Moffett takes oath of office as chancery judge

Adam Robison

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Terrill K. Moffett was sworn in as the newest chancellor in the First District on Friday afternoon.

The investiture at the Lee County Justice Center was ceremonial. Moffett has been presiding over chancery court cases since Jan. 4. Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Moffett on Dec. 19 to fill out the term of the late Talmadge Littlejohn, who died Oct. 26.

Since more than half of Littlejohn’s term was remaining, a special election will be held in November to fill the seat.

Despite practicing law for 36 years, becoming a judge was not Moffett’s career path when he left Becker Bottoms in Monroe County in 1967 heading to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

“I never planned on being a lawyer,” Moffett said. “God just opened some doors and has blessed my life.

“As I enter this new office, my prayer is that God will grant me the wisdom to know how to enter the correct judgment and the courage to act accordingly.”

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice William Waller Jr., who served under Moffett in the Mississippi National Guard, administered the oath of office.

“The goal of a judge is to be fair, efficient and impartial,” Waller said. “T.K. will meet those criteria.”

Chancery courts deal with domestic matters, including adoptions, custody disputes, divorces, sanity hearings and wills. Land records are filed in chancery court and chancellors rule on annexation cases.

“Chancellors deal with life as we live it, so you need a chancellor who understands so orders can be signed so families can move on with life,” said Circuit Court Judge James Roberts. “He knows the rules. He knows the law. There will be no learning curve. I think he will fit in extremely well.”

Moffett graduated from West Point in 1971 and earned his law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1979. After his active duty in the military, he served in the Mississippi National Guard. He mobilized for both Gulf Wars as well as Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

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