Home > Mississippi Court Guide

Finding Court Records in Mississippi

Mississippi Courts Overview

It helps to understand how the Mississippi state court system works when you’re trying to find court records. The Mississippi trial court system consists of Circuit Courts, Chancery Courts, County Courts, Youth Courts, Justice Courts, and Municipal Courts.

Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction over most civil and criminal cases and typically handle cases beyond the jurisdiction of other courts. Chancery Courts have limited jurisdiction over domestic relations, probate and juvenile cases, and share jurisdiction with Circuit Courts over certain types of cases. County Courts and Justice Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases. Youth Courts have jurisdiction over juvenile offenses as well as cases involving abuse or neglect of juveniles. Municipal Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of criminal cases and traffic violations.

If you prefer, you can start your search by going to Mississippi Courts by County.

Mississippi Circuit Courts

Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction over most civil and criminal cases, and mostly handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of other courts. Circuit Courts also handle appeals from County, Justice, and Municipal Courts, and from administrative agencies.

Criminal cases heard by Circuit Courts include felonies and lesser-included offenses.

Circuit Courts hear all civil claims for more than $200,000 and certain matters related to real estate. Circuit Courts may share jurisdiction with County Courts for matters less than $200,000, and share jurisdiction with Chancery Courts for certain other types of cases.

Mississippi Chancery Courts

Chancery Courts have limited jurisdiction to hear certain types of cases, including equity, domestic relations, probate matters, mental health, guardianship and some matters relating to real estate. Chancery Court judges are also known as Chancellors.

In counties without a County Court, Chancery Court judges or their appointed referees sit as Youth Court judges to hear juvenile matters.

Cases generally heard by Chancery Courts include divorce, legal separation, child custody, child support, alimony, the probate of wills, the administration of estates and involuntary commitment.

Chancery Courts share some jurisdiction over certain types of cases with Circuit Courts.

Mississippi County Courts

County Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases. County Courts share jurisdiction with Justice Courts for civil and criminal cases within Justice Court jurisdiction, including petty misdemeanors. County Courts also share jurisdiction with Circuit and Chancery Courts in certain civil and criminal matters.

County Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over juvenile matters, in which the County Court judge sits as a Youth Court judge.

County Courts handle most general civil claims for less than $200,000, exclusive of costs and interest. County Courts can hear counterclaims for more than $200,000, unless all parties agree to transfer the case to Circuit Court.

County Courts also have jurisdiction over cases involving eminent domain, the partition of personal property and some actions for unlawful entry and detainer.

Mississippi Youth Courts

Youth Courts handle all cases involving a juvenile offense, a delinquent child, a child in need of supervision, a neglected child, an abused child or a dependent child. There are limited exceptions for particularly violent juvenile offenses, which may be heard in Circuit Court, and child abuse charges that may be heard in Chancery Court custody cases. A child is any person under the age of 18.

In the 21 Mississippi counties that have County Courts, the County Court judge is also the Youth Court judge. In counties without a County Court, Chancery Court judges or their appointed referees sit as Youth Court judges.

Additionally, the city of Pearl in Rankin County has a Youth Court.

Mississippi Justice Courts

Justice Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases.

Criminal cases heard by Justice Courts include criminal offenses punishable by a fine or time in county jail and petty misdemeanors. Justice Courts share criminal jurisdiction with Circuit Courts and County Courts, and some Justice Courts may exercise exclusive jurisdiction over petty misdemeanor cases. Justice Courts may also conduct bond and preliminary hearings in felony cases.

Civil cases heard by Justice Courts include most general civil claims for less than $3,500. Justice Courts share civil jurisdiction with County Courts.

Mississippi Municipal Courts

Municipal Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of criminal cases.

Criminal cases heard by Municipal Courts include misdemeanor criminal cases and municipal ordinance violations, including traffic offenses.

Mississippi Drug Courts

Many Mississippi courts operate a special Drug Court, which can set up treatment in lieu of incarceration for some nonviolent adult and juvenile first offenders with substance abuse problems. Drug Court participants may undergo close supervision, drug testing, counseling, community service, and educational or job requirements. Successful completion of a Drug Court program can result in dismissed charges or reduced sentences.

Where to Find Court Cases in Mississippi

The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of Mississippi court.

Most Cases = Most or all cases.     Some Cases = Some cases.

Case Type Court Type
Civil Circuit Courts Chancery Courts County Courts Youth Courts Justice Courts Municipal Courts
General Civil - Unlimited Most or All Cases          
General Civil - Limited Some Cases   Some Cases   Some Cases  
Small Claims     Some Cases   Most or All Cases  
Civil Equity Some Cases Most or All Cases Some Cases   Some Cases  
Complex Commercial Some Cases Some Cases        
Foreclosures and Liens Some Cases Some Cases Some Cases   Some Cases  
Real Estate Title and Boundary Some Cases Some Cases        
Landlord / Tenant   Some Cases Some Cases   Some Cases  
Ordinance Violations     Some Cases   Some Cases Most or All Cases
Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders Some Cases Some Cases Some Cases   Some Cases Some Cases
Administrative Agency Appeals Most or All Cases          
Criminal Circuit Courts Chancery Courts County Courts Youth Courts Justice Courts Municipal Courts
Felony Most or All Cases   Some Cases      
Felony Preliminary Hearings Some Cases   Some Cases   Some Cases Some Cases
Misdemeanors Some Cases   Some Cases Some Cases Some Cases Some Cases
Ordinance Violations     Some Cases Some Cases Some Cases Most or All Cases
Juvenile Some Cases Most or All Cases Most or All Cases Most or All Cases    
Traffic and Infractions     Some Cases Some Cases Most or All Cases Most or All Cases
Domestic Relations Circuit Courts Chancery Courts County Courts Youth Courts Justice Courts Municipal Courts
Divorce   Most or All Cases        
Child Custody and Visitation   Most or All Cases        
Child Support   Most or All Cases        
Paternity   Most or All Cases        
Domestic Violence Protection Order   Some Cases Some Cases   Some Cases Some Cases
Juvenile Circuit Courts Chancery Courts County Courts Youth Courts Justice Courts Municipal Courts
Adoptions   Most or All Cases        
Juvenile Delinquency Some Cases Most or All Cases Most or All Cases Most or All Cases    
Child Abuse and Neglect   Most or All Cases   Most or All Cases    
Termination of Parental Rights   Most or All Cases   Most or All Cases    
Children in Need of Supervision   Most or All Cases   Most or All Cases    
Mental Health Circuit Courts Chancery Courts County Courts Youth Courts Justice Courts Municipal Courts
Involuntary Commitments   Most or All Cases        
Other Mental Health Cases   Most or All Cases        
Probate Circuit Courts Chancery Courts County Courts Youth Courts Justice Courts Municipal Courts
Wills & Estates   Most or All Cases        
Name Changes   Most or All Cases        
Trusts   Most or All Cases        
Guardianships and Conservatorships   Most or All Cases        

Find Mississippi Courts by County

Return to Top