Justice Courts in Mississippi are limited jurisdiction courts in the state with a focus on small claims of less than $3,500, misdemeanors and traffic offenses occurring outside of a municipality. These courts also handle preliminary hearings for more serious offenses. Some Justice Court judges conduct bond hearings and issue search warrants.
Mississippi has 82 Justice Courts throughout the state with 197 judges presiding. Justice Court judges are elected in partisan elections, and they serve four-year terms.
Many of the offenses tried in Justice Court are traffic-related. The State of Mississippi Judiciary website has all the forms necessary for those types of cases, and they offer e-filing through their Mississippi Electronic Courts (MEC) system. Users must first register for an account before e-filing any paperwork.
Small claims are another focus area that Justice Courts handle. The state judiciary website has all the forms necessary to file motions and objections and submit evidence for a small claims case in Justice Court. They also offer help matching up patrons with lawyers, navigating the legal process and accommodations for those with disabilities. The AOC provides wireless service, court interpreters, and other helpful resources for all types of patrons using the legal system.
The State of Mississippi Judicial branch website also offers a few detailed FAQ pages to help answer common questions like:
- How long does a ruling take?
- Did you receive my paperwork?
- Where is the courthouse located and do they have parking?
- How do I file an appeal? - Are there any fees to pay when I file?
- Who can I talk to about my case?
- How do I get copies of court records for my case?
Appeals from Justice Court go to Circuit Court or even County Court if one is available.