DeSoto Officials Question Need For New Judge

(Hernando, MS) DeSoto Chancery Court Judge Percy Lynchard is one of three judges  who travel more than a 100-mile radius.

”I can tell you with a straight face, that we have plenty to do, but we’re certainly not overworked,” he said.

Apparently lawmakers in Jackson believe the workload has become so great in some high population counties, including DeSoto, they need another judge.

”It was stated that some of the other counties above 50,000 people wanted an additional judge,” said Mississippi Representative Gene Alday (R-Walls).

Representative Gene Alday points out a letter from DeSoto supervisors that confirms even they don’t want an extra judge.

This Chancery district includes six counties, including Montgomery County, halfway to Jackson.

But about half the cases come from DeSoto County.

Alday says that doesn’t justify the expected half-million dollar expense of a new judge and staff, a tab the counties must pay.

”They have to pay for it, and I mean, I feel like it’d put a burden on some of the smaller counties.”

For now, Judge Lynchard says in his district, the workload doesn’t justify another judge.

”I think it’s a lot of expense for nothing.”

Lawmakers say since hearing DeSoto’s case, they’ll take another look at the bill and could make some changes.

Representative Alday says he hopes sponsors re-tool the bill to only create new judge positions in districts that need and want them.



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