Overview of Mississippi Courts
In order to find Mississippi court records, it's helpful to understand how the state court system works. Each state varies and we've compiled this information to help your search. You can also start your search by going directly to courts by county.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Criminal cases heard by Municipal Courts include misdemeanor criminal cases and municipal ordinance violations, including traffic offenses.
|Case Type||Court Type|
|Civil||Circuit Courts||Chancery Courts||County Courts||Youth Courts||Justice Courts||Municipal Courts|
|General Civil - Unlimited|
|General Civil - Limited|
|Foreclosures and Liens|
|Real Estate Title and Boundary|
|Landlord / Tenant|
|Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders|
|Administrative Agency Appeals|
|Criminal||Circuit Courts||Chancery Courts||County Courts||Youth Courts||Justice Courts||Municipal Courts|
|Felony Preliminary Hearings|
|Traffic and Infractions|
|Domestic Relations||Circuit Courts||Chancery Courts||County Courts||Youth Courts||Justice Courts||Municipal Courts|
|Child Custody and Visitation|
|Domestic Violence Protection Order|
|Juvenile||Circuit Courts||Chancery Courts||County Courts||Youth Courts||Justice Courts||Municipal Courts|
|Child Abuse and Neglect|
|Termination of Parental Rights|
|Children in Need of Supervision|
|Mental Health||Circuit Courts||Chancery Courts||County Courts||Youth Courts||Justice Courts||Municipal Courts|
|Other Mental Health Cases|
|Probate||Circuit Courts||Chancery Courts||County Courts||Youth Courts||Justice Courts||Municipal Courts|
|Wills & Estates|
|Guardianships and Conservatorships|