Category Archives: Child Support

Judge gets Benched!

Pearl Youth Court is closed for business.

John Shirley

The City of Pearl’s Youth Court judge, John Shirley, has resigned and Pearl’s Youth Court has been permanently closed. The abrupt closure comes after a complaint was lodged accusing the judge of entering a No Contact Order against a mother from contacting her 4-month-old child until she paid court-imposed fines and this continued for a period of 14-months.

According to The Clarion Ledger, an order was entered on Wednesday, October 25, 2017, reversing Judge Shirley’s earlier decision and returning the child to the moth

 “Judge Shirley said Thursday he couldn’t specifically discuss the woman’s case, but said, whenever he issued a no-contact order, it was due to abuse or neglect of a child that hadn’t been corrected. Also, Shirley said he resigned his Pearl Youth Court judge position because of dispute with the city’s mayor.” Id.

” ‘I didn’t resign because of any pressure,’ ” Shirley said. ” ‘I resigned because I got tired of the policies in that administration.’ “

Judge Shirley was no stranger to criticism, though that is not too uncommon for Judges that rule on matters involving Family Law and Custody.  While his resignation was abrupt and the closure of the Youth Court a surprise, to many it was a welcome surprise.

The Rankin County Youth Court in Pelahatchie is hearing the Pearl Youth Court matters that are pending.

Matthew Thompson is a family law and child custody attorney in Mississippi and previously practiced in Pearl Youth Court. 



When Court Doesn’t Go your Way…

Sometimes Court doesn’t go your way.


Judges make mistakes, witnesses remember it wrong and you may ask for improper relief. But, all is not lost. You have options.

Motion for New Trial. This motion, sometimes referred to as a motion for reconsideration, can provide an avenue for the Judge to correct the mistake. They must be filed within 10 days of the Final Judgment and they are not for a do-over, but to correct a clear error of law or fact.

Appeal. You may appeal any Final Judgment. You have 30 days to do so from the final ruling and if you do a timely Motion for New Trial it resets the appeal clock. Appeals can be cumbersome and daunting. These are to the appellate court, not the Court that decided your case. However, an appeal is based on what happened below, the trial record. It’s not for new happenings.

Modification. Even though your judgment may be final, certain aspects are always modifiable. Custody, support, visitation and certain other payments may be changed by the Court if circumstances warrant it.

Matthew Thompson is a Divorce and Appeals lawyer in Mississippi.


Advice to Parents; Grow up

If you are the parent to a child then act like it.


We have seen the reports and stories of parents going off the deep end. Using illegal drugs, abusing substances, pursuing bad-idea relationships and ultimately putting their own selfish desires above the needs of their children.  It’s time to stop.

There are only a handful of people that you, as a parent, are ultimately responsible for; yourself and the people you brought into this world, your children.

Don’t shirk your duties. Don’t neglect your children. Don’t be so consumed with your own desires that you lose sight of what is important. Don’t hate another person so much it clouds your judgment when it comes to your children.

Matthew Thompson is a Child Custody attorney and encourages parents to grow up and act like a parent.