Saturday, April 9, 2011

Judging the Judges: Joe Dale Walker

Judge Joe Dale Walker is a judge for the 13th Chancery District of Mississippi. The 13th District serves Covington, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Simpson, and Smith counties.

The following article is by Holly Craw and the citation information follows the article.

Judge Joe Dale Walker of the Chancery Court of the Thirteenth District in Mississippi may not have known with whom he was dealing when he sent an order to the attendance officers of five counties requiring a list of all the homeschoolers and their addresses in each jurisdiction. There was no cause or case that merited the action.

In a highly commendable move, the attendance officers as a group acted wisely, and sent a letter to the homeschooling families with the judge's order. They asked to be notified by April 8 if the families wanted to take legal action against the judge.

Homeschool Legal Defense Association was immediately contacted, and they went to the state Supreme Court to ask for a stay of all proceedings. This was granted on April 7. The court also turned the tables on Judge Walker, asking him to respond by April 18, 2011 with an explanation of the authority that he used to issue the order to the attendance officers.

Much concern has been generated in the homeschool community about the judge's abuse of power and possible ramifications had the Mississippi Supreme Court not been willing to grant the stay of proceedings. No one yet knows why the judge was wanting the information, nor what he may have planned to do with it.

April 9th, 2011 4:09 pm MT
Holly Craw
Phoenix Homeschooling Examiner

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