Alford, 010780 MSAGO, 19800107
|Case Date:||January 07, 1980|
As City Attorney for the City of Philadelphia, Mississippi, it is respectfully requested that the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Philadelphia, Mississippi, be advised concerning the following question: The City operates a municipal police Court and under Section 21-33-3, Miss. Code Annotated 1972, have appointed a Police Justice and a Police Justice pro-tempore in lieu of the Mayor serving as police justice. The present Police Justice has requested the Mayor and Board of Aldermen to authorize the Chief of Police to take the oaths for affidavits and issue arrest warrants and to further appoint the Chief of Police as Clerk of the police court. It is questioned by the undersigned as city attorney concerning the legality of this procedure in light of the separation of powers in that Section 21-23-11 states 'that the clerk of the municipality shall be the clerk of the police court, unless the governing authorities shall otherwise elect.' May the Chief of police be vested with these additional powers and duties.Addressing first the matter of the Municipal Court Clerk, the following Sections of the Code are noted:
§ 21-23-7. Powers and duties of municipal judge. ... The municipal court shall have the power to make rules for the administration of the court's business, which rules, if any, shall be in writing filed with the clerk of the court. § 21-23-11. Clerk of the court. The clerk of the municipality shall be the clerk of the municipal court, unless the governing authorities shall otherwise elect. He shall attend the sittings of the court in person or by duly appointed deputies, and he shall be under the direction of the municipal judge. Any police officer of the municipality may be ex officio deputy clerk. ... The clerk shall have the power to take acknowledgments, administer any oaths required by law to be taken by any person, and take affidavits charging any crime against the municipality or state. § 21-23-13. Executive officer of the court. The marshal or chief of police of the...
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