OF JUDGMENT: 08/04/2017
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JUSTIN MILLER COBB, JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: MARVIN E. WIGGINS JR.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: STEPHEN PAUL WILSON
BARNES, C.J., WESTBROOKS AND LAWRENCE, JJ.
Cornelius Parks was convicted of a misdemeanor for domestic
violence in 2011. In order to appeal his conviction, he filed
a check for $449 along with his notice of appeal and a
document entitled "Cost and Appearance Bond" with
the circuit court. The State moved to dismiss the appeal and
argued that Parks did not file the cost and appearance bond
simultaneously with his notice, as required in former Rule
12.02 of the Uniform Rules of Circuit and County Court
Practice. The circuit court granted the State's
motion and dismissed the appeal. Parks appealed to this
Court, and we found that he met the "bare minimum"
requirements under former Rule 12.02 "to confer
jurisdiction on the circuit court." Parks v.
State, 194 So.3d 179, 181-82 (¶9) (Miss. Ct. App.
2015). Therefore, this Court reversed the decision of the
circuit court. Id. at 182 (¶12). Further, this
Court held that "[o]n remand, the circuit court may
decide whether Parks should be granted leave to amend his
'costs and appearance bond' to correct these and any
other deficiencies." Id. at (¶11).
After this Court reversed and remanded the dismissal of
Parks's appeal to the circuit court, the Kemper County
prosecutor filed another motion to dismiss. The circuit court
found that the $449 filed by Parks was only a "cost
bond" and ordered the justice court to set an amount for
the "appearance bond." The justice court denied the
request for jurisdictional reasons, and the circuit court
then set the appearance bond at one dollar. Parks paid the
bond fee, and after a trial on the original domestic violence
charge, Parks was acquitted. The State now appeals the denial
of its second motion to dismiss, complaining that the legal
issue of bond should again be addressed by this Court.
Traditionally, when the question before the court is one of
law, the standard of review is de novo. Brown v.
Mississippi Dept. of Human Servs., 806 So.2d 1004, 1005
(¶4) (Miss. 2000).
The State is limited by statute on what types of judgments
may be appealed. Miss. Code Ann. § 99-35-103 (Rev.
2015). Specifically, the State may only appeal pure questions
of law that result from an order "acquitting the
defendant where the question of law has been decided
adversely to the state or municipality . . . ." Miss.
Code Ann. § 99-35-103(b). In those cases, the defendant
is not subject to further prosecution, and the acquittal is
not reversed. Id.
The State offers five separate issues for our
review. In its brief, the State essentially asks
this Court for "a ruling and clarification of a question
of law, namely, a clear, objective standard in applying
former Rule 12.02." As noted earlier, this is not the
first time this Court has reviewed this case. Originally, we
determined Parks provided a bond that "made clear it was
intended to cover both the appeal costs and to secure his
appearance before the circuit court." Parks,
194 So.3d at 179 (¶9). As a result, we concluded that
the "bare minimum requirements" of former Rule
12.02 were met in order to confer jurisdiction. Id.
We recognize that there is no remedy that we can provide that
would turn the clock back to 2011 when Parks filed his
initial appeal. Because of that, there is no way for this
Court to give relief to the State under section 99-35-103
because the appeal is not just about a "question of
law." See City of Pascagoula v. Delmas, 157
Miss. 619, 128 So. 743, 743 (1908). Here, we are presented
with an interpretation of the facts as to whether or not
Parks initially followed the rule governing his appeal and
what his intent may have been. ...