Investiture Ceremony for Circuit Judge Richelle Lumpkin Set for March 25

Published 6:12 pm Monday, March 18, 2024

Circuit Judge Richelle Lumpkin’s investiture ceremony is scheduled for March 25 at 3:30 p.m. at the Pearl River County Courthouse, 200 South Main Street in Poplarville.

Governor Tate Reeves, who appointed Judge Lumpkin to the 15th Circuit Court vacancy, will be the keynote speaker. Chief Justice Mike Randolph will administer the oath of office.

Gov. Reeves appointed Judge Lumpkin to fill the judgeship previously held by Circuit Judge Claiborne “Buddy” McDonald IV, who passed away on Jan. 1.

Gov. Reeves has scheduled a special election for Nov. 5 for the remainder of the term, which will end in December 2026. Judge Lumpkin is unopposed in this election.

Judge Lumpkin said, “I am honored and humbled by Gov. Reeves’ appointment to fill the vacancy of Place 3 of the 15th Circuit Court District. This appointment is bittersweet. It brings about many emotions due to the untimely passing of my dear friend and judicial colleague, Judge Claiborne “Buddy” McDonald IV. I pledge to Governor Reeves and the citizens of the 15th Circuit Court District that I will dedicate all that I am to performing the duties of this office and will do so fairly and impartially to all.”

Judge Lumpkin began hearing Circuit Court cases on Feb. 19. Before starting work, she took the oath of office. It is customary for judges to retake a ceremonial oath during an inauguration.

She said the past month’s work wasn’t a significant change from what she did as Pearl River County Court Judge, a position she held since 2011. “It was a somewhat easy transition because I had been blessed to carry a felony docket for the past 13 years,” she said. Circuit Judges appointed her as County Court Judge to handle hundreds of felony cases as a special Circuit Judge.

Judge Lumpkin was the first to serve as County Court Judge for Pearl River County. The 2010 Legislature authorized the creation of a County Court to relieve a crowded Circuit Court and Youth Court docket.

Judge Lumpkin served as a youth court referee for four years by appointment of the Chancery Court before her election to County Court. She also served as Municipal Judge for the City of Picayune for eight years and as Pearl River County prosecutor for eight years. She is a former member of the Commission on Judicial Performance and the Mississippi Board of Bar Commissioners.

She earned a Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Southern Mississippi and a law degree from Mississippi College School of Law.