Saturday, January 28, 2023

Kilpatrick First County Court Judge

Tiffany Kilpatrick will serve as Lafayette County’s first County Judge
after winning Tuesday’s runoff election against local attorney
Carnelia Fondren.

Kilpatrick earned 2,826  votes to Fondren’s 1,634  votes.

In the Nov. 8 general election, Fondren took the most votes of
eight candidates, with Kilpatrick earning the second-highest number of
votes, resulting in the runoff.

According to the Lafayette County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, 63.24
percent of Lafayette County’s 36K+ registered voters cast votes for County Judge.

A mother and lawyer, Kilpatrick has practiced for 17 years and
currently serves as the Assistant District Attorney over Abuse and
Sexual Assault Cases for the Mississippi Third Circuit Court District,
where she serves the entire district (Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw,
Lafayette, Marshall, Union, and Tippah Counties). She primarily
practiced criminal defense and family law in private practice. She has
served as the Lafayette County Public Defender at the felony level,
the Youth Court Public Defender for Lafayette County, and City
Prosecutor for Abbeville as well as an Adjunct Professor at her alma
mater, the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Before the election, Kilpatrick told Hotty Toddy News that she hopes to
start an Intervention Court, similar to the existing Drug Court, for
juveniles. She also hopes to help move the court dockets along at a
quicker pace.

“Both the civil and criminal dockets are woefully crowded and, as a
result, leave criminal defendants and civil parties waiting over a
year or more for their day in court,” she said.

The county was approved for a County Court after the 2020 Census
showed the county’s population exceeded 50,000.

According to the State Mississippi Judiciary’s website, County Courts
have exclusive jurisdiction over eminent domain proceedings and
juvenile matters, among other things.

Staff Report