Judge off bench after asking for leave of absence in May due to illness
NATCHEZ — For more than two months, the Adams County Justice Court has been working without one of its judges.
In May, Northern District Justice Court Judge Patricia Dunmore notified the Adams County Board of Supervisors that she was unable to serve on the bench for more than 30 days, County Attorney Scott Slover said.
In response to Dunmore’s leave of absence, the Adams County Board of Supervisors appointed Municipal Court Judge Anthony Heidelberg and Southern District Justice Court Judge Eileen Maher to cover for Dunmore in her absence, Slover said.
Although supervisors do not have any authority over judges, state law allows the board to make temporary appointments to the court when a judge is unable to hold court for more than 30 days.
Slover said the statute does not provide a time limit for the temporary appointment, which would last until Dunmore can return to the bench.
Dunmore, who was reached by phone Thursday, said that she was recently released from the hospital, where she said she has been for several months.
“I am at home and getting stronger now,” Dunmore said. “I have been very sick, very sick, but I am on the mend now.”
Dunmore is currently running for re-election for the Northern District Justice Court Judge position. Dunmore said she is still running for office and plans to be back in court soon.
“I will be back on the bench before the election,” Dunmore said. “My health is improving.”
Dunmore will be on the ballot in the Aug. 6 Democratic Primary. She is running against Audrey Minor and Eddie Jones. If a runoff is necessary, it will be on Aug. 27.
Because no Republican or independent candidates qualified for the election in the Northern District, the race will be decided in the primary.