2002 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Ross, Carlton
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 9-1-103, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE GOVERNOR'S APPOINTMENT OF A JUDGE TO FILL A VACANCY IN THE DEFINED JUDICIAL OFFICES SHALL BE FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE UNEXPIRED TERM VACATED; TO REPEAL SECTION 23-15-849, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDES FOR THE FILLING OF VACANCIES IN THE OFFICE OF JUDGE OF THE SUPREME COURT OR COURT OF APPEALS OR CIRCUIT JUDGE OR CHANCELLOR BY SPECIAL ELECTION IF THE NEXT REGULAR ELECTION OCCURS MORE THAN NINE MONTHS AFTER THE EXISTENCE OF THE VACANCY TO BE FILLED; TO AMEND SECTION 9-9-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 9-1-103, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
9-1-103. Whenever a vacancy shall occur in any judicial
office, other than the office of judge of the county court, by reason of death of an incumbent, resignation or retirement of an incumbent, removal of an incumbent from office, or, unless specific provision to fill the new judicial office has been made in law, creation of a new judicial office in which there has not heretofore been an incumbent, the Governor shall have the authority to appoint a qualified person to fill such vacancy to
serve for the unexpired term * * *. When a vacancy shall occur for any of the reasons enumerated in this section, the clerk of the court shall notify the Governor of such vacancy immediately.
SECTION 2. Section 23-15-849, Mississippi Code of 1972, which provides for the filling of vacancies in the office of Judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals or circuit judge or chancellor by special election if the next regular election occurs more than nine months after the existence of the vacancy to be filled, and which applies to the filling of vacancies in the office of judge of the county court by application of Section 9-9-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is repealed.
SECTION 3. Section 9-9-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
9-9-5. (1) The county judge shall possess all of the qualifications of a circuit judge as prescribed by the Mississippi Constitution. In the event of the establishment of a county court by agreement between two (2) or more counties as provided in Section 9-9-3, the judge of said court may be a qualified elector of any one (1) of said counties, and shall have such other qualifications as provided for by law. The county judge shall be elected by the qualified electors of his county at the time and in the manner as circuit judges are elected and he shall hold office for the same term. Vacancies in the office of county judge shall be filled as provided by law.
(2) Provided, however, that in any county having a total population in excess of eleven thousand (11,000) according to the 1970 federal decennial census and a total assessed valuation of real and personal property of not less than Sixteen Million Dollars ($16,000,000.00) and not more than Seventeen Million Dollars ($17,000,000.00) and in which Mississippi Highway 4 and United States Highway 61 intersect, in which there is a vacancy in the post of county judge resulting from the failure of a candidate to qualify for that post, the board of supervisors of such county may, upon certification of such vacancy to the board, appoint a county judge to serve out the term so vacated who shall be a licensed attorney from such county or an adjoining county. The compensation of such attorney shall be the same he would have otherwise received if elected.
(3) In the event that any county wherein is located a state hospital and wherein U.S. Highway 80 and Mississippi Highway 43 intersect shall establish a county court, the county judge of such county shall be elected at the general election to be held on Tuesday after the first Monday of November 1982, after qualifying therefor as provided by law. Provided, however, that the board of supervisors of such county may appoint a county judge who shall be a licensed attorney from such county until the office of county judge shall be filled pursuant to said election.
SECTION 4. 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 5. 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.