The Columbus Municipal Court has jurisdiction over traffic and misdemeanor criminal offense as defined by State Statute and City Ordinances that occur within the city of Columbus.
The City of Columbus Municipal Court begins at 8 am every Thursday (excluding some holiday weeks or emergencies). You must be present at that time to avoid delay in your case or a warrant being issued for your arrest. All trials are scheduled for 1 pm. If you are subpoenaed for a case, you are expected to be present in the courtroom at 1 pm.
In order to make your court payments, you may be directed to our secure payment site or you may pay by phone by dialing 662-370-2399.
The first appearance in Municipal Court is called an arraignment. At this time you will be called upon to enter a plea (or answer) to the charge levied against you.
You may plead guilty indicating that you admit you committed the offense and wish to waive your right to a trial; no contest indicating that you do not admit the charge but do not wish to contest the charge; or not guilty indicating to the court that you wish to contest the charge and are exercising your right to a trial. Should you plead guilty or no contest the case will proceed immediately to the sentencing phase. You are still permitted to appeal your case to Circuit Court should you so desire. Should you plead not guilty you will receive a trial date at some point in the near future.
Court dates are always on Thursdays. Your ticket or bond will indicate the actual date and the time of day you are to appear.
In municipal courts in this state, trials are by a judge only. You may be represented by an attorney authorized to practice in this state or you may represent yourself. If you choose to represent yourself, you must conform to all rules of court including rules of evidence. No court may lessen this requirement simply because you are not legally trained. In a trial, you are also entitled to certain rights, including:
- Right to call witnesses on your own behalf. Should you need to subpoena witnesses the clerk will do so if you provide a list of the witnesses and their addresses at least 10 days prior to the trial
- Right to a copy of the affidavit
- Right to cross examine witnesses against you
- Right to decline to testify without any inference drawn against you
- Right to hear all testimony against you
- Right to testify on your own behalf
Should you fail to appear for trial these rights are waived and the case may be tried without you (trial in absence).
- No children under 14 years of age are allowed in the courtroom.
- Absolutely no cell phones, pagers, or other electronic devices are allowed in the courtroom. Do not bring them into the building!
- Do not approach court personnel in the courtroom unless your name is called.
- Excessive talking and/or bad attitudes will not be tolerated.
- No halter tops allowed.
- No revealing clothing allowed.
- No tank tops or muscle shirts allowed.
- No shorts or miniskirts allowed.
- No T-shirts with offensive writing or emblems are allowed.
Mississippi law allows the Court to send an offender to driving school under certain conditions to keep the offense off your driving record. This provides that the violation is not subject to public view and is allowed under the following conditions:
- That you attend a four-hour traffic safety violator course approved by the court
- That you have had no conviction for a moving violation in this state or any other state within the last three years
- That you pay an additional service fee of $10
- That you pay the applicable fine
- That you possess a valid Mississippi Driver's License
Upon Completion of the Class
Once the four-hour class has been completed, the instructor will issue a certificate that can be mailed or brought to the Court Office:
City of Columbus
1501 Main Street
Columbus, MS 39701
Once the certificate has been received by the Court Office, the ticket will be dismissed (in the youth's case) or not reported to the State (in the adult's case).
Community Public Work Program
The City of Columbus Municipal Court also offers a Community Public Work Program that allows you to work your fines/costs off at the rate of $7.25 per hour. Court ordered Restitution cannot be worked off. All Restitution must be paid in cash, money order, or check only.
Fines/costs are due in full on the day of assessment. This will be either the day you plead guilty or the day you may be found guilty. There is never a fine when you are found not guilty. Tickets must be paid in full so the outcome can be reported immediately to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.
View the fine schedule (PDF).
All payments can be mailed to the following address:
City of Columbus
1501 Main Street
Columbus, MS 39701
Larger Misdemeanor Fines
Larger misdemeanor fines may be paid according to a payment plan but only after an initial payment is made. The initial payment shall be a minimum of $25 and is due on the date of assessment. A payment plan request must be made and signed in person by the defendant. Remember that release on a payment plan is a privilege afforded by the Court and a violation of the payment order will result in your immediate arrest.