Judges

Rankin County has four Justice Court Judges each of whom are elected by judicial district but have county-wide jurisdiction.   The Judges handle jury and non-jury criminal cases and jury and non-jury civil cases.   All cases are filed with the clerk's office and computer-rotated to the judges.



John Shirley

District 2



Richard Redfern

District 1


Joshua McCrory

District 3



Ken Fairly

District 4


Clerks

The Justice Court Clerk, Jessica Massey, who is appointed by the board of supervisors, is the administrator of the court and is assisted by several criminal court deputy clerks and several civil court deputy clerks.


Constables

Rankin County has four Constables each of whom are elected by judicial district but have county-wide jurisdiction.  The constables serve arrest warrants, summonses and subpoenas.



Von Brown

District 1



Brad Patridge

District 2


Barry Bean

District 3



Gary Windham

District 4


Prosecutors

Rankin County's Justice Court Prosecutors are County Prosecutor Richard Wilson, and Assistant County Prosecutors Michael A. Boland and Paul M. Holley.


Criminal Cases

Criminal cases are either a misdemeanor or a felony.   A misdemeanor is a crime in which the maximum penalty does not include imprisonment in the state penitentiary (Parchman).   A felony conviction may result in imprisonment in the state penitentiary (Parchman).   The crime must be prosecuted in the county in which the crime occurred.


Misdemeanor Criminal Cases


Every Tuesday is a "plea" date where adults charged with a misdemeanor or children charged with a traffic offense appear and enter a plea of "guilty" or "not guilty."


Criminal cases (other than traffic cases) allegedly committed by children are handled in Youth Court.


Pleading "not guilty"


If a plea of "not guilty" is entered, the matter is set for a trial on a later date so that witnesses may be subpoenaed.


Pleading "guilty"


Before the court may accept a plea of guilty, the court must determine that a plea is voluntarily and intelligently made and that there is a factual basis for the plea.


When the defendant wishes to plead guilty to an offense charged, it is the duty of the court to address the defendant personally and to inquire and determine:

  • (a) that the defendant is competent to understand the nature of the charge against him/her;

  • (b) the defendant understands the nature and consequences of his/her plea, and the maximum and minimum penalties provided by law;

  • (c) that the defendant understands that by pleading guilty he/she waives his/her constitutional right to a trial, the right to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses, and the right against self-incrimination; and

  • (d) if the defendant is not represented by an attorney, that he/she is aware of his/her right to an attorney at every stage of the proceedings and that one will be appointed to represent him/her if he/she is indigent.

Sentencing


If a defendant is found "guilty" after a trial or if a plea of "guilty" is entered, the Judge determines the penalty which, depending on the crime, may include any or all of the following:

  • * fine;
  • * a jail sentence of up to one (1) year;
  • * house arrest;
  • * probation (supervised or unsupervised);
  • * community service;
  • * victim's impact seminar;
  • * vehicle immobilization;
  • * Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program (MASEP);
  • * drug and alcohol assessment and any recommended treatment;
  • * psychological assessment and any recommended treatment;
  • * domestic violence counseling;
  • * anger management counseling;
  • * no contact with the victim;
  • * restitution.

Who files misdemeanors?


The criminal cases consist of all misdemeanor cases which occur within Rankin County and are filed in Justice Court by any of the following:

  • * Rankin County Sheriff's Department;
  • * Rankin County Constables;
  • * Mississippi Highway Patrol;
  • * Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics;
  • * Mississippi Attorney General's Office;
  • * Mississippi Forestry Commission;
  • * Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks;
  • * Mississippi Department of Corrections;
  • * Mississippi Department of Transportation;
  • * Mississippi Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control;
  • * Mississippi Department of Health;
  • * Mississippi Real Estate Commission;
  • * Pearl River Valley Water Supply District;
  • * Mississippi State Hospital (Whitfield) Police;
  • * Jackson Airport Police; and
  • * private citizens.

Felony Criminal Cases


The Judges are authorized to issue felony arrest warrants and search warrants upon a showing of probable cause and to conduct felony initial appearances and felony preliminary hearings.

Felony trials are conducted in Circuit Court.

If you wish to file felony charges against someone and if the alleged crime occurred in Rankin County, contact the Rankin County Sheriff's Department at 601-825-1480.


Civil Cases


Civil cases handled are matters in which the amount sued for does not exceed $3,500.  Examples of typical civil cases are debt collection matters, torts, evictions, and replevins.