburgh with any questions.



s/ Danyelle Holmes

Danyelle Holmes




Jessica Myers Vosburgh






1 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 at 759, Pub. L. 117-328 (2022), available at (appropriating “an additional amount for ‘State and Tribal Assistance Grants’, $450,000,000, to remain available until expended, for capitalization grants under section 1452 of the Safe Drinking Water Act”; requiring that funds “shall be provided to States or Territories in EPA Region 4 in amounts determined by the Administrator in areas where there the President declared an emergency in August of fiscal year 2022”); see also Fed. Emergency Mgmt. Agency, Mississippi Emergency Declaration, Sept. 6, 2022 (fact sheet summarizing presidential declaration of emergency for Hinds County in connection with Jackson water crisis).

 [EE1]Date your request.

 [IH2]Some agencies accept open records requests via email or an online portal. Others may require you to submit it by mail or in-person. It is best to contact the agency or check their website to confirm the accepted methods of submission before submitted a request. See Mississippi Explainer Part 8.

 [EE3]It’s always recommended to cite the open records law. See Mississippi Explainer Part 1

 [EE4]Identify which agencies you are requesting records from. See Mississippi Explainer Part 4.

 [EE5]Make your specific requests for the different types of records you’re seeking. See Mississippi Explainer Part 5

 [EE6]While not in this request, we recommend you ask for a waiver and/or discount of fees, and be clear that your request is in the public interest. See Mississippi Explainer Part 7.

 [EE7]Give a clear address or email for the agency to send a response and records to you.