Judges, Court Clerks and Court Staff

Disclaimer

This website does not give legal advice, and it is not a substitute for having a lawyer.  If you need more help, you can Hire a Lawyer or contact a legal services provider



COVID-19 Notices

These COVID-19 Notices can be posted at your building or facility to inform the public about safeguards and precautions to take if they are ill or experiencing symptoms of coronavirus.

COVID-19 Sign

Handwashing the Right Way (suggested to post in all restrooms)


Bench Cards


Procedural Fairness/Procedural Justice: A Bench Card for Trial Judges

This bench card on procedural fairness and procedural justice is jointly produced by the American Judges Association, the  Center for Court Innovation, the  National Center for State Courts, and the  National Judicial College. It includes information on procedural fairness and why it is important as well as practical tips for courtroom proceedings. Click here to view the bench card.


Limited Scope Representation or Unbundling Bench Card

The Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct ("MRPC") Rule 1.2(c) allows lawyers to agree to limit the scope of representation. Limited Scope Representation or "unbundling" of legal services refers to the practice of dividing a case into separate tasks or proceedings, and the lawyer and client agreeing, after proper explanation and consultation, that   the lawyer will handle only certain aspects or parts of the case. This Bench Card provides the Rules and Ethics Opinion regarding Limited Scope Representation and best practices when entering into a limited scope agreement. Click here  to view the bench card.

Plain English for Self-Represented Litigants
The MSATJC encourages the use of Plain English when speaking with and handling cases that include self-represented litigants. "Plain English" is language that is easy to understand, emphasizes clarity and brevity and avoids overly complex vocabulary. This bench card provides tips to use when speaking with and handling cases that include a self-represented litigant. Click here  to view the bench card.

In Forma Pauperis  Bench Card for Family Law Cases 
Mississippi Law gives citizens the ability to have their fees or costs waived if they are unable to pay due to their poverty. In Forma Pauperis is a Latin term that means in the form of a pauper. This bench card provides the procedure in Mississippi for requesting a waiver of filing fees. The IFP bench card includes the Mississippi law governing IFP waivers and also suggested considerations when making an on the record IFP determination. Click here  to view the bench card.


AOC's MS Court Interpreter Credentialing Program's Judicial Bench Card on Appointing Court Interpreters 
The Administrative Office of Courts created this bench card for appointing court interpreters. It provides the 4 step process to appoint a court interpreter, discusses the use of non-credentialed interpreters, includes the Court Interpreter's Oath and is also a Language Identification Card. Click here 
to view the bench card.


Determining English Fluency
The MSATJC created a bench card to assist in determining English fluency and the need for court interpreters for a case. Parties and witnesses with limited English proficiency face unique challenges when using the judicial system. Qualified interpreters help to place non-English speaking parties and English speaking parties of equivalent background and education on an equal footing before the Court. This bench card includes questions to assist the Court in evaluating someone's English fluency. Click here 
to view the bench card.


Handling Cases Involving Self-Represented Litigants: A National Bench Guide for Judges
Developed by the Self-Represented Litigation Network, the National Judicial College, the National Center for State Courts, and the American Judicature Society, "Handling Cases Involving Self-Represented Litigants: A National Bench Guide for Judges" provides valuable information for Judges to assist SRLs. Access this resource here: https://ncsc.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/accessfair/id/250


Steps to Assist SRLs to be Fairly Heard Bench Card
Mississippians have a right to represent themselves. However, a Self-Represented Litigant's unfamiliarity with Court rules and procedures can affect their ability to be fairly heard. This Bench Card provides judges with steps and resources to assist SRLs to be fairly heard at trial or hearing. Click here 
to view the bench card.


Pro Bono Toolkit

The Mississippi Access to Justice Commission created this Pro Bono Toolkit to support and celebrate Pro Bono Week. The Toolkit contains suggestions for judges to encourage and support pro bono services among the Bar. It also includes a brief outline for pro bono talking points. Click here to view the toolkit.


Additional Resources


Cans and Cannots for Clerks and Court Staff in Mississippi
As Clerks and Court Staff, there are things you can and cannot do for patrons who seek assistance in your office. This resource provides that information and is helpful to Clerks and Court staff. Click here  to view the information sheet.


Welcome to the Clerk's Office (an info sheet for court patrons)
This info sheet explains what Clerks and Court staff can do to assist court patrons. This is a good resource to keep at the Clerk's office and in court areas to provide to the public. Click here  to view the information sheet.

Disability Etiquette: Tips on Interacting with People with Disabilities

This booklet was reprinted and distributed by Mississippi Protection and Advocacy (now Disability Rights MS). This resource provides helpful information on interacting with people with disabilities. Click here  to view the booklet.

Overview of Mississippi Evidence Rules

This pamphlet provides an overview of the Rules of Evidence for self-represented litigants. This is a good resource for Court Clerks and Court Staff to provide to the public. Click here to access the pamphlet. Contact the Commission for copies for your office .