2006 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division A
By: Senator(s) Carmichael
AN ACT TO CREATE NEW SECTION 9-9-18.3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE FOR AN ADDITIONAL COUNTY COURT JUDGE FOR LAUDERDALE COUNTY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following shall be codified as Section 9-9-18.3, Mississippi Code of 1972:
9-9-18.3. (1) In order to relieve the crowded condition of the docket in the county court and in the youth court of Lauderdale County and particularly to facilitate and make possible the trial and disposition of the large number of causes on the docket and in the youth court, there shall be two (2) county judges for Lauderdale County, provided for and elected as herein set out.
(2) For the purposes of nomination and election, the two (2) judgeships shall be separate and distinct, the presently existing judgeship and its succession to be denominated for purposes of appointment, nomination and election only as "Place One" and the judgeship hereby created and its succession for said selfsame purposes and none other to be designated as "Place Two." There shall be no distinction whatsoever in the powers, duties and emoluments of the two (2) offices of county judge, except that the county judge of Lauderdale County who has been for the longest time continuously a county judge of the county shall have the right to assign causes, terms and dockets. Should neither judge of the county court have served longer in office than the other, then that judge of the county court who has been for the longest time a member of The Mississippi Bar shall have the right to assign causes, terms and dockets.
(3) While there shall be no limitation whatsoever upon the powers and duties of the said county judges other than as cast upon them by the Constitution and laws of this state, the county court of Lauderdale County may, in the discretion of the county judge who has been for the longest time continuously a judge of said court, be divided into civil, equity, criminal and youth court divisions as a matter of convenience by the entry of an order upon the minutes of the court.
(4) The initial holder of the additional judgeship created by this section, or "Place Two," shall be elected in the regular election of November 2006; candidates therefor shall qualify to run not later than forty-five (45) days before that election. The person elected shall begin the term of office in January of 2007 at the same time as county judges generally, and there shall be no vacancy of the office before that time. Thereafter the two (2) judges shall otherwise be elected, and any vacancy in office filled, as provided for county judges generally.
(5) The Board of Supervisors of Lauderdale County may, in its discretion, set aside, appropriate and expend monies from the general fund to be used in the payment of salaries of judges, clerks, reporters, officers and employees of the youth court division of the county court, including the related facilities of the youth court division of the county court, and such funds shall be expended for no other purposes. The county shall not be reimbursed for the amount of any such levy provided for by this section under the terms of the Homestead Exemption Law.
SECTION 2. 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 3. 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.