Nichols, 011097 MSAGO, AGO 96-833

Docket Nº:AGO 96-833
Case Date:January 10, 1997
M. Jay Nichols
AGO 96-833
No. 96-0833
Mississippi Attorney General Opinions
January 10, 1997
         Honorable M. Jay Nichols          Gholson, Hicks & Nichols          P. O. Box 1111          Columbus, MS 39703-1111          Re: Interpleader Actions           Dear Mr. Nichols:          Attorney General Mike Moore has received your request for an opinion and has assigned it to me for research and reply. In your letter, you state that the Columbus Police Department currently is in possession of a stolen vehicle. You further state that two different individuals claim an interest in different parts of the stolen vehicle. You then ask the following two questions:
(1) Would a Rule 22 MRCP interpleader action be appropriate to determine which claimant is entitled to the stolen vehicle or to any part thereof? (2) Who would be responsible for any expenses associated with the disbursement of the abovementioned stolen property, such as removing the engine from the stolen vehicle and installing it in the rightful owner's vehicle?
         In response to Question No. 1, an interpleader action is described in Mississippi Chancery Practice as follows:
It sometime happens that a party who is in no wise a wrong doer with respect to the matter has in his hands a fund or other personal property which he holds as a trustee or as a stakeholder, or which otherwise he has in his possession without any further claim to it in his own right, and which he is ready to pay over or deliver to its lawful owner. He cannot safely do so, for there are two or more conflicting claimants to it, each demanding it in his own separate right, leaving the holder in doubt as to whom of these he ought to pay or render it. The holder is permitted to file an interpleader by which he interpleads the several claimants and requires them to contest among themselves respecting their claims. The

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