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Overview of the Mississippi Court System

With seven different courts, the Mississippi judicial system can confuse a lot of people. It can help to think of the legal system as a pyramid with three different types of courts:

  • Courts of limited jurisdiction
  • Courts of general jurisdiction
  • Appellate courts

The limited jurisdiction courts in Mississippi are the justice and municipal courts. The municipal courts handle traffic infractions and petty criminal violations, while the justice courts mainly deal with small civil cases. The other limited jurisdiction courts are known as the county courts, which handle mid-level civil cases, juvenile cases, and some misdemeanor criminal cases. The county courts also hear appeals from the justice and municipal courts.

The general jurisdiction courts include the chancery courts, which handle probate/estate matters, domestic relations, land disputes, and mental health issues. The circuit courts, which hear all major civil cases and all criminal cases, are also general jurisdiction.

The appellate courts in Mississippi are the Court of Appeals and the Mississippi Supreme Court. Cases from the chancery and circuit courts are appealed to the Supreme Court, which then assigns cases to the Court of Appeals. That court's decision may then be appealed again to the Supreme Court, which makes the final state decision on the matter.

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When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always a good first step. At LawInfo, you can search for a skilled Mississippi attorney by location and by practice area. We connect our users to attorneys who dedicate their practice to specific areas of the law. So you will not only find an attorney in your area but an attorney who can help you with your particular legal issue.

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