Panel to discuss giving pay raises to state’s judges

JACKSON — The need for judicial pay raises will be the topic of a panel discussion Jan. 24 at the Capital Club in Jackson. The Capital Area Bar Association will host the discussion during its Bench and Bar Relations CLE luncheon.

Panelists are expected to include Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr., Court of Appeals Chief Judge L. Joseph Lee, retired Ninth District Circuit Judge Frank Vollor and professor Matt Steffey of the Mississippi College School of Law.

Salaries for Mississippi’s trial and appellate judges are the lowest in the nation, according to the annual survey by the National Center for State Courts. The last pay raise for Mississippi trial and appellate court judges went into effect in 2003.

The Mississippi judiciary has requested that the 2012 Legislature enact a pay raise for justices of the Supreme Court and judges of the Court of Appeals, Chancery Courts, Circuit Courts and County Courts. The judiciary has proposed to fund the raises through increases in civil filing fees and appellate court fees, without the need for money from the state general fund. The judiciary’s proposal calls for incremental pay raises spread over four years.

Salaries of state court judges are set by state law under Mississippi Code Section 25-3-35. Current salaries are: Supreme Court Chief Justice, $115,390; Supreme Court Presiding Justices, $113,190; Supreme Court Associate Justices, $112,530; Court of Appeals Chief Judge, $108,130; Court of Appeals Associate Judges, $105,050; Chancery Judges, $104,170; and, Circuit Judges, $104,170.

County Court judges’ salaries are set by Mississippi Code Section 9-9-11. Salaries vary by county population. Some counties are authorized to pay a salary of $1,000 less than Chancery and Circuit Court judges.

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3 Responses to “Panel to discuss giving pay raises to state’s judges”

  1. Reba G. Cook Says:

    They knew the salaries when they campaigned for the jobs. They’re overpaid now.

  2. Carol B Says:

    How does this fit in with Gov. Bryant having slashed salaries by 10% from the very top? Answer: It doesn’t.

  3. Farmer D. Says:

    Hizzonor Waller is being intentionally misleading when he says ” The judiciary has proposed to fund the raises through increases in civil filing fees and appellate court fees” and ” none of the pay raise will come from the State General Fund” He knows full well that more than 85% of all legal fees are not paid by defendants, they PAID BY TAXPAYERS AS ARE THE DEFENDANTS ATTORNEY’S FEES. Mr. Waller has weasel worded this to be true that the Judiciary pay raise will not come from the STATE GENERAL FUND but practically all of it will still be born by the State’s taxpayers. This lie alone should be reason enough to deny them an increase.

    Mr. Waller, Esq, is undoubtedly worth more than he is being paid right now but not as a Mississippi Supreme. He obviously feels far over qualified for this position at this salary, and should go to a job that will pay him what he believes he is worth. Let’s then fill his resignation with someone who is fully qualified (but not overly qualified) for the salary that he/she knows the job pays. As previously stated above by Reba C. Mr. Waller asked for this job, at this salary and if he is not happy with it-he should immediately resign and go to that other job that pays what he thinks he is actually worth.

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