Drug courts seek to rehabilitate drug-using offenders through drug treatment and intense supervision with drug testing and frequent court appearances. Drug courts offer the incentive of a chance to remain out of jail and be employed, and the sanction of a jail sentence if participants fail to remain drug-free and in compliance with all program requirements.
Chancery Court handles special court cases involving wills and estates, support and custody of minor children, divorces and alimony, and lunacy or commitment hearings. The Chancery Court also handles petitions to incorporate or enlarge a city, the establishment and management of drainage districts, and children's welfare funds.
Misty Heffner is DeSoto County's Chancery Court Clerk. She serves as the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors and the Clerk of the Chancery Court, as well as the County Auditor. The DeSoto County Chancery Clerk's office is divided into three departments: Land Records, Court Records and Taxes (Delinquent Tax and Homestead Exemption).
The Circuit Court tries felony criminal cases and civil actions involving issues of $200,000 or more. Circuit Courts hear appeals from County, Justice, and Municipal Courts and administrative boards and commissions.
Dale Thompson serves as the Clerk of the County and Circuit Courts. The DeSoto County Circuit Clerk's Office is divided into numerous departments including: Circuit and County Courts, Jury Selection, Marriage Licenses along with medical and professional licenses, plus Voter Registration and Election duties.
County Courts in Mississippi handle cases under its three divisions: Civil Division, Criminal Division, and Youth Court Division. The jurisdictional limit of County Courts is up to $200,000. County Courts may handle non-capital felony cases transferred from Circuit Court. County Court judges may issue search warrants, set bond, and preside over preliminary hearings.
DeSoto County Justice Court is divided into criminal and civil cases. It has jurisdiction over civil cases involving amounts of $3,500 or less, evictions, garnishments, misdemeanor criminal cases, and any traffic offense that occurs in the County involving the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department or Highway Patrol. Justice Court judges also sign warrants, set bonds, conduct preliminary hearings in felony criminal cases, issues temporary protective orders, and issue search warrants.
The Justice Court Clerk oversees a staff of Deputy Clerks who assist and respond to attorneys, judicial and law enforcement officers, and the general public. They also prepare, review, and process legal documents, correspondence, motions, and orders.
The County Court has exclusive jurisdiction of all cases wherein a juvenile (a child under the age of 18 years) is alleged to be a child in need of supervision, an abused child, a neglected child, or a delinquent child (one who commits a crime).
Juvenile Drug Court is a three-phase intervention program for juveniles who are on probation and who are having difficulty staying clean and sober.