SEC. 43-23-15. Hearing; legal counsel; guardian ad litem for abused or neglected child.
Sections 43-23-1, 43-23-3, 43-23-5, 43-23-7, 43-23-9, 43-23-11, 43-23-13, 43-23-15, 43-23-17, 43-23-19, 43-23-21, 43-23-23, 43-23-25, 43-23-27, 43-23-29, 43-23-31, 43-23-33, 43-23-35, 43-23-37, 43-23-39, 43-23-41, 43-23-43, 43-23-45, 43-23-47, 43-23-49, 43-23-51, 43-23-53 and 43-23-55, Mississippi Code of 1972, which provide for the establishment and operation of family courts, are repealed.
The family court shall at all times be deemed in session for the purpose of disposition of cases under this chapter. All cases of children shall be heard separately from the trial of cases against adults, at any place that the judge deems suitable, and the hearing shall be conducted in all cases of children in an informal manner under such rules as the court may prescribe, without regard to the technicalities of other statutory proceedings and rules of evidence, and the judge may continue the case or adjourn the hearing from time to time. No proceedings by the court in cases of children shall be a criminal proceeding, but shall be entirely of a civil nature concerned with the care, protection, and rehabilitation of the child in question. The general public shall be excluded from the hearing and only such persons shall be admitted as have a direct interest in or who have been subpoenaed as witnesses therein.
It shall be the duty of the county attorney or the district attorney to appear in all such proceedings and present the petition for the hearing, if required by the court to do so, and if practical; and if not practicable, without delaying such hearing, the court may appoint some reputable, local attorney to appear and present the petition in the hearing. Any parent, guardian, custodian or person having the legal custody of a child charged with any violation under the provisions of this chapter shall be entitled to a trial by jury if request therefor is made at any time prior to the commencement of the trial.
It shall be the duty of the family court judge to award and fix attorneys' fees commensurate with the services rendered and the ability of the parent or parents to pay in all cases involving a delinquent child or children.
In every case involving an abused or neglected child which results in a judicial proceeding, a guardian ad litem shall be appointed to represent the child in such proceedings.
SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 7187-08; Laws, 1964, ch. 328, Sec. 8; 1977, ch. 474, Sec. 6, eff from and after July 1, 1977. This section is repealed by Laws 1999, Ch. 432, Sec. 2 when such law is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.