Ocean Springs Municipal Court – Ocean Springs, MS

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be located at the county or city level.

Ocean Springs Municipal Court INformation

Court: Ocean Springs Municipal Court
Address: “3810 Bienville Blvd, PO Box 1800, Ocean Springs, MS 39566”
Phone: 228-875-5009

City: Ocean Springs
County: Jackson
State: Mississippi

What is the purpose of the Ocean Springs Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courts like Ocean Springs Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

On the other hand, the role of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve divorce or other family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their population or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor charges and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Ocean Springs?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve for a specific time period.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The next portion is an overview of the most common steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when a person has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Ocean Springs, MS

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Ocean Springs Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1k or one year in local jail. A person’s driving privileges may be suspended for six months if they receive three speeding tickets within 12 months.

The penalties for different charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Ocean Springs Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Ocean Springs Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Ocean Springs, Mississippi?

In Mississippi, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Ocean Springs, Mississippi?

Depending on the size of the municipality, a municipal court can handle a civil division (cases with less than  $15,000 at issue), a traffic/criminal division, or a housing and environmental division. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Ocean Springs Municipal Court have?

The number of judges depends on the municipality’s population.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Mississippi?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish multiple hours of continuing education every period to maintain their credentials.