Responsibilities of the Chancery Court
The Chancery Court has always been the separate court of equity (as distinguished from the law court circuit) in Mississippi, and the Chancellor generally hears cases without a jury. Juries are permitted only in paternity cases and will contests. An advisory jury is permitted in any case, but as the jury's decision is advisory only and not binding on the Chancellor, this use of a jury seems of little or no use. Advisory juries are rarely utilized but all litigants have the right to request the same.
The Chancery Court handles equity cases involving domestic and family matters such as divorce, child custody and support, property division, adoptions, and all related issues. Additionally, the Chancery Court handles and processes the estates of decedents (with or without a Last Will and Testament) and all issues involving minors. This court handles a wide variety of other matters, including issues concerning title to land, contracts, injunctive matters, and commitments of persons impaired through mental disability and/or chemical-substance-alcohol abuse.
In the 63 counties having no Family or County Court, the Chancery Court either hears all youth court proceedings or appoints a Youth Court Referee (Judge) to do so. The Chancery Court is a court of record and its appeals are to the Mississippi Supreme Court.