ARTICLE VI. - MUNICIPAL COURT 
(10) State Law reference— Municipal courts, Miss. Code 1972, § 21-23-1 et seq.
The municipal judge shall be licensed to practice law in this state and shall also be a qualified elector of the county.
(Code 1962, § 2-114)
(a) The municipal judge shall have the jurisdiction to hear and determine, without a jury and without a record of the testimony, all violations of the municipal ordinances and state misdemeanor laws made offenses against the municipality and to punish offenders therefor as may be prescribed by law. He may sit as a committing court in all felonies committed within the municipality, and he shall have the power to bind over the accused to the grand jury or to appear before the proper court having jurisdiction to try the same, and to refuse bail and commit the accused to jail in cases not bailable. The municipal judge is a conservator of the peace within the city and may conduct preliminary hearings in all violations of the criminal laws of this state occurring within the city, and any person arrested for a violation of law within the city may be brought before him for initial appearance.
(b) In the discretion of the court, where the objects of justice would be more likely met, as an alternative to imposition of fine and/or incarceration, the municipal judge shall have the power to sentence convicted offenders to work on a public service project where the court has established such a program of public service by written guidelines, filed with the clerk for public record. Such programs shall provide for reasonable supervision of the offender and the work shall be commensurate with the fine and/or incarceration that would have ordinarily been imposed.
(c) The municipal judge may solemnize marriages, take oaths, affidavits and acknowledgments, and issue orders, subpoenas, summonses, citations, warrants for arrest and other such process under seal of the court to any county or municipality, in a criminal case, to be executed by the lawful authority of the county or the municipality of the respondent, and enforce obedience thereto. The absence of a seal shall not invalidate the process.
(d) When a person shall be charged with an offense in municipal court punishable by confinement, the municipal judge, being satisfied that such person is an indigent person and is unable to employ counsel, may, in the discretion of the court, appoint counsel from the membership of the Mississippi State Bar residing in his county who shall represent him. Compensation for appointed counsel in criminal cases shall be approved and allowed by the municipal judge and shall be paid by the city. The maximum compensation shall not exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00) for any one (1) case. The mayor, subject to the approval of the council, may, in his discretion, appoint a public defender(s) who must be a licensed attorney, and who shall receive a salary to be fixed by the city council.
(e) The municipal judge is hereby authorized to suspend the sentence, and to suspend the execution of the sentence, or any part thereof, on such terms as may be imposed by the municipal judge. However, the suspension of imposition or execution of a sentence hereunder may not be revoked after a period of two (2) years.
(f) Upon prior notice to the city prosecuting attorney and upon a showing in open court of rehabilitation, good conduct for a period of two (2) years since the last conviction in any court and that the best interest of society would be served, the court, may, in its discretion, order the record of conviction of a person of any or all misdemeanors in that court expunged, and upon so doing such person thereafter legally stands as though he had never been convicted of such misdemeanor(s) and may lawfully so respond to any query of prior convictions. This order of expungement does not apply to the confidential records of law enforcement agencies and has no effect on the driving record of a person maintained under Title 63, Mississippi Code of 1972, or any other provision of such Title 63.
(g) In the discretion of the court, a plea of nolo contendre may be entered to any charge in municipal court. Upon the entry of a plea of nolo contendre the court shall convict the defendant of the offense charged and shall proceed to sentence the defendant according to law. The judgment of the court shall reflect that the conviction was on a plea of nolo contendre. An appeal may be made from a conviction on a plea of nolo contendre as in other cases.
(h) The municipal court shall have the power to make rules for the administration of the court's business, which rules, if any, shall be in writing filed with the clerk of the court.
(Code 1962, § 2-115)
State law reference— Similar provisions, Miss. Code 1972, § 21-23-7.
The mayor, subject to the approval of the city council, shall have the power and authority to appoint a municipal judge pro tempore, who shall have the same powers and qualifications for office as the municipal judge and shall perform all duties of the municipal judge in the absence of such municipal judge. In the event a municipal judge pro tempore is not appointed or is absent or unable for any reason to serve, any justice court judge of the county or municipal judge of another municipality may serve in his place with the same power and authority upon designation by the municipal judge.
(Code 1962, § 2-116)
State law reference— Similar provisions, Miss. Code 1972, § 21-23-9.
The municipal court of the city, presided over by the municipal judge, shall be held in such building as designated by the city council from time to time, on Mondays and Thursdays, except legal holidays, if the business requires it.
(Code 1962, § 2-117)
The chief of police or at least one (1) policeman detailed for the purpose, shall be present every day throughout each session of the municipal court to preserve order and to execute the orders of the court. Whenever the municipal judge shall require it, the chief of police and such number of policemen as the municipal judge may deem necessary shall be present for the above purposes.
(Code 1962, § 2-118)
Cross reference— Police generally, Ch. 18.
There shall be a trial docket kept by the clerk of the court on which shall be entered the true name of every person brought before him for the trial, the date of docketing, the offense with which each person is charged, the name of the person by whom the affidavit is made alleging the offense, the name of the policeman making the arrest, the names of the counsel appearing in the case, the names of all witnesses, and such other entries may be made as may be proper and convenient. After the case is disposed of, the municipal judge must enter on the docket his formal judgment at the proper place provided for same, and sign his name thereto. The cases on the trial docket shall be numbered consecutively and each case shall be properly numbered.
(Code 1962, § 2-119)
When any person is arrested, with or without a warrant, for a violation of any of the laws of the state under the grade of felonies and ordinances, such person shall be admitted to bond and his case disposed of in accordance with Mississippi Code 1972, sections 21-23-8, 21-23-17 and 21-23-19.
(Code 1962, § 2-120)
The rules of evidence and the examination of witnesses in a trial in the municipal court shall be the same as that in state courts.
(Code 1962, § 2-123)
(a) Every person charged with an offense, before being put upon trial, shall be informed by affidavit in writing, made by some responsible person, of the nature and cause of the accusation, which, on arraignment, shall be read to the accused in open court, and opportunity given for the entering of such plea thereto as he may voluntarily wish or elect to do.
(b) Every person accused shall have the privilege of defending himself, by counsel or by himself, or both, as to him may seem proper; and no one shall be fined or punished without opportunity of being heard in his defense.
(c) On a plea of "not guilty" being entered, the court shall proceed with the trial of the cause, unless for reasons the cause be continued as provided in section 2-190. On the trial the accused shall be confronted by the witnesses against him and shall have the privilege of cross-examination, and shall have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his own behalf before and during the progress of the trial.
(Code 1962, § 2-124)
The city shall announce first, if it is ready for trial. All applications for continuances shall be addressed to the sound discretion of the court; and where the ends of justice appear to require it, cases may be continued.
(Code 1962, § 2-125)
If, after hearing the evidence, on a plea of not guilty, it is determined by the court that the defendant is guilty as charged, or if the defendant on arraignment enters a plea of guilty, the municipal judge shall impose such penalty, authorized by law, as in his discretion, may seem right and just under the circumstances.
(Code 1962, § 2-126)
In prosecution for petty offenses, the municipal judge, if, in his discretion, the ends of justice will be conserved thereby, may, on motion, dismiss the proceedings and discharge the defendant, upon the payment of all or such part of the costs as the municipal judge, in his discretion, may require; provided, the party injured, if there be such party interested, shall acknowledge to have received satisfaction.
(Code 1962, § 2-127)
In all cases where there is reason to apprehend any person for a breach of the peace, or violation of any ordinance, or where any person is convicted of any violation of any ordinance, the municipal judge may require bond, with good security, in such an amount as he may deem reasonable, that such person shall be of good behavior for a term not exceeding twelve (12) months. If the person shall neglect or refuse to give such bond, he shall be punished as the municipal judge may require, not to exceed the limits of section 1-9 of this Code.
(Code 1962, § 2-128)
All fines and costs and penalties for violations of law in cases tried in the municipal court, and all forfeitures on bonds and recognizances in such court, shall be for the use and benefit of the city, and when collected shall be immediately deposited in an official city depository after receiving a receipt warrant from the city clerk. The city treasurer shall place such moneys to the credit of the general fund.
(Code 1962, § 2-130)
(a) Court costs in the amount of ten dollars ($10.00) are hereby imposed upon each person convicted in the municipal court upon a charge brought by sworn affidavit, where an arrest warrant is served upon such person by a police officer of the city.
(b) Court costs in the amount of ten dollars ($10.00) are hereby imposed upon a person who, after citation or warrant is served upon him by a police officer of the city, is adjudged by the municipal court to be conducting or maintaining a nuisance and is ordered to abate the same.
(c) Court costs of ten dollars ($10.00) are hereby imposed upon each person found guilty of contempt of the municipal court, after issuance and service of a citation for contempt by a police officer of the city.
(d) Court costs of ten dollars ($10.00) are hereby imposed upon the convicted defendant or other nonprevailing respondent in municipal court for each witness subpoena that is issued by the court and served by a police officer of the city.
(e) Where an arrest warrant is issued for nonpayment of parking tickets and is served by a police officer of the city, the person named shall pay court costs in the amount of ten dollars ($10.00).
(f) Where any warrants or orders, not specified above, issue out of the municipal court and are served upon a person named as a defendant or other respondent therein and are served upon such person by a police officer of the city, there is hereby imposed against the party named in the action, if judgment be entered against him, court costs in the sum of ten dollars ($10.00).
(g) Where multiple warrants, citations or orders commanding a person to appear and defend or otherwise respond to a matter in municipal court are served upon an individual on a single occasion, only one (1) ten-dollar ($10.00) sum shall be imposed as court costs, for those services.
(h) No court costs herein shall be imposed or assessed against the city or any of its departments, divisions, commissions, boards, bureaus or authorities or any authorized agent acting on behalf of the same.
(i) When a warrant, citation or order is issued at the request of a private citizen and the complaining citizen subsequently requests dismissal of the warrant, then court costs in the amount of ten dollars ($10.00) shall be assessed against the complaining citizen.
(j) Warrants, citations or orders imposed upon the request of private citizens, which are not served by the police officer, after reasonable efforts for a period of thirty (30) days, may be dismissed by the municipal court upon the request of the police department. The complaining citizen shall be informed of this provision upon seeking a warrant, citation or order.
(Ord. No. 3764, §§ 1—8, 12-2-86; Ord. No. 3769, §§ 1, 2, 3-10-87)
Editor's note— Ordinance No. 3764, adopted Dec. 2, 1986, did not specifically amend this Code; hence inclusion of §§ 1—8 as § 2-195 was at the discretion of the editor.