|Judge Adrienne Wooten
Judge Debra Gibbs
|Judge Winston Kidd, Senior Judge
Judge E. Faye Peterson
|Effective Tuesday, May 19, 2020 "In compliance with the Constitution, Hinds Circuit Court for the State of Mississippi is and shall remain open. However, due to the contagiousness and the deadly consequences of the coronavirus, The Circuit Court must restrict in-person appearances by those with business before the Court Circuit. All civil and criminal matters scheduled for an in-Court appearance before any circuit judge in Hinds County must follow the guidance outlined in this order, until further notice..” CLICK HERE TO SEE COURT ORDER
MISSISSIPPI'S SEVENTH CIRCUIT COURT DISTRICT AND ITS JURISDICTION
Our Circuit Court comprises the Seventh (7th) Circuit Court District for the State of Mississippi. We are a court established under the Mississippi Constitution, along with the Mississippi Supreme Court and the State’s Chancery court The Circuit Court sits exclusively in Hinds County, Mississippi.
Hinds County has two(2) judicial districts of the circuit court that encompasses ten(10) cities. The First Judicial District includes the cities of Jackson (the State’s capital city), Terry, Byram, Clinton and Pocahontas, Mississippi. The Second Judicial District includes Edwards, Bolton, Utica, Pocahontas and Raymond, Mississippi. There are four (4) state circuit judges that serve the two (2) judicial districts in Hinds County, Mississippi. Collectively, they dispose of nearly four (4) thousand civil, criminal cases, and appeals annually.
The Seventh Circuit Court is a trial court where the circuit judges presides over all felony criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits where damages claimed exceed $250,000 filed in Hinds County. The Circuit Court has concurrent jurisdiction with justice and county courts.
The Circuit Court judges preside in trials with a 12-member jury, and usually one or two alternate jurors. A judge may preside in a case without a jury, if the dispute between parties is authorized by Mississippi law or if there are only questions of law, rather than fact to be determined by juries.
The Circuit Court also acts as an appellate court for appeals from Justice, County and Municipal courts and from administrative boards and commissions such as the Board of Supervisors and Alderpersons, Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) and the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS).
Statewide, there are 53 circuit court judges who serve 22 circuit court districts across the State of Mississippi. The number of Circuit Judges per district ranges from one to four. Circuit Court judges are selected in non-partisan elections to serve for four-year terms.
HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT TECHNOLOGY
Our Courts: Retrofitted for the 21st Century
Courtroom Evidence Presentation
Senior Circuit Judge Tomie Green is pleased to announce that with the support and assistance of the Mississippi/Hinds Library Commission, the Capital City Bar Association and Special Attorney General Ben Piazza, and the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, all four (4) of the state circuit court courtrooms in Hinds County are retrofitted with electronic trial presentation systems.
The electronic systems were installed with cutting edge, easy to use technology to be used during civil and criminal trials. The nerve center of the system is the "Power Podium" which replaces the traditional lectern with a high-tech presentation platform that is networked to large screens located in front of the jury and smaller monitors for counsel tables. Attorneys have the ability to connect to the system through the use of personal laptops. With this new technology admissible evidence may be displayed to jurors, attorneys, and the media and courtroom visitors at the same time as a witness is testifying during trial.
The system is controlled from each of the circuit judge's bench by a touch screen monitor. Attorneys are able to display and annotate documents, play CDs and DVDs, show animations, and video and audio clips using this state-of-the-art equipment.
Video Conferencing - Is Here
On July 1, 2013, Hinds County's Board of Supervisors implemented a communication system that will result in long term savings for the county's citizens, courts and the Hinds County Sheriff's Department. Video conferencing is now a reality and will save taxpayers thousands of dollars in travel expenses incurred in the transport of prisoners between the Raymond Detention Center and the courthouse in Jackson, Mississippi. It will also substantially cut the risk of injury and liability relative to Sheriff’s deputies, court personnel and inmates.
The video conferencing system will allow incarcerated inmates in the Raymond Detention Center to appear "in real time" for arraignment and motions and/or hearings (along with their attorneys and the prosecutors) before the circuit judges who will be sitting on their benches in the Jackson courtrooms. The media, family members and the public will be able to view the proceedings from the courtroom simultaneously with the judges.
E-Filing in Hinds County Circuit is coming!
On June 16, 2013, Senior Judge Tomie Green signed an order authorizing e-filing in Hinds County Circuit Court. We anticipate online filing to be completed and functioning on or before January 14, 2014.
Download Document: Hinds County Court Technology
ETIQUETTE AND DECORUM IN COURT
- Never lean against or across the rail of the jury box at any time that the jury is present in the jury box.
- Stand whenever addressing the Court and whenever the judge and/or jury enters or leaves the courtroom. U.C.C.C.R. 3.02 and 3.08.
- All comments, statements, remarks, etc., are to be addressed to the Court, and there shall be no cross-talking between opposing attorneys in the presence of the jury. U.C.C.C.R. 3.02. Bench conferences are not a part of the record. If a party wishes to make a record outside the presence of the jury, a request should be made to the court.
- Only one (1) attorney per side shall be "assigned" to a witness and that attorney will be responsible for both the examination of the witness and for making any objections during that witness' testimony. U.C.C.C.R 3.02.
- It is necessary to request permission to approach a witness. A reasonable distance shall be maintained at all times between the interrogator and the witness unless the use of a document or exhibit requires that the interrogator and the witness are in close proximity. Once a document or exhibited is admitted into evidence, the document may be displayed on our Elmo system for viewing by all persons in the court.
- Any request that a document be marked, that a witness be brought into the courtroom, or any other request which requires the action of Court personnel and/or support staff is to be addressed to the Judge and not directly to the court staff member, if the request is made at a time when the jury is present in the courtroom. In other words, lawyers are to avoid giving direct instructions to court personnel in the presence of the jury but rather are advised that those request should be made of the Court.
- The court may set a reasonable time limit for voir dire. Voir Dire is not to be used to make an opening statement or closing argument. In other words, the Court is of the opinion that voir dire is to be used to ask questions and not to make speeches or arguments. U.C.C.C.R 3.05
- Speech making is to be avoided at the times that objections are made. For example, if a question is objectionable because it lacks relevance, then, the objection should be simply stated "objection your honor, irrelevant." While the Court recognizes that at times speech making is desirable for strategic reasons, it is discouraged and, for the most part, will not be permitted.
- Please remember to speak slowly, clearly and audibly and to remind your witnesses, when necessary, to do the same.
- The Court may exercise its discretion pursuant to Rule 611 of the Rules of Evidence and intervene sua sponte to deal with matters affecting the interrogation of witnesses and the presentation of evidence.
Download Document: Rules of Etiquette & Decorum