Carolyn P. Hamilton, Circuit Clerk
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Circuit Courts hear felony criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits. Circuit Courts also hear appeals from County, Justice and Municipal courts and from administrative boards and commissions such as the Workers' Compensation Commission and the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
Sunflower County is in the 4th Circuit District. There are 22 Circuit Court districts and 57 Circuit Court judges. Circuit Court judges are selected in non-partisan elections to serve four-year terms.
Jurors are called upon to try two types of cases - civil and criminal. A juror will not know which type of case they will be serving on and it may change from one day to the next. When reporting for jury duty, please remember no electronic devices are allowed.
Civil cases are usually disputes between two or more parties concerning monies, damages for injuries, or property. Criminal cases are filed by the State of Mississippi on an indictment returned by the Grand Jury.
Prospective jurors' names are drawn at random-- by lot or chance -- from a jury wheel. Therefore, an individual may never be called to serve and others may be called several times. If you are selected to report for jury duty you will receive a letter from the Circuit Clerk.
A juror is paid a nominal fee by a pay warrant for their services. The circuit clerk keeps a daily record of the jurors who serve. In regards to excuses from Jury Service, only legal excuses provided by law should be presented. In general, these include:
•Illness, or presence required at home
•Served on jury duty (on actual trial of a case) in this court in the last two years
•Older than 65 and you desire to claim this personal exemption
•Disable (if not over 65, court require a written statement from your physician)