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Retired Judge Price appointed to assist Warren County Court

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph Friday appointed retired County Court 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.

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

More special judges are expected 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 on July 30 in the 16th Chancery Courts of Jackson, Greene and George counties.

A special judge was appointed Friday 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  COVID-19 pandemic 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 on March 13. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 cases may have been affected.

The Legislature appropriated $2.5 million of CARES Act money to assist the courts. Special judges to be appointed around the state will be paid with CARES Act funds which will be available through Dec. 30.

Price retired from the Warren County Court in 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.