Decisions – Miss.S.Ct. – Jan, 22, 2015

The Alabama Great Southern Railroad v. Jones –  In 2010, Chantel Jobes’s vehicle left the southbound lane of Highway 11, crossed the northbound lane and crashed into a concrete railroad trestle. Jobes was seriously injured in the accident, and she filed a complaint against Norfolk Southern Railway Company, the Mississippi Transportation Commission, and the
Mississippi Department of Transportation. The trial judge denied the defendants’ motions for summary judgment and they filed an interloc.  The Miss.S.Ct. reversed and rendered.

Tellus Operating Group v. Maxwell Energy – “In this case, we review a challenge to a Mississippi Oil and Gas Board pooling order force-integrating various owners’ interests in a proposed drilling unit. See Miss. Code Ann.  § 53-3-7 (Rev. 2003). We hold that the Board’s order was supported by substantial evidence. We also find that one owner’s attempt to voluntarily integrate his interest within twenty days of the Board’s pooling order did not satisfy Section 53-3-7(2)(g)(iii).”

In the Interest Of SKMS – on cert.  – The Court affirms the Court of Appeals decision  court affirms youth court’s adjudication of 13-year-old S.M.K.S. as a delinquent based on  his resisting arrest.  TBA has a great post on this case.   I share his outrage  (or will, when and if  I ever get over the flu).

Craig Sallie v. Statenotice required to enhance sentence – Craig Sallie was indicted by a Madison  County grand jury of aggravated assault and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.   He was found guilty on both counts and was sentenced to twenty years for the assault charge and ten years on the felon-in-possession charge to run consecutively.  The court then enhanced Sallie’s sentence for having used a firearm in the commission of the crime despite the fact that Sallie was not given notice that the prosecution was seeking an enhanced sentence.  For using a firearm,  the trial  court tacked on an additional ten years to be served consecutively.  On appeal the Court of Appeals held that there was no error in failing to give Sallie an enhanced sentence despite the fact that he was not given notice.  THe Miss. S. Ct. reverses on this issue.

Richard Chunn v. Staterequirements for bail bondsmen – Chunn is a bail bondsman.  Thirty-three years ago in Texas, he  pleaded guilty to possessing marijuana. “That conviction did not prevent him from pursuing his twenty-plus-year career as a licensed bail-bond agent. Then, in 2011, the Legislature amended Section 83-39-3 of  the Mississippi Code by adding a provision that prohibits all felons—regardless of the nature and dates of the offenses—from obtaining or renewing a bail-agent license. When the Mississippi Department of Insurance refused to renew his license, Chunn challenged the Miss. Code Ann. § 83-39-2(2) (Rev. 2011).”  He lost in the trial court but wins on appeal “[b]ecause the statute violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, we reverse and render.”  “The State has failed to articulate any rational basis for precluding all felons—regardless of the nature or age of the felony—from holding bail-agent licenses.”

Katherine Robertson v. State –   no expungements for pardons – “Katherine Robertson pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in 2006. In 2012, Governor Haley Barbour pardoned Robertson, and she filed a motion to have her record expunged. The circuit judge denied the motion, and Robertson appealed. The issue presented was a novel one when Robertson filed her appeal, but it has since been decided. The Court recently held that statutory authority does not provide for expungement of a pardoned conviction. Polk v. State, 150 So. 3d 967 (Miss. 2014). Therefore, we affirm the trial court’s denial of Robertson’s motion to expunge.”

(sorry that these are not more detailed.  Blame the 2014 flu vaccine).

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