By William Moore
JACKSON – Chancery Court Judge Talmadge Littlejohn was suspended and fined by the Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday afternoon.
The state’s highest court ordered the First Chancery District judge suspended without pay for 30 days, publicly reprimanded, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $1,600 in court costs.
In March 2012, Littlejohn changed an 11-year-old custody agreement and ordered a non-custodial father to pay $15,000 within 90 days to purchase a car for his minor child. The man appealed. Despite the case being appealed, Littlejohn ordered the man jailed for not paying.
Last fall, the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance recommended that Littlejohn be fined $500, publicly reprimanded and ordered to pay court costs.
“Chancellor Littlejohn has refused to take responsibility for his misconduct,” Presiding Justice Jess Dickinson wrote in the majority opinion, “and the recommended sanctions are not commensurate with sanctions imposed for similar misconduct in past cases.”
In the order, the court notes that Littlejohn has been publicly reprimanded in the past for abusing his contempt powers. In October 2010, Littlejohn had attorney Danny Lampley jailed when Lampley did not recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Littlejohn’s courtroom.
The public reprimand will be read in open court by the presiding judge on the opening day of the next term of Union County Circuit Court.
Littlejohn serves as a chancellor for Alcorn, Itawamba, Monroe, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Lee, Tishomingo and Union counties.