Monday, May 15, 2023

Chancellor Denies HB #1020 Injunction Request

Hinds County Chancellor Dewayne Thomas denies a request for an injunction against HB #1020.  The injunction asked the Chancellor to block the appointment of four special circuit judges and the creation of a CCID special court that would function as a municipal court.  However, U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate barred the appointment of the special judges Friday.

Jackson residents Dorothy Triplett, Ann Saunders, and Sabreen Sharieff sued in Hinds County Chancery Court to block the appointment of the judges and the creation of the CCID court.  HB #1020 gave the power to appoint the judges to the Chief Justice.  

Judge Thomas issued a temporary restraining order against those parts of the bill two weeks ago.  The order expired on May 10.  The Court held a hearing on that day. Coverage of hearing.   Arguments were made and filed while the Chancellor took it all under advisement.   Judge Thomas dismissed Hinds County Chancery Clerk Zach Wallace and Chief Justice Mike Randolph from the lawsuit but allowed the plaintiffs to add the state of Mississippi as a defendant last week. 

 Judge Thomas held the appointment of the special judges and the creation of the CCID court are constitutional.  Highlights of the opinion: 

* The Court can not determine there is a substantial likelihood the plaintiffs will prevail on the merits of the case.   Courts should construe the statute to be constitutional rather than unconstitutional if the statute  in question does not clearly conflict with "organic law."  

 * The plaintiffs argue two sections of the Mississippi Constitution preclude the appointment of special judges under HB #1020.  Section 153 states: 

The judges of the circuit and chancery courts shall be elected by the people in a manner and at a time to be provided by the legislature and the judges shall hold their office for a term of four years.

while Section 165 states: 

Whenever any judge of the Supreme Court or the judge or chancellor of any district in this state shall, for any reason, be unable or disqualified to preside at any term of court, or in any case where the attorneys engaged therein shall not agree upon a member of the bar to preside in his place, the governor may commission another, or others, of law knowledge, to preside at such term or during such disability or disqualification in the place of the judge or judges so disqualified.

The plaintiffs argues these two sections limited the appointment of judges to an inability to sit on the bench.   However, there is a little Mississippi Code section, Section 9-1-105(2), that has something to say on the matter (although code is inferior to constitution): 

 Upon the request of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals or the senior judge of a chancery or circuit court district, or upon his own motion, the Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, with the advice and consent of a majority of the justices of the Mississippi Supreme Court, shall have the authority to appoint a special judge to serve on a temporary basis in a circuit or chancery court in the event of an emergency or overcrowded docket.


 The Court of Appeals held in 2002: 

This provision does not state that it is the exclusive mechanism for selection of special judges. The provision itself first sets out another alternative, namely, that the parties agree on a member of the bar as a replacement. The Governor's authority is prefaced with the word "may," indicating that the executive has personal discretion or perhaps that the use of this procedure is optional as opposed to using some other feasible but unstated procedure.
Translation: Judge Thomas said Section 165 is a mechanism for appointing special judges but is not the only mechanism for doing so. Section 9-1-105(2) gives the Chief Justice the power to appoint special judges to relieve overcrowded dockets. 

HB #1020 meets the requirements of the law because it limits the terms and jurisdiction of the special judicial appointments.  

* The plaintiffs asked the Court to find the creation of a special CCID court is unconstitutional as well.  They argued the lack of explicit language granting the right of appeal rendered the court's creation null and void.  However, the Chancellor held HB #1020 states the CCID court will have the same duties and limitations as municipal courts.  CCID judges are to be paid the same as municipal court judges.  Section 11-51-81 states anyone found guilty of a criminal offense in a municipal court may appeal to county or circuit court.   Municipal courts are thus "inferior" courts.  The opinion states: 

Because the CCID Court is established to function as a municipal court, it is subject to the same appeal mechanism, and there is no lack of appeal. The lack of specific language regarding right of appeal within the four corners of HB1020, while perhaps not ideal, does not necessitate that there exists no right of appeal. Mississippi law "generally will read the statutes[, upon the same subject] together to interpret them harmoniously." Brown v. State, 102 So. 3d 1087, 1092 (,J 23)

 All this mess about some mess may be for naught as the NAACP parked a similar challenge in U.S. District Court.  Judge Wingate stayed that lawsuit, citing the controversy in the Hinds County Chancery Court.  However, Judge Wingate issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting Chief Justice Mike Randolph from appointing any special judges under the bill.  A hearing will be held on May 22.  Earlier post.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Dwayne is such a turd. Gave the libs the injunction. Knew he’d get overturned like a flapjack but ms supremes. Fed took the pressure off of him by their own injunction. Straddling the fence like he has his entire sorry career.

Anonymous said...

Great! Now if Wingate will do the same thing.
I'm glad I was wrong and Thomas did the right thing.

Anonymous said...

What are you talking about, 12:36? He denied the injunction and dismissed the suit, ruling completely in the state's favor.

Anonymous said...

@1:06. Yep. He knew it was not unconstitutional all along, but he had to do a little pandering to make himself look sympathetic. Whether those bozo opponents like it or not, this bill will eventually be implemented.

Anonymous said...

12:36 B.S. What you call "straddling the fence" is actually being fair and impartial. If there is one Judge you know will give you a fair hearing, it's Dewayne Thomas. I've known him before and after he got on the bench and I might not always agree with him but I know he gives a damn about people. I'll bet he tried his damn best this time too.

Anonymous said...

Judge Thomas is a good jurist and was a brave legislator being one of the first legislators to vote against Speaker Buddie Newman and change the House rules.
He ruled according to the law.
Just because you dislike 1020 does not mean it is unconstitutional.
If you expect the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to give you any relief you are deluded.
Get ready for 1020, Capitol Police, and a Capitol Police District misdemeanor court.

Anonymous said...

Thomas with a solid ruling. This lawsuit (just like the one in federal court) is really nothing more than a fund-raising mechanism for the activist groups. Never a basis for their claims and it failed as will the even less credible case filed by the ultimate fundraiser Derrick Johnson in federal court.

There, they have to prove a racial bias created by this legislation - going to be hard to prove (not suggest, not assume, but prove) any racial violations.

Wingate will dismiss shortly.

Anonymous said...

So what happens next?

Anonymous said...

Can someone sue Triplett, Saunders, or Sharieff from this point forward if they are the victim of a crime in Jackson?

Anonymous said...

Many will contend this is a racist ruling

Anonymous said...

Without sitting here and 'what iffing' myself all night, it would seem that a federal judge's ruling trumps a local judges ruling.

Having said that, I'm not sure who said what or which ruling, if either supersedes the others.

So, does the district, as passed into law, survive?

So, does the chief justice select the judges or not?

So, is the ACLU, NAACP, SPLC and three made up plaintiffs actions still alive or no?

Anonymous said...

Derrick Johnson was seen this weekend with former Election Commissioner Toni Johnson that plead guilty to taking bribes and kickbacks. Sources say the money she stole was attended for Derrick Johnson and later given to Toni Johnson because ONE VOICE couldn't receive the check. One question do the F.B.I. invesgates NAACP ?

Anonymous said...

Presume this suit by activists was a window dressing to solicit donations. Both Judges gave short, temporary halts against 1020 only to appear duly considerate of plaintiff's "cause" and prevent appeal. Both judges professionally deplore court/prosecution backlogs and believe in timely justice, but both acknowledge race monger power in MS.

(More qualified cops) + (speedier justice) = less crime.
Less crime = safer, more livable Jackson, permitting enterprise, taxes and public service once the fake mayor is ousted.

Anonymous said...

Capital Police rolling up on folks like they should soon!

Anonymous said...

Maxists don't want to abolish crime, as it helps them justify more control of society. Any expansion of the Capitol Police is in conflict with that goal.

Anonymous said...

After the armed robbery on Brecon in broad daylight by two black males with machine guns and the attempted car jacking at 2pm at Maywood mart I can’t imagine who’d be opposed to more law enforcement. JA better build a wall asap

Anonymous said...

Let’s roll! Let’s get to work cleaning up this dump hole. Make it the safest little city in America! Pull your pants up, cut your boom boom music down, and pick up your joint stems from our streets! Road blocks to and from Capitol need to be common place for capitol police.

Anonymous said...

1. Answer the questions asked at 3:42.

2. Don't

Anonymous said...

4:03 - are Derrick and Toni related?

Anonymous said...

If you expect the Mississippi Supreme Court
with its 7-2 Republican majority not to uphold
1020 then you are a dumb ass.
Also don't count on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
which is even more conservative to strike down 1020.
I am a Democrat who lives in Jackson and I look forward
to the Capitol Police and their misdemeanor court to get
It's time to treat the arm robbers like they do in Madison County.

Anonymous said...

12:30 = while I agree with your sentiment and basic concept, but you need to recount that 7-2 (not Republican as much as conservative); much more like a
5 / 2 / 2 division. Couple on there you can't ever tell where they might come down.

And I also believe Wingate will send them packing telling them there isn't a federal claim to be made. IF they appeal to the 5th, which they probably will because it will help their fundraising by extending their time to shake down the gluttons that answer their daily calls for cash, the 5th will kick them out quickly as well

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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