Qualifying opens for justice court spot

Published 12:04 pm Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Qualifying is now open and will remain open through Sept. 3 for a special election to fill an unexpired term for justice court in Warren County’s Central District.

Signatures from 15 residents of the district are required as part of the paperwork to get on the ballot, Circuit Clerk Shelly Ashley-Palmertree said.

Funeral director James E. Jefferson Jr. was appointed to the post by county supervisors in October 2009 after former judge Richard Bradford resigned.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Jefferson has said he will file for the position.

The election will be on the Nov. 2 general election ballot headlined by the congressional race in Mississippi’s 2nd District between U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and GOP challenger Bill Marcy, and for Vicksburg Warren School District trustee in districts 1 and 5. Qualifying periods in the school board race have not opened.

Terms for justice court seats are decided during county- and state-level election cycles, which means this year’s winner must run again in 2011 and win to keep the job.

In Mississippi, salaries for justice court depends on county populations. In Warren County, the position pays $40,075 annually. They hear small claims cases up to $3,500, misdemeanor criminal cases and any traffic offenses that occur outside municipalities. Justice court judges also conduct bond hearings and preliminary hearings in felony criminal cases and may issue search warrants. Justice court judges don’t have to possess law degrees, but do complete state training programs.

Warren County is divided into thirds for the justice court seats. Eddie Woods has held the Northern District spot since 2003. Jeff Crevitt was elected from the Southern District last year.