Judge Lumpkin serves public

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 19, 2014

HONORABLE WOMAN: The Honorable Richelle Lumpkin, the county youth court judge, is the only woman judge in Pearl River County.

HONORABLE WOMAN: The Honorable Richelle Lumpkin, the county youth court judge, is the only woman judge in Pearl River County. Photo by Alexandra Hedrick

The Honorable Richelle Lumpkin is one of Mississippi’s nine women county court judges. She is the only female judge in Pearl River County.

As a county court judge and head of the youth court, she hears civil, criminal and imminent domain cases. Presiding over the youth court involves hearing juvenile and Department of Human Services cases, which can involve abuse and neglect.

Lumpkin said she knew from a young age she wanted to become an attorney. As a child, she would play the game “Life” and when it came time to pick her profession in the game, she always chose attorney.

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She graduated from Pearl River Central High School in 1983 and then pursued a career in law.

In 1985 she began taking political science classes at Pearl River Community College and graduated in 1987.

Lumpkin graduated with her law degree from Mississippi College in 1990 and started a private practice.

In 1992, she was elected county prosecutor and held that position until 2000. Lumpkin said it was during that time that she became involved in youth court.

In 2003, she became the youth court referee for Pearl River County until she was appointed to be Picayune’s city judge in 2006.

When the legislature established a county court system in 2010, Lumpkin ran for county court judge. After winning the election she took office in January 2011.

Lumpkin said she enjoys serving the public in any way she can and feels she accomplishes that as a county court judge.

She also said being able to try and help the youth in the county is another benefit of her job, even if she is not always successful.

“You hope you can do something to trigger something in a child’s mind or a child’s life to where they’ll change the direction they’re going and become productive adults and sometimes that happens,” Lumpkin said.

She said seeing a child turn their life around is one of the great things about her job. Even though she is not always successful, it doesn’t prevent her from continuing to try to positively affect a child’s life.

Lumpkin said although there are more male than female judges in Mississippi, she has been blessed not to personally experience any discrimination.

“I’m not saying it hasn’t happened,” Lumpkin said. “It just hasn’t been an issue for me.”

Lumpkin has been married for 25 years to Wendell Lumpkin and they have two children, Hannah and Hunter.

She said besides being involved in her church, Serenity Baptist, she enjoys spending time with her family and is very grateful to the support her parents have showed.