You file your case in your home county’s Chancery Clerk’s Office, most often. This is the appropriate “jurisdiction.” One District has a first and second judicial district, being Hinds County. Most districts, however, include more than one County. In that instance you still file in your home county, but you may well see the judge, have Court, and otherwise be in another County for your case.
I have been asked and have heard litigants try to use this as an advantage. Perhaps not having to testify at home, making witnesses have to drive, or having Court somewhere else will lead to a better result. It doesn’t. It is the same Judge, the same facts and in most instance just 30-45 minutes this way or that way from the other Courthouse.
One thing to remember when having litigation in multiple counties is to be mindful where the Court file is. It is the lawyer’s job to see that the Court file makes it to Court. I have seen time and again someone forget the Court file and the Judge be unwilling to take action until it can be retrieved or recessed until another day when it can be obtained.
I was involved in a 10th District case, commonly thought of as Hattiesburg, but had actual Court hearings in 5 different counties throughout the pendency of the case. In no particular order, we had a trial and motion hearings in 1) Forrest County, Hattiesburg; 2) Lamar County, Purvis; 3) Marion County; Columbia, a temporary hearing in 4) Pearl River County, Poplarville, and a motion for New Trial in 5) Perry County, New Augusta. Each hearing had the same judge, attorneys and parties, but were in so many different places because that is where the Judge was the days we had court appearances.
Matthew Thompson is a Family Law attorney, with a statewide practice, and recommends you hire a lawyer either in the area of where your case is or a lawyer who practices in that area.
You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms.