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Brown sworn in as new Adams County judge

Faith Anne Brown, second from left, helps her dad Walt Brown put on a robe he borrowed from Judge Vincent Davis as her sister Abby, right, and mother Lashon watch. Brown was sworn in as the new Adams County Judge Monday morning in a ceremony at the Adams County Courthouse. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)

Faith Anne Brown, second from left, helps her dad Walt Brown put on a robe he borrowed from Judge Vincent Davis as her sister Abby, right, and mother Lashon watch. Brown was sworn in as the new Adams County Judge Monday morning in a ceremony at the Adams County Courthouse. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ For the first time in 30 years, Adams County has a new county court judge.

Even though it won’t statutorily take effect until Jan. 1, Walt Brown took his oath of office in the Adams County Courthouse Monday morning. Outgoing Judge John Hudson, who did not run for the office this fall, administered the oath.

Brown takes over for Judge John Hudson, at top, who was smiling as Brown talked to the crowd of friends and family who came to witness the swearing in. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)

Brown takes over for Judge John Hudson, at top, who was smiling as Brown talked to the crowd of friends and family who came to witness the swearing in. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)

“It has been a long election, and now we are in the transition phase, and I am ready to get in there and do my best,” Brown said.

The new judge said he chose to take the oath Monday because he wanted Hudson — who has held the office since 1983 — to be the one to do the swearing-in, and this week was the only time schedules would allow for it to happen.

“It was a very nice ceremony, and I was glad (Hudson) could be there along with my family,” Brown said. “I had to borrow (Chancery Court Judge Vincent Davis’) robe because I haven’t even finalized ordering one for myself.”

The county court hears matters of eminent domain, unlawful entry and detainer, partition of personal property and youth court. The county court judge also hears non-capital felony criminal cases the circuit court transfers. Only 19 counties in Mississippi have county courts, which were created by the Legislature to reduce the workload of circuit and chancery courts.

Brown was elected in a runoff in late November following a primary race that included a field of six candidates. He has served as an assistant district attorney since 2004, and previously had a private law practice.

Brown said since the election he has spent time watching how Hudson and his staff operates so he will be better acquainted with the way youth court operates.

Lashon Brown holds the Bible as her husband Walt Brown is sworn in as the new Adams County Judge by Judge John Hudson, who is retiring after 30 years on the bench. Brown previously worked as the assistant district attorney since 2004. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)

Lashon Brown holds the Bible as her husband Walt Brown is sworn in as the new Adams County Judge by Judge John Hudson, who is retiring after 30 years on the bench. Brown previously worked as the assistant district attorney since 2004. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)

“I am trying to get a better feel for these different rules, where I have been working in the Circuit Court for 11 years and it is very different,” he said.

Brown also attended a new judge’s orientation in Jackson Dec. 8-11 with 11 other new judges.

“We had several judges — including supreme court and appeals judges — come in and give us some instruction on what to expect,” Brown said.

“I have a lot on my plate, and there are cases set for January, so I will get my feet wet then.”