Justice Court

Faye Burkett-Moffett, Justice Court Clerk

Email :  fmclaurin@co.forrest.ms.us

700 Main St.

(601) 544-3136

Forrest County has four Justice Court Judges:

  •     District 1 – Judge Wes Curry
  •     District 2 – Judge Zach Vaughn
  •     District 3 – Judge Gay Polk-Payton
  •     District 4 – Judge Robert Davis

The Justice Court Judge, elected to a four year term, has jurisdiction over all civil actions for the recovery of debts or damages for personal property where the principle debt, amount of demand, or the value of the property to be recovered in court does not exceed $3,500.  Justice court judges have jurisdiction over criminal violations in the county in the same manner as the circuit court.  However, criminal proceedings only occur in the justice court where the punishment does not extend beyond a fine and imprisonment in the county jail.

No Justice Court Judge may preside over a trail in any situation where there is a personal interest.  Each Justice Court Judge is required to reside in the county which they serve for two years prior to the election.  A candidate for the position of Justice Court Judge is also required to be a high school graduate or have a general equivalency diploma unless he served as a justice of the peace prior to January 1, 1976.

Section 9-11-27 of the Mississippi Code describes the duties of the Justice Court Clerk.  This description includes the power to file and record actions and pleadings, receipt monies, acknowledge affidavits, issue warrants upon the Justice Court Judges direction and approve the sufficiency bonds in civil and criminal cases.

Clerks may also certify and issue copies of all records, documents and pleadings on file in the Justice Court.  While this description is accurate, it does not cover all that is expected of the Justice Court Clerk.  On a daily basis the clerk is required to answer questions regarding the type of attachments required by the court, attempt to ascertain that individuals understand the difference between civil complainants and criminal complaints and what may be expected if either one is filed.  It is imperative that the clerk have and understanding of general accounting concepts so that all monies receipted to the court are accurately accounted for and subsequently settled to the county General Fund on a monthly basis.  In general, the clerk assures that the court operates according to the statue and provides the services it was designed to for its citizens.


The following fines and costs for minor traffic violations are listed for informational purposes only and are subject to change without notice. Pursuant to Section 99-19-3 of the Mississippi Code 1972 as Amended, advance payment of such a fine constitutes a waiver of the right to formal charges, arraignment and trial and operates as a plea of nolo contendere sufficient for conviction.

Click here to pay fines

Official website for Forrest County in Mississippi.