Papers divided fairly, clerk says

A discussion about Justice Court procedures heated up the Board of Supervisors meeting Friday. At one point Constable Jimmy Dale White stormed out of the room, declaring the report to be a bunch of lies. He later returned to the meeting.

Clerk Carolyn Morgan appeared before the board in response to questions raised by White at a previous meeting regarding the distribution of process between the two constables. Morgan advised the board that she tries to be fair, distributing assignments roughly equally between the two constables, although state law and an Attorney General’s opinion leave the distribution entirely to the clerk’s discretion.

Other factors sometimes enter into it, however, as in the case of the 30 papers that White had previously questioned being given to the other constable, Ronnie Earls. Morgan explained to the board that process was never served on these papers, which were given to White between January and August, so they were reissued to Earls.

Constables have 10 days to serve papers or return them to the Justice Court if they are unable to serve them. They can be penalized for failure to return assignments. Board attorney Jim Shannon advised Morgan to keep a log of complaints when papers are not served.

In October Constable Ronnie Earls received 62 in-county and 34 out-of-county assignments. Jimmy Dale White received 58 in-county assignments and 32 out of county assignments. Out-of-county papers originate from Justice Courts in other counties, to be served on Copiahians. Payment by state law is based upon processes completely served and posted. Payments of $845 were made to Earls and $885 to White in October, according to Morgan’s report.

Morgan also addressed White’s other question from the previous board meeting, regarding serving papers for collection of mobile home taxes. White had reported that constables in other counties serve these papers but not in Copiah. Morgan explained that a number of years ago the county changed their process on these matters, moving process service to Circuit Court and the sheriff’s department.

 OTHER BUSINESS

Constable Ronnie Earls was authorized to replace the radio and lights in his vehicle as they can’t be repaired.

The county has received $5,000 from the Health Department for designating two sites as points of dispensement in case of a health emergency such as a flu pandemic. Copiah’s two sites are the New Life Church in Hazlehurst and Crystal Springs Middle School.

The Copiah County Historical Society will meet at the courthouse on Monday, Dec. 3, at 6:30 p.m. for a tour, the board was informed.

The county will observe the state’s holiday schedule: Nov. 22-23, Thanksgiving; Dec. 24-25, Christmas, and Jan. 1, New Year.

The board authorized the advertisement of the final settlement of contract on the Brown’s Wells Road project.

Annual bids for road supplies will be received on Dec. 3, as well as bids for county depository.

Hancock Bank was lowest and best bidder for financing of sheriff department vehicles.

Claims were approved totaling $2,991,420.35 before the board recessed until Monday, Nov. 19, at 9 a.m.

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