Eddie Jean Carr
HINDS COUNTY CHANCERY COURT has four full-time judges who hear and make decisions on a wide variety of cases, such as: Divorce, Child Custody, Equity and Land Matters, Probate of Estates, Mental Health Cases and many other type cases.
Due to the volume in Hinds County and the length of time it takes to hear cases, the Judges have appointed four Masters to hear some cases so that the Court's Docket will not become so back logged. An average of 250 new cases are filed each month, not to mention, old cases that may be re-opened or ongoing.
It is the duty of the Chancery Clerk, as Clerk of the Chancery Court, to receive, file and maintain all papers related to these cases, and swear in the witnesses in the courtroom.
Once a case is filed in the Chancery Clerk's Office, it is then assigned to a Judge on a rotating basis. When a case is ready for trial the attorney contacts the Court Administrator who handles the Judge's Calendar and sets a date for that particular case to be heard.
Certain type cases do not require a trial, which are called Ex Parte Matters. Each Judge has one day per week set aside to hear Ex Parte Cases.
Before a case can be filed in the Chancery Clerk's Office, certain fees must be collected such as: Court Costs, Law Library, Court Administrator, Court Reporter and Judicial fees. If a summons is to be served by the Sheriff, then that fee is collected and sent to the Sheriff. Certified mail or publication charges, if needed, are over and above the fees listed above and fees charged by the attorney filing the case.
Chancery Court Cases, no matter how old, are kept forever because some are subject to be re-opened at any time for contempt, modification or other reasons.
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Purchasing Real Property
Be sure a title search is done before any money is exchanged. A search of records in the Chancery Clerk's Office will determine any outstanding mortgages, taxes or other liens and whether or not the seller has legal title to the property. Any attorney or title company can do a title search and prepare your deed. It is illegal for the Chancery Clerk's Office to search these records or prepare your deed.
Before recording your deed it must contain the following:
If you purchase and occupy property before January 1st, you are eligible to apply for Homestead Exemption in the Tax Assessor's office - filing period January 1st, through April 1st. Filing for Homestead Exemption reduces your taxes tremendously. If you are eligible, please be sure and take advantage of this savings.
Property taxes must be paid each year. Statements are mailed from the Tax Collector's Office each December for that year's taxes. Be sure the Tax Collector has your current mailing address. You may pay current taxes in three (3) installments.
If your property taxes are not paid by the last Monday in August, then it is auctioned off to the highest bidder which is called a Tax Sale, or if no one bids then it is stricken off to the State. It then becomes the duty of The Chancery Clerk to collect all delinquent years taxes before the current year can be paid. (No installments on delinquent taxes - cash or money order - NO PERSONAL CHECKS ACCEPTED).
An individual has two years from the date of this sale to redeem their property. If it is not redeemed before that two years is up, then it matures to the State or if an individual purchased it at the Tax Sale, that individual is given a Tax Deed. Which means you no longer own your property.