JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Friday, Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph appointed four special judges at the request of the Hinds Chancery Court and Hinds County Court judges to assist in handling the backlog of cases that have resulted from delays caused by COVID-19.
Retired Hinds County Chancery Judges Patricia D. Wise of Jackson and William H. Singletary of Clinton were appointed to assist the four chancellors of the Hinds Chancery Court at the request of Senior Chancellor Denise Owens.
Resident Jurist John N. Hudson of Natchez was appointed to assist recently appointed Hinds County Court Judge Carlyn M. Hicks in Youth Court, at her request.
Former Hinds County Court Judge James D. Bell of Jackson was appointed to assist Hinds County Court Judge LaRita Cooper-Stokes, at her request.
The Mississippi Legislature appropriated $2.5 million of CARES Act money to assist the courts. Special judges to be appointed around the state will be paid with Cares Act funds which will be available through Dec. 30, 2020.
Chief Justice Randolph entered Emergency Administrative Order 13 on July 23 to address the needs and the plan to appoint special judges to address the backlog.
The order says, “Despite the dangers and inconveniences presented by COVID-19, our courts remain open and continue to administer justice. At every jurisdictional level, our judges have admirably served the citizens throughout this crisis. Despite the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent disruptions caused, judges continue to conduct proceedings, including trials. Despite their best efforts, case management and docket control have suffered due to COVID-19.”
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