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The Helena Arkansas Daily World - Helena, AR
  • Judge assigned to review backlog of Phillips County court cases

  • A retired circuit judge from Fayetteville has been assigned to serve as independent consultant over the 1st Judicial District in the Mississippi Delta.
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  • A retired circuit judge from Fayetteville has been assigned to serve as independent consultant over the 1st Judicial District in the Mississippi Delta. The Arkansas Supreme Court on Monday assigned Kim Smith to serve as consultant and gave him the full authority of a circuit judge. The court began scrutinizing the district after a series of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette stories exposed problems in Phillips County, including a backlogged court docket and bench warrants that weren't served. Smith, who has also worked as a prosecutor, declined to comment Monday about his new role. Local officials told the Democrat-Gazette (http://is.gd/1gSQLC ) that they welcome Smith's input. The 1st Judicial District covers Phillips, Cross, Monroe, Lee Woodruff and St. Francis counties.

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