Courts in Mississippi
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Courts in Mississippi are made up of the state court system and two federal courts.
The Supreme Court is the court of last resort in Mississippi. The nine justices that serve are elected from three districts. It hears appeals from lower courts, but also has original jurisdiction over a number of cases.
The Court of Appeals was created in 1995 and serves as an error correction court. The court's purpose is to review lower court decisions, assigned to it by the Mississippi Supreme Court, for misapplication of well-settled law to each cases's unique facts. Ten judges are elected from five districts.
These courts hear criminal and civil lawsuits. There are 22 districts and 51 judges serving them.
Trials in these courts are normally bench trials, meaning the finder of fact is the judge, not a jury. There are 48 judges in the chancery courts that serve 20 districts.
These courts handle eminent domain and juvenile matters. Not all counties have a county court, but in those that do the judge serves as the youth court judge, too. There are 20 county courts in the state serving 29 districts.
In counties with county courts, those judges also preside over the youth court. In the other counties, a chancery court judge either hears youth court cases or appoints a referee to do so.
These courts hear municipal claims. There are 226 courts across the state, and the terms of service are dictated by individual municipalities.
Mississippi has two federal courts.
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi
These courts are part of the Fifth Circuit.