Chancery Courts in Mississippi are the other general jurisdiction courts for the state. Their main area of focus is legal issues that involve equity. Some of the types of cases heard in Chancery Court are divorces, adoptions, child custody disputes, guardianships, wills, estates, trusts, sanity hearings and involuntary commitments, tort cases, real property issues with no dollar-value limit, criminal appeals, and juvenile matters. Chancery Court also handles land record filings. Most cases are decided by a chancellor and not a jury, but state law does allow litigants to request a jury trial.
Some Counties have split out juvenile matters into a Youth Court. In counties where they have no designated Youth Court, Chancery Courts are in charge of juvenile delinquency cases, along with child abuse and neglect issues. Chancellors sometimes appoint lawyers to sit in as a Youth Court referee in juvenile cases.
Mississippi has 20 Chancery Court districts with 1-4 judges per district. There are 52 total Chancery Court judges who are elected in non-partisan elections in their county, and they serve four-year terms.
The State of Mississippi Judiciary website has a detailed listing of each district and each town within the district making it easy for the residents to find the Chancery Court in their region. Additionally, the website offers complete contact details with the mailing address and phone numbers of all Chancery Court Clerks, judges, and other staff members.
Cases heard in Chancery Court may be appealed to the Court of Appeals and then if still not satisfied a request for a Supreme Court review can be made by either party. Circuit Courts deal with a broader scope of cases whereas Chancery Court is singularly focused on matters of equity and family issues. Many litigants in Chancery Court are self-represented.