Rankin County has four Justice Court Judges each of whom are elected by judicial district but have county-wide jurisdiction.   The Judges handle jury and non-jury criminal cases and jury and non-jury civil cases.   All cases are filed with the clerk's office and computer-rotated to the judges.

Richard Redfern

District 1

Bo Agnew

District 2

Joshua McCrory

District 3

Whitney Adams

District 4


Rankin County Prosecutors prosecute criminal cases in Rankin County Justice Court and Rankin County County Court and criminal appeals in Rankin County Circuit Court, Mississippi Court of Appeals and the Mississippi Supreme Court. They also prosecute civil breath test refusal cases in County Court. The Prosecutors are:

County Prosecutor John Shirley

Assistant County Prosecutor R. Trey Spillman


The Justice Court Clerk, Jessica Massey, who is appointed by the board of supervisors, is the administrator of the court and is assisted by several criminal court deputy clerks and several civil court deputy clerks.


Rankin County has four Constables each of whom are elected by judicial district but have county-wide jurisdiction.  The constables serve arrest warrants, summonses and subpoenas.

Robert Hancock

District 1

Glenn Dixon

District 2

Barry Bean

District 3

Gary Windham

District 4

Criminal Cases

Criminal cases are either a misdemeanor or a felony.   A misdemeanor is a crime in which the maximum penalty does not include imprisonment in the state penitentiary (Parchman).   A felony conviction may result in imprisonment in the state penitentiary (Parchman).   The crime must be prosecuted in the county in which the crime occurred.

Misdemeanor Criminal Cases

Every Tuesday is a "plea" date where adults charged with a misdemeanor or children charged with a traffic offense appear and enter a plea of "Not Guilty" or "Guilty" or "Nolo Contendere" or "No Contest". If a person pleads "Nolo Contendere" or "No Contest", that person does not accept or deny responsibility for the charges but agrees to accept the penalty. A judge can decide to NOT accept a plea of "Nolo Contendere" or "No Contest". However, if a judge accepts a plea of "Nolo Contendere" or "No Contest", the person will have a conviction for the charge and the Judge will assess a penalty.

Criminal cases (other than traffic cases) allegedly committed by children are handled in Youth Court.

Pleading "Not Guilty"

If a plea of "not guilty" is entered, the matter is set for a trial on a later date so that witnesses may be subpoenaed.

Pleading "Guilty" or "Nolo Contendere" or "No Contest"

Before the court may accept a plea of guilty, the court must determine that a plea is voluntarily and intelligently made and that there is a factual basis for the plea.

When the defendant wishes to plead guilty to an offense charged, it is the duty of the court to address the defendant personally and to inquire and determine:

  • (a) that the defendant is competent to understand the nature of the charge against him/her;

  • (b) the defendant understands the nature and consequences of his/her plea, and the maximum and minimum penalties provided by law;

  • (c) that the defendant understands that by pleading guilty he/she waives his/her constitutional right to a trial, the right to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses, and the right against self-incrimination; and

  • (d) if the defendant is not represented by an attorney, that he/she is aware of his/her right to an attorney at every stage of the proceedings and that one will be appointed to represent him/her if he/she is indigent.


If a defendant is found "guilty" after a trial or if a plea of "guilty" or "no contest" or "nolo contendere" is entered, the Judge determines the penalty which, depending on the crime, may include any or all of the following:

  • * Fine
  • * Jail sentence of up to one (1) year
  • * House Arrest
  • * Probation (supervised or unsupervised)
  • * Community Service
  • * Victim's Impact Seminar
  • * Vehicle Immobilization
  • * Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program (MASEP)
  • * Drug and Alcohol assessment and any recommended treatment
  • * Psychological Assessment and any recommended treatment
  • * Domestic Violence Counseling
  • * Anger Management Counseling
  • * No Contact with the Victim
  • * Restitution

Who files misdemeanors?

The criminal cases consist of all misdemeanor cases which occur within Rankin County and are filed in Justice Court by any of the following:

  • * Rankin County Sheriff's Department
  • * Rankin County Constables
  • * Reservoir Police Department
  • * Mississippi Highway Patrol
  • * Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics
  • * Mississippi Attorney General's Office
  • * Mississippi Forestry Commission
  • * Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
  • * Mississippi Department of Corrections
  • * Mississippi Department of Transportation
  • * Mississippi Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control
  • * Mississippi Department of Health
  • * Mississippi Real Estate Commission
  • * Mississippi State Hospital (Whitfield) Police
  • * Jackson Airport Police
  • * Private Citizens

Felony Criminal Cases

The Judges are authorized to issue felony arrest warrants and search warrants upon a showing of probable cause and to conduct felony initial appearances and felony preliminary hearings.

Felony trials are conducted in Circuit Court.

If you wish to file felony charges against someone and if the alleged crime occurred in Rankin County, contact the Rankin County Sheriff's Department at 601-825-1480.

Civil Cases

Civil cases handled are matters in which the amount sued for does not exceed $3,500.  Examples of typical civil cases are debt collection matters, torts, evictions, and replevins.