Marriage licenses available again by appointment only

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Residents in Pearl River County will be able to get marriage licenses from the county’s Circuit Clerk again.

In late March, the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors declared marriage licenses as non-essential business to support Circuit Clerk Nance Stokes, who had already been declining to issue marriage licenses in an effort to reduce the number of people visiting her office and to slow the spread of COVID-19, according to previous coverage.

District II Supervisor Malcolm Perry was interested in reinstating issuing marriage licenses, and pointed out that it was the only government service that the Board has suspended due to COVID-19.

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Melinda Bowman said her office has been taking affidavits for mental commitments over the phone, then having them signed in person, to reduce the amount of face to face time employees spend with members of the public. Bowman suggested the Circuit Clerk’s office could do something similar when issuing marriage licenses to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

The Board approved an order that would allow Stokes to begin issuing marriage licenses again, but only for Mississippi residents. Stokes said the service is now being offered by appointment and will be provided curbside.

In other business the Board:

—Entered executive session to discuss pending litigation and economic development.

—Approved a partial payment of $202,447 to Mainspace Office Solutions for furniture in the County Courthouse Annex.

—Passed a resolution to recognize the work of Suelin McLaney, who resigned as of Friday from Pearl River County.

—Approved travel to San Antonio, Texas for the Sheriff’s Department to pick up a donated K-9 on April 22 to 23.

—Authorized signing the Impaired Driving Grant and Occupant Protection Grant application, which could give the Sheriff’s Department $21,442 in federal funding to support an officer who will educate the community about the importance of using seat belts and child safety and $45,375 in federal funding to support an officer who will enforce impaired driving laws and educate the community about impaired driving.

The next Board meeting will be Monday April 27.