The City of Hattiesburg’s Municipal Court has been closely monitoring COVID-19 and the emergency administrative order will provide for operations and court procedures.
All cases on its dockets scheduled for the weeks of March 16 – March 20, 2020 and March 23 – March 27 will be continued (rescheduled). This includes all previously scheduled plea days, trial days, DUI days and other dockets.
- All defendents scheduled for court cases during this time period are instructed to contact the court via phone at 601-545-4938 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out when said case will be rescheduled.
- All attorneys are to conact the Court as soon as possible to get their cases reset to mutually agreeable dates. Cases not reset within a reasonable amount of time will be reset by Court order.
- All defendents wishing to please gulty to traffic cases are notified they may do so by phone at 601-545-4938 or email email@example.com. Once communication occurs, instruction to fill out guilty plea forms will follow (link to form is below).
The court will remain open to the public, to allow for the filing of motions, charges, the seeking of Domestic Abuse Protection Orders, payment of fines and costs. While open, all will be asked several screening quesitons before proceeding.Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough + shortness of breath) should proceed with conducting court business via phone at 601-545-4938 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Behavioral Health Court participates are ordered to continue treatment with their mental health care provider as ordered and to remain in compliance. Participants should contact the Court regarding reporting dates to Behavioral Court by phone at 601-545-4938 or email email@example.com.
All first appearance/jail dockets will be conducted using the audiovisual teleconference system, and will continue to occur as required by the Mississippi Rules of Criminal Procedure. These dockets will be held on Mondays at 2:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. and Fridays at 1:30 p.m. Weekend dockets will also continue, but will take place via teleconference.
All defendents previously sentence to Community Service are ordered not to report for the two-week continuance, and ordered to contact the Court’s community service coordinator to reschedule service.
GUILTY PLEA FORM HALF-PAY FORM
Municipal Court is responsible for processing and adjudicating all misdemeanor arrests within the city. Records regarding these cases are housed within Municipal Court, and a public computer is available in the lobby to view misdemeanor convictions.
Additionally, this department consists of two judges, one prosecutor and one public defender who are all appointed by the mayor. The types of cases heard in this court include:
- police-initiated arrests
- personal affidavits
- traffic citations
- first appearance
- preliminary hearings for felony defendants
The mayor’s vision for municipal court is to be rehabilitative. Through community initiatives and partnerships like Behavioral Health Court, mental health awareness programming and more, court works to provide an environment that reduces recidivism.
For more information about community initiatives, contact court’s community initiatives coordinator – Khadijah Muhammad – at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Behavioral Health Court
The Hattiesburg Behavioral Health Court was established in 2010 as an opportunity for misdemeanor offenders who present mental health issues to receive resources and treatment. The program works in collaboration with both the Hattiesburg Police Department and Pine Belt Mental Healthcare Resources, with a goal of reducing repeat offenders through alternative sentencing for qualifying participants with misdemeanor charges.
The benefits of this program include:
- Support of a specialized team dedicated to a successful outcome
- Possible removal from formal probation or dismissal of charges dependent on program compliance
- Options for treatment of mental health issues or addictions
- Potential for new employment and growth opportunities