william singletary.jpgThe legal world has its own version of the saying “The customer is always right.” It’s a rule that litigators are quite familiar with: “The judge is always right.”
The rule holds true even if you’re a government employee, performing one of the duties of your job, and the judge chases after you with a machete:

A confrontation between a Hinds County field tax assessor and a Chancery Court judge carrying a machete apparently won’t lead to criminal charges, but has resulted in new marching orders for assessors.

Bob Merritt maintains his job was threatened if he pursued an assault allegation against Hinds County Chancery Judge William Singletary.

Merritt, 53, filed the charge Tuesday, saying a machete was held to his neck while he was measuring a garage door on the judge’s property in Clinton last week.

That’s right: a judge chases after a tax assessor with a machete, but it’s the tax assessors who get in trouble:

As a result of the encounter between the two, appraisers in Hinds County will no longer be setting foot on property when owners aren’t home. Rather, they will estimate values from the safety of public sidewalks and streets, according to Tax Assessor Mike Barnes.

The correspondent who brought this incident to our attention had this to add:

As a Mississippi lawyer, should I be terrified that our judges are using machetes to attack tax assessors? Probably. I’m also terrified that he just grabbed the machete because THAT WAS THE WEAPON CLOSEST BY.

Judge Goes After Tax Man [Mississippi Clarion-Ledger]


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