Today Anita Lee checks in with an interesting story for the Sun Herald about a Jackson County Chancellor who’s had it with bogus service of process in child support cases. I have some unique insights here though I will not be sharing them today but I do encourage those so interested in the Mississippi blogosphere to follow the money as contracts at the state agencies generally have some sort of bad political odor attached.
The 16th Chancery Court District, where Harris is a judge, has 1,200 cases pending. Harris sensed a problem from the start.
The court was prepared to handle 82 cases May 14, Harris wrote in a pleading filed with the state Supreme Court, but 77 had to be delayed for lack of summonses served. Chancellors began reviewing the cases to see what might have gone wrong.
On June 11, 100 cases had been set, but Harris discovered records summoning deadbeat parents had been falsified. In one case, the woman process server Guy Jernigan of Madison swore he had served was in fact dead. In another, the mother he supposedly served at an Ocean Springs residence was actually in a Pascagoula jail cell.
Naturally Judge Harris was not amused and Jernigan ended up in the pokey on a contempt charge and rightfully so I’ll add. But after I read the following I almost could not resist the urge to spit my morning coffee:
Calendar said Smith notarized the proofs of service. Shane Corr and Chris Lott served court summonses for TCS. Lott, a criminal investigator for the state auditor’s investigative division, testified: “I was — a friend of mine was serving process for TCS … and he asked me if I would be interested in doing this. And he knew I had needed some extra work, so I volunteered.”
He and Corr, who investigates Katrina fraud for the auditor’s office, worked together on weekends. Corr previously headed the contractor-fraud unit after Hurricane Katrina for the state Attorney General’s Office.
One naturally wonders if Corr and Smith were the brain surgeons that followed Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo around for the better part of a year for State Auditor Stacey Pickering in his perma-investgation of Longo, which ended very badly for Team Pickering earlier this year. This would not be the first time the Corr surname appeared here on Slabbed. According to the story Frank Trapp is representing the process servers and has filed writs with the Supreme Court to get them sprung from the pokey.
I hope we have not heard the last of this.