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April 25, 2011

Judge’s Order Seeking Homeschooler Identities Overruled

As reported on April 11, 2011, Judge Walker of the Chancery Court of the Thirteenth District in Mississippi issued a court order on March 23, 2011, that required attendance officers in five counties to provide his court with a list of the names and addresses of all homeschoolers in those public school districts. This order was not related to any existing case or dispute, but appeared to provide Judge Walker with information he would like to have instead of information he was legally entitled to. HSLDA filed a Writ of Prohibition and Emergency Motion to Stay written by HSLDA Chairman Mike Farris in the Supreme Court of Mississippi on April 5, 2011, through our local counsel Sharkey Burke. The following day, the Supreme Court of Mississippi halted the enforcement of the order and instructed Judge Walker to respond to the motion by April 18.

Judge Walker’s response was received on April 18, and HSLDA filed a response memorandum on April 19. On April 20, 2011, the Supreme Court of Mississippi ruled in favor of HSLDA’s motion and vacated the order by Judge Walker. HSLDA succeeded in protecting the privacy of homeschoolers from this flagrant misuse of judicial power and blatant violation of the separation of powers set up by the Mississippi and federal constitutions. We are grateful to the families who assisted us in standing against the court order.

 Other Resources

“Judge Demands Homeschoolers’ Identities—State Supreme Court Says ‘Not so Fast’”