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EVICTION SYNOPSIS

In Mississippi, an eviction action is generally commenced by filing a Complaint in Unlawful Entry and Detainer in Justice Court as provided by Miss. Code. Ann. 11-5-1, et seq., or in county court (in those counties where a county court has been established) as provided by Miss. Code Ann. 11-5-101, et seq. Also available is the Action in Ejectment, which is commenced by filing a Complaint in circuit court. In all instances, the action is ordinarily filed in the county where the property is located. Court costs and process fees are required to be paid at the time suit is filed, and these fees ordinarily are in a range of $100 to $125.
In those counties with a county court, most attorneys elect to file a Complaint in Unlawful Entry and Detainer. Upon filing the complaint, the county judge issues a warrant requiring the defendants in possession to appear before the court at the next term thereof. If the next term of court is more than 10 days prior to issuance of the warrant, the judge may set a return date which is not more than 10 days or less than five days prior to the hearing date.
If the defendant has been personally served at least five days prior to the return date, the case shall be triable or amenable to judgment on behalf of the plaintiff/mortgagee if the defendant in possession fails to answer or contest the complaint. The plaintiff/mortgagee may also recover reasonable compensation from the debtor in possession for the rental value of the property after the date of the foreclosure sale. Once the circuit clerk has a duly enrolled judgment, execution may be levied or garnishment issued on the assets or wages of the defendant to satisfy any monetary award contained in the judgment.
In those counties where no county court has been established, it is often considered advisable to file a Complaint in Ejectment in circuit court rather than proceeding with the summary remedy of Unlawful Entry and Detainer action in justice court. Upon filing the complaint, process issues to the defendants requiring them to answer within 30 days of their receipt of the summons and complaint. If the defendants fail to answer the complaint, judgment by default may be entered in favor of the plaintiff awarding possession of the property.
In all the above actions, if the defendants in possession fail to surrender possession of the subject property after judgment has been rendered in favor of the plaintiff/mortgagee, the plaintiff/mortgagee shall be entitled to a writ of possession directed to the sheriff of the proper county requiring him to deliver possession of the property (by evicting the defendants in possession) to the plaintiff/mortgagee. In Unlawful Entry and Detainer actions, a writ of possession may not be issued within five days from the date of judgment, and the date after the initial five-day waiting period when possession is finally awarded is largely within the judge’s discretion; however, it is unusual for the defendant in possession to be permitted more than 30 days from the date of judgment to voluntarily vacate the subject property.