VIDEO: Planning and Preparing For Court

GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss. (WCBI) – The next term of Circuit Court is just a couple of weeks away in Columbus.

Sessions are held four times a year, and last about three weeks.

It might seem like it lasts long, but preparing for it takes even longer.

Prepping for court is like prepping for a sports game.

It requires dedication, a lot of work, and many key players to make it all possible.

Around 300 to 350 cases are on the docket and are split between three judges.

“Each of them have two weeks here, and so their cases are divided out among them, and preparations takes place beforehand with the indictments and actually typing out the docket and getting all of the information ready for the attorneys and the judges,” says Lowndes County Circuit Clerk, Teresa Barksdale.

Getting all of the information together, requires many people in many offices.

“The clerk’s office, the prosecutor’s office, the District Attorney’s Office, and the criminal defense attorneys. As well as the judges and the judges staff, as well as, the court administrator. She basically sets all of the cases that we have, gives them a court date.”

Before any of that happens, the prep work has to be done.

The District Attorney’s Office says getting ready for Circuit Court is an ongoing process.

They usually start getting ready for a term two months beforehand.

“Review that docket, and review my files, talk to the victims, talk to the officers, make sure that I am well versed on the facts of each of those cases, because they’re going to come up in that term on the docket,” says Assistant District Attorney, Trina Davidson-Brooks.

District Attorney’s Office Investigator Steven Woodruff says once people get into the courtroom, they don’t realize what all went into making it happen.

“I go through everybody’s court docket because maybe one out of every ten people on that docket is in prison, so I may have to do a transport order and get them brought back on the specific day that they’re suppose to be back. There’s just a lot of moving parts to get ready for.”

Once the court date gets here, all of the players get set in their positions.

“We all work together and when court actually begins, then we come to court. We have to interact with the defensive attorneys and the judges and everybody here that’s in during court term,” says Davidson-Brooks.

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