Justice Court Judge

Summary of Office

County court judges hear civil actions under $200,000, as well as civil appeals from the justice and municipal courts. They try misdemeanor criminal cases and conduct preliminary hearings, in addition to serving as the youth ( juvenile) court.
 

Number to Be Elected

Mississippi has 21 county courts and 30 county court judges.
 

Term of Office

Elections are nonpartisan. The county court judge election is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of general election years. County court judges are elected at-large for a 4-year term. The term of office starts on the first Monday of January after the election.
 

Criteria to Run

Candidates for county court judge must be qualified electors for and from the county court district, at least 26 years old, practicing attorneys for 5 years, and citizens of the state for 5 years preceding the election.
 

Duties of Office

County court judges hear civil actions under $200,000, as well as civil appeals from the justice and municipal courts. They try misdemeanor criminal cases and conduct preliminary hearings, in addition to serving as the youth ( juvenile) court. Juries are used in county courts, and appeals may be taken to the chancery or circuit court, depending upon the nature of the case. The county court is a court of record (has a court reporter) and may be assigned cases from the chancery and circuit courts to assist with heavy caseloads or judge recusals. County courts hold jurisdiction over juvenile cases and eminent domain cases. They have the power to set bond, issue search warrants, and preside over preliminary hearings.
 
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