2002 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Reeves
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 9-4-3 AND 25-3-57, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DEDUCT THE PER DIEM OF JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT FOR UNTIMELY RENDERING OF DECISIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 9-4-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
9-4-3. (1) The Court of Appeals shall have the power to determine or otherwise dispose of any appeal or other proceeding assigned to it by the Supreme Court.
The jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals is limited to those matters which have been assigned to it by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court shall prescribe rules for the assignment of matters to the Court of Appeals. These rules may provide for the selective assignment of individual cases and may provide for the assignment of cases according to subject matter or other general criteria. However, the Supreme Court shall retain appeals in cases imposing the death penalty, or cases involving utility rates, annexations, bond issues, election contests, or a statute held unconstitutional by the lower court.
(2) Decisions of the Court of Appeals are final and are not subject to review by the Supreme Court, except by writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court may grant certiorari review only by the affirmative vote of four (4) of its members. At any time before final decision by the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court may, by order, transfer to the Supreme Court any case pending before the Court of Appeals.
(3) The Court of Appeals shall have jurisdiction to issue writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, quo warranto, certiorari, prohibition or any other process when this may be necessary in any case assigned to it by the Supreme Court.
(4) The Court of Appeals shall issue a decision in every case heard before the Court of Appeals within two hundred seventy (270) days after the final briefs have been filed with the court.
(5) The Supreme Court shall issue a decision in every case within its original jurisdiction, including all direct and post-conviction collateral relief appeals or applications in cases imposing the death penalty, within two hundred seventy (270) days after the final briefs have been filed with the court. The Supreme Court shall issue a decision in every case received on certiorari from the Court of Appeals within one hundred eighty (180) days after the final briefs have been filed with the court. If the Supreme Court fails to issue a decision in the time required by this subsection, the justice or justices involved shall not receive their per diem for the days of noncompliance.
SECTION 2. Section 25-3-57, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-3-57. In case any judge of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals or of a circuit court or chancery court shall fail to attend at any term of court which either of them is required by law to hold, or in case the Attorney General or any district attorney shall fail to attend at any court which he is required to attend officially, it shall be the duty of the clerk of such court to certify the number of days such judge, chancellor, Attorney General, or district attorney was absent at each term of the court to the Auditor of Public Accounts, who shall deduct twice the number of days so certified from the time for which the salary of such officer may be estimated, unless such officer shall make oath, and file the same in the Auditor's office, that his absence was occasioned by sickness of himself or his family, or that his attendance was prevented by high water, the prevalence of an epidemic or contagious disease, or by accident not within his control. Per diem shall be deducted from Supreme Court judges for noncompliance with subsection (5) of Section 9-4-3 as provided in that section.
SECTION 3. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.