Investiture ceremony for Circuit Judge Richelle Lumpkin set for March 25 in Poplarville

March 18, 2024

An investiture ceremony for Circuit Judge Richelle Lumpkin will be held at 3:30 p.m. March 25 at the Pearl River County Courthouse at 200 South Main Street in Poplarville.

Judge Claiborne

Gov. Tate Reeves, who appointed Judge Lumpkin to a vacancy on the 15th Circuit Court, 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. Judge McDonald, of Picayune, died on Jan. 1.

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

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. She took the oath of office before beginning work. It is customary for judges to take a ceremonial oath again during an investiture.

She said the past month’s work wasn’t a big 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 person to serve as County Court Judge for Pearl River County. The 2010 Legislature authorized creation of a County Court for Pearl River County to relieve a crowded Circuit Court and Youth Court docket.

Judge Lumpkin served by appointment of the Chancery Court as Youth Court Referee for four years before her election to County Court. She also served as Municipal Judge for the City of Picayune for eight years. She previously served for eight years as Pearl River County prosecutor. 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.

She lives in Carriere.