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Price appointed special judge to assist Warren County court with backlog



The Warren County Courthouse

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph has appointed retired County Judge John S. Price Jr. to assist the Warren County Court in handling the backlog of cases that have resulted from delays caused by COVID-19. July 31

Warren County Judge Marcie T. Southerland requested appointment of a special judge on a temporary basis.

The Mississippi judiciary expects more special judges to be appointed to temporarily assist judges in districts across the state. Five special judges have been appointed in Hinds County in recent days. A special judge was appointed July 30 in the 16th Chancery Courts of Jackson, Greene and George counties. In addition to Price, a special judge was appointed Friday, July 31, in the 21st Circuit Court of Holmes, Humphreys and Yazoo counties. Other judges around the state have requested special judge appointments.

Chief Justice Randolph said that COVID-19 has presented a multitude of challenges to the prompt and efficient administration of justice. The disruption caused by COVID-19 required an untold number of court case continuances since it was declared a national emergency March 13. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 cases may have been affected.

The Mississippi Legislature appropriated $2.5 million of federal COVID-19 relief funds to assist the courts. Special judges to be appointed around the state will be paid with the CARES Act funds through Dec. 30, 2020.

Judge Price retired from the Warren County Court Dec. 31, 2018, after 16 years of service as County Court and Youth Court judge. He was Warren County prosecutor for 13 years. He also served as Vicksburg city prosecutor and Vicksburg municipal judge pro tem. He has 37 years of public service.

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