Decisions – Miss.S.Ct. – April 13, 2017

Mississippi Department of Corrections v. The Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Centerpublic records – The MacArthur Justice Center filed suit against MDOC seeking information  pursuant to the Public Records Act regarding the drugs used to kill inmates sentened to death by lethal injection.  MDOC argued that this information was privileged and confidential.  The chancellor ruled in favor of the MacArthur Justice Center and MDOC appealed. MDOC also challenges the amount of the attorneys fees awarded to the attorneys for the MacArthur Center.  The Miss.S.Ct. reverses and renders.  The complaint was filed in 2014.  in 2016, the legislature amended the law to specifically exempt from disclosure the information the MacArthur Justice Center sought.  “When the Legislature chooses to amend or modify any law related to a pending action, this Court applies the Legislature’s most recent pronouncement.”


The Court grants cert. in Winfred Forkner v. State of MississippiMRCP 60(b)/pcr – (the link is to the COA opinion).  Forkner and April Harrison were charged with having stolen  air-conditioning units from two hunting camps. Fortner was indicted as an habitual and found guilty on one of the two counts.  He was sentenced to life without parole.  He lost on direct appeal and filed three pcrs which were all denied.   In  January 2014, Forkner filed a motion under for relief under MRCP 60(b).  The trial court denied it and he appealed.  The COA dismisses the appeal. “Forkner’s motion is not a proper Rule 60(b) motion, and the supreme court denied all requests for permission to file a PCR motion. Accordingly, the circuit court lacked jurisdiction to consider Forkner’s motion, and we lack jurisdiction over his appeal. Forkner’s appeal is dismissed.”

Forkner cert

The Court grants an interlocutory appeal in Madison HMA, Inc. d/b/a Madison County Medical Center d/b/a Madison River Oaks Medical Center v. Janiya Morris and Richard Courtney on nursing negligence.  Jasmine Boyd gave birth to Janiya in October 2008.   Jasmine was in labor for an entire day.  Eventually it was decided to do a C section but while Jasmine was being prepped she collapsed from what would turn out to be an amniotic fluid embolus.  When Janiya was delivered she was essentially dead.  She was revived but suffers from hypoxic-ischemic brain damage and cerebral palsy.  In 2012, Jasmine sued MCMC and the doctor in charge of her delivery, Dr. Perkins.  Because Perkins was employed by the United States government, the case was removed.  Janiya dismissed Perkins and the case was remanded.   MCMC moved for summary judgment arguing that Janiya’s  claims related to the alleged failure of the MCMC nurses to utilize a “chain of command” to secondguess and override the pre-birth course of treatment determined by Dr. Perkins should be dismissed as said claim sought to impose a duty on nurses that was greater than the nursing duty prescribed by law.  The trial court denied it and MCMC filed an interlocutory appeal which the Miss.S.Ct, grants.

MCMC interloc


And the Court in  In Re: Mississippi Commission on Guardianship and Conservatorship  “establishes the Mississippi Commission on Guardianship and Conservatorship and charges it with making recommendations for developing a statewide, comprehensive approach to improving the processes which establish and manage guardianships of the person and guardianships of the estate; modernizing the guardianship process through active court monitoring and oversight; and promoting transparency of the guardianship process to protect individual rights. Justice Dawn H. Beam and Randy G. Pierce, Director of the Mississippi Judicial College, shall serve as Co-Chairs of the Commission. The Commission shall operate through three sub-committees focused on the following: Guardianship of the Person – Adult, Guardianship of the Person – Child, and Guardianship of the Estate. Each eight member committee shall be chaired by at least one chancellor and served by at least five practitioners or experts in the field, as designated by the Commission Co-Chairs. Expenses incurred by the Commission will be reviewed by the Administrative Office of Courts and reimbursed through appropriations made to that department. Appointed members of the Commission can be found in the order handed down this date. The term of service for each member of the Commission shall be three years from the date of this order, unless terminated sooner by resignation or further order of this Court. Order entered.”


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