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Figures v. Jackson Housing Authority

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

June 20, 2017

ANNIE FIGURES APPELLANT
v.
JACKSON HOUSING AUTHORITY APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/27/2015

         COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT HON. JEFF WEILL SR.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT DONALD W. BOYKIN

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE D. STERLING KIDD

          BEFORE IRVING, P.J., CARLTON AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.

          WESTBROOKS, J.

         ¶1. This is an appeal from the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County. The Jackson Housing Authority ("JHA") brought a civil lawsuit against Annie Figures and requested an order of eviction. The justice court ruled for the Jackson Housing Authority. Figures appealed to the County Court of Hinds County, which held a de novo trial and issued a judgment of eviction. Figures appealed to the Circuit Court of Hinds County, which affirmed the decision of the county court. Finding no reversible error, we affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. Figures was a resident of Golden Key Apartments in Jackson, Mississippi. Golden Key Apartments is owned and operated by the JHA. These apartments are for disabled and elderly people. Figures threatened two other residents in her apartment building, resulting in a violation of her lease agreement. Figures was given an eviction notice. In compliance with her due-process rights, JHA held a hearing and voted to uphold the eviction. When Figures failed to vacate the premises, JHA obtained an order of eviction from the Hinds County Justice Court and filed a civil lawsuit against her.

         ¶3. Figures appealed to county court. A de novo trial was conducted. At trial, witnesses testified that Figures had threatened to "blow their heads off." The county court ordered Figures to vacate the premises and to refrain from further "threatening and/or harassing other tenants." Figures appealed the ruling to the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County. Relying on the record, the circuit court affirmed the decision of the county court. On February 11, 2016, the circuit court entered an order denying Figures's motion for rehearing and granting a temporary stay pending further appeal. Figures now appeals the circuit court's decision. Based on our review of the record, we affirm.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶4. "The standard by which an appellate court reviews factual determinations made by a trial judge sitting without a jury is the substantial-evidence standard." Norris v. Sw. Miss. Reg'l Med. Ctr., 105 So.3d 410, 414 (¶14) (Miss. Ct. App. 2012) (citation omitted). Under this standard, a trial judge's "findings will not be reversed on appeal where they are supported by substantial, credible, and reasonable evidence." Id. (quotation marks omitted). ¶5. "The appellate court is limited to an abuse-of-discretion standard when reviewing an alleged sequestration violation." White v. State, 127 So.3d 170, 174 (¶10) (Miss. 2013). ¶6. Additionally, "[o]ur well-settled standard of review for the admission or suppression of evidence is abuse of discretion." Mitchell v. Barnes, 96 So.3d 771, 776 (¶14) (Miss. Ct. App. 2012) (citation omitted). The Mississippi Supreme Court has said that the decision of the trial judge will stand unless we conclude that the discretion was arbitrary and clearly erroneous, amounting to an abuse of discretion. Id. (citation and quotation marks omitted).

         DISCUSSION

         I.Whether the trial court erred in placing the burden of ...


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