By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times
Justice Court Clerk Janice Brunty was guest speaker at the Sept. 25 meeting of the Eupora Rotary Club.
She explained that Webster County Justice Court usually handles misdemeanor cases, such as traffic tickets, first- and second-offense DUIs, simple assaults, trespassing and petit larceny.
Most misdemeanors carry under 60 days in jail upon conviction. Preliminary hearings (unless waived) are held for felony cases
On the civil side, Brunty said Justice Court handles such cases as replevins, evictions, money judgments and temporary restraining orders in domestic cases. A replevin is the recovery of fraudulently taken goods by the person claiming to own them.
Brunty said the court sometimes has problems serving summonses when current addresses are unavailable for defendants but commended Webster County’s constables for their work in serving them.
Brunty, who has been on the job for 12 years, said Justice Court has seen many changes because some criminal offenses that were once felonies are now considered misdemeanor cases. New laws have also changed state assessments.
“We’re required to collect assessments (which go the state) before the fines,” she said.
Justice Court has a community work program in which people can work off fines if they cannot pay them.
The Justice Court office, working with the Webster County Sheriff’s Department, is attempting to collect old fines. The “roundup” includes failure-to-pay warrants and all outstanding warrants.
Lisa Dean is deputy clerk and Jan Butler is the county prosecutor. Justice Court judges are Jerry Jones and Rebecca Ellison. The Justice Court office is located in the Webster County Office Building at 24 E. Fox Ave. and the phone number is 258-2590.