Mississippi Judicial System and Court System: How Does it Work?
The Mississippi Judicial System comprises of many courts. The following is a list of the courts in the Mississippi Judicial System.
- Supreme Court of Mississippi
- Mississippi Court of Appeals
- Mississippi Chancery Courts
- Mississippi Circuit Courts
- Mississippi County Courts
- Mississippi Justice Courts
- Mississippi Municipal Courts
- Mississippi Drug Courts
- Mississippi Youth Courts
- Mississippi County Courts
Supreme Court of Mississippi
In Mississippi, a two-tier appellate court system exists which reviews decisions of law as well as fact made by the trial courts. The Supreme Court of Mississippi is also known as the court of last resort and sits among other state courts. Any decisions which are made by the Chancery, Circuit and County Courts, as well as the Court of Appeals, has the potential to be appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court entertains appeals of the following nature.
- Bond issues
- Constitutionality challenges
- Death penalty cases
- Disciplinary matters which involve attorneys and judges
- Election contests
- Certified questions from the federal court
- Utility rates
- Cases of the first impression
- Issues of broad public interest
Nine Supreme Court justices are elected from three districts. Non-partisan elections are held to make sure that not all of the positions are up for election at the same time. The Supreme Court justices serve terms of eight years each.
Mississippi Court of Appeals
The Court of Appeals hears cases assigned by the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals is also known as an error correction court. Cases where the law has already been settled, but the facts are in dispute are heard and decided upon by the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court has the power to review decisions made by the Court of Appeals. The decision of the Court of Appeals will stand if the Supreme Court declines the opportunity to review a decision.
The Mississippi Legislature created the Mississippi Court of Appeals to speed up appeals as well as relieve a backlog of cases before the Supreme Court. Lawsuits began to be heard by the Court of Appeals in 1995.
Ten judges are elected from five districts to serve in the Court of Appeals. Similar to the Supreme Court, non-partisan elections are held so that all positions aren’t available for election at the same time.
Mississippi Circuit Courts
Circuit Courts hear criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits. The Circuit Courts hear appeals from County, Justice, and Municipal courts as well as from administrative boards and commissions including the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
Currently, 22 Circuit Court districts are serving along with 57 Circuit Court judges. Circuit Court Judges per district range anywhere between one to four. Similar to the above judges, Circuit Court Judges are elected in non-partisan elections and serve terms of four years at a time.
A 12 member jury and 1 or 2 alternate jurors hear trials while a judge may preside without a jury if the dispute or debate is a question of law instead of fact.
Mississippi County Courts
The Mississippi Judicial System has exclusive jurisdiction over eminent domain proceedings as well as juvenile matters and more things. County Courts also share jurisdiction with Circuit as well as Chancery Courts in certain civil matters. County Courts have a jurisdictional limit of up to $200,000.
Mississippi Chancery Courts
Disputes involving equity, domestic matters, custody disputes, divorces, guardianships, sanity hearings, wills and challenges to the constitutionality of state laws are dealt with by Chancery Courts.
The Mississippi Judicial System and Court System is an intricate web of clever framework design. Learning more about it can do wonders to help any case you face in Mississippi courts.