James Hal Breland retires

Published 7:00 am Saturday, November 9, 2019

Justice Court Judge James Hal Breland celebrated his impending retirement with a party Friday afternoon surrounded by friends, family and fellow court personnel.

Breland took office in 1990. A former corporate pilot, Breland said he looks back fondly on his years as a Pearl River County Justice Court Judge.

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After giving Breland a bag full of gag gifts indicative of retirement, 15th Circuit Court Judge Claiborne “Buddy” McDonald described Breland as a person who always did what he could to help the people of the county.

Ben Breland, the son of the retiring judge and his replacement, said his father took that position when he was only 7-years-old. He remembers going to court with his father, and hiding under the bench with his brother.

“We would tie his shoes together,” Ben Breland said.

Both Ben Breland and McDonald said that even though James Breland tried to help people, he still did his job in order to provide justice.

Now that he is retiring, James Breland said he plans to take the first few of months to relax and see what life brings his way. He is considering getting back into aviation, possibly as an instructor for Pearl River Community College’s pilot program slated for construction near the Stennis International Airport in Hancock County.

Even though he looks back fondly at his years on the bench, Breland did say that the cases that involved children affected him the most.