Mississippi Constitution – Article 6. Judiciary – Circuit and Chancery Courts

§ 152. Circuit and chancery court districts

The Legislature shall divide the State into an appropriate number of circuit court districts and chancery court districts.

The Legislature shall, by statute, establish certain criteria by which the number of judges in each district shall be determined, such criteria to be based on population, the number of cases filed and other appropriate data.

. . . .

§ 153. Election and terms of circuit and chancery court judges

The judges of the circuit and chancery courts shall be elected by the people in a manner and at a time to be provided by the legislature and the judges shall hold their office for a term of four years.

§ 154. Qualifications for circuit or chancery court judges

No person shall be eligible to the office of judge of the circuit court or of the chancery court who shall not have been a practicing lawyer for five years and who shall not have attained the age of twenty-six years, and who shall not have been five years a citizen of this State.

§ 156. Jurisdiction of circuit court

The circuit court shall have original jurisdiction in all matters civil and criminal in this state not vested by this Constitution in some other court, and such appellate jurisdiction as shall be prescribed by law.

§ 157. Exclusive jurisdiction of chancery court; transfer

All causes that may be brought in the circuit court whereof the chancery court has exclusive jurisdiction shall be transferred to the chancery court.

§ 158. Holding of circuit court

A circuit court shall be held in each county at least twice in each year, and the judges of said courts may interchange circuits with each other in such manner as may be provided by law.

§ 159. Jurisdiction of chancery court

The chancery court shall have full jurisdiction in the following matters and cases, viz.:
(a) All matters in equity;
(b) Divorce and alimony;
(c) Matters testamentary and of administration;
(d) Minor’s business;
(e) Cases of idiocy, lunacy, and persons of unsound mind;
(f) All cases of which the said court had jurisdiction under the laws in force when this Constitution is put in operation.

§ 160. Additional jurisdiction of chancery court

And in addition to the jurisdiction heretofore exercised by the chancery court in suits to try title and to cancel deeds and other clouds upon title to real estate, it shall have jurisdiction in such cases to decree possession, and to displace possession; to decree rents and compensation for improvements and taxes; and in all cases where said court heretofore exercised jurisdiction, auxiliary to courts of common law, it may exercise such jurisdiction to grant the relief sought, although the legal remedy may not have been exhausted or the legal title established by a suit at law.

§ 161. Concurrent jurisdiction of chancery and circuit court

And the chancery court shall have jurisdiction, concurrent with the circuit court, of suits on bonds of fiduciaries and public officers for failure to account for money or property received, or wasted or lost by neglect or failure to collect, and of suits involving inquiry into matters of mutual accounts; but if the plaintiff brings his suit in the circuit court, that court may, on application of the defendant, transfer the cause to the chancery court, if it appear that the accounts to be investigated are mutual and complicated.

§ 162. Transfer to circuit court

All causes that may be brought in the chancery court whereof the circuit court has exclusive jurisdiction shall be transferred to the circuit court.

§ 164. Holding of chancery court

A chancery court shall be held in each county at least twice in each year.


Here are some statutes that apply:

§ 9-7-81. Jurisdiction; general enumeration of subjects

The circuit court shall have original jurisdiction in all actions when the principal of the amount in controversy exceeds two hundred dollars, and of all other actions and causes, matters and things arising under the constitution and laws of this state which are not exclusively cognizable in some other court, and such appellate jurisdiction as prescribed by law. Such court shall have power to hear and determine all prosecutions in the name of the state for treason, felonies, crimes, and misdemeanors, except such as may be exclusively cognizable before some other court; and said court shall have all the powers belonging to a court of oyer and terminer and general jail delivery, and may do and perform all other acts properly pertaining to a circuit court of law.

§ 9-5-81. Jurisdiction of the chancery court, in general

The chancery court in addition to the full jurisdiction in all the matters and cases expressly conferred upon it by the constitution shall have jurisdiction of all cases transferred to it by the circuit court or remanded to it by the supreme court; and such further jurisdiction, as is, in this chapter or elsewhere, provided by law.

§ 9-5-83. Court may determine all matters in estates administered

The court in which a will may have been admitted to probate, letters of administration granted, or a guardian may have been appointed, shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine all questions in relation to the execution of the trust of the executor, administrator, guardian, or other officer appointed for the administration and management of the estate, and all demands against it by heirs at law, distributees, devisees, legatees, wards, creditors, or others; and shall have jurisdiction of all cases in which bonds or other obligations shall have been executed in any proceeding in relation to the estate, or other proceedings, had in said chancery court, to hear and determine upon proper proceedings and evidence, the liability of the obligors in such bond or obligation, whether as principal or surety, and by decree and process to enforce such liability.

§ 9-5-85. Court may summon all persons and punish for contempt

The chancery court shall have power to issue a summons for any person, or subpoena for any witness, whose appearance in court may be deemed necessary for any purpose, whether such party or witness reside in the same or any other county. It shall be the duty of the party summoned or subpoenaed, to attend the court according to the command of the process; and if it be necessary or proper to enforce the appearance of the party, the court, on the return of the process executed and failure to appear, may issue an attachment, and may fine the party when brought in for a contempt. If a witness before the court shall refuse to testify, the court may commit such witness for contempt of the


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