City of Long Beach Municipal Court
Welcome to the Long Beach Municipal Court. The Municipal Court is the judicial branch of the government of the City of Long Beach, Mississippi. The Municipal Court handles the adjudication of misdemeanor crimes, traffic and city ordinance violations.
Court is held once per week at the Long Beach Municipal Courthouse located at 201 Jeff Davis Avenue, Long Beach, Mississippi, 39560.
The Clerk’s office is located at 201 Jeff Davis, Long Beach, Mississippi, 39560. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Municipal Court Clerks
Emma Ward - Municipal Court Clerk - firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna Stephenson - Deputy Court Clerk - email@example.com
Jill Scafide - Deputy Court Clerk – firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna Gaddy – Deputy Court Clerk – email@example.com
Municipal Court Judges
Bradley W. Rath - Municipal Court Judge
Richard J. Smith - Municipal Court Judge Pro Tem
Municipal Court Prosecutors
Damien Holcomb - Municipal Court Prosecutor
Michelle Luber - Municipal Court Prosecutor
R. L. "Ed" Edwards
Long Beach Municipal Court 228.865.7840
How much is my ticket?
Answer: The following is a partial list of fines which includes state assessments that may be paid prior to your court date. When all charges are paid prior to your court date, a court appearance is not required. These amounts are subject to change. If an infraction is not listed, please contact the Municipal Court at 228-865-7840 ext. 1, during normal business hours.
Careless driving $187
Failure to dim $228
Following too closely $228
Improper Lane Usage $217
Improper Equipment $217
Improper Turn $212
Improper Passing $222
License plate: no/expired tag $247
Motor vehicle violation – no/expired DL $332
No Insurance – 1st offense $428
No Insurance – 2nd offense $528
No Insurance – 3rd offense $628
Speeding (1-10 mph over limit) $177
Speeding (11-20 mph over limit) $187
Speeding (21-30 mph over limit) $247
Speeding (31 mph or greater over limit) $257
Stop Sign/disregard for traffic control device $227
How can I pay my fine prior to court?
Answer: there are several ways to pay your fine prior to court. Acceptable forms of payments are: cash, cashier checks or money order (made payable to the City of Long Beach), and credit/debit cards. There is a 3% convenience fee when using a credit/debit card.
You may also pay your fines prior to court online at paymyfineonline.com. The citation number located in the upper right hand corner will be required for this option.
Can I be placed on a payment plan?
Answer: Fines are due in full upon guilty verdict. Available options for payments can be discussed with the Judge on your court date.
The information provided in this section is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of legal counsel.
Some people choose to hire a lawyer to represent them in Municipal Court. However, some people decide to represent themselves in court. You have the right to represent yourself in court.
If you choose to represent yourself in court, you may hear or see the phrase “pro se” or hear yourself described as a “pro se litigant.” The phrase “pro se” is a Latin phrase which means “appearing for one’s self.” People who represent themselves in court without the aid of an attorney are known as “pro se” litigants.
If you choose to represent yourself in court, please know the judges and court employees cannot give you legal advice. You will be expected to know and to follow the rules of court and the rules of evidence.
If you are financially unable to hire an attorney and believe that you require the assistance of an attorney with your case, you may ask the court to appoint an attorney to defend you at no cost to you. The proper time to ask for a court-appointed lawyer is at the time of your first appearance in court which is referred to as your “arraignment.” The court will provide you with a form which you will complete at the time of your arraignment. Based on the information provided and the nature of the charge, the judge will make a decision concerning your request for a court-appointed counsel. The completion of the application does not guarantee that a lawyer will be appointed.
Frequently Asked Questions
·I do not know when my court date is. How can I find out? You may contact the Municipal Court Clerk’s office for information about the date and time of your trial.
·I missed my court date. What should I do? You should contact the Municipal Court Clerk’s office as soon as possible.
·If I am convicted, what is the potential penalty range for my charge? The Judge will review the penalty ranges of your particular charge(s) with you at the time of your arraignment. In municipal courts in Mississippi, unless the penalty range is set at a lower amount by statute or ordinance, the penalty range will not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) in fines and/or six (6) months in jail.
·Can I discuss my case with the judge before my trial? No.
·Can the court clerks give me legal advice? No.
·Am I required to testify during my trial? No. You may choose to remain silent and your silence will not be held against you.
·If I choose to testify in my trial, will I be allowed to do so? Yes. However, if you choose to testify, the City’s Prosecutor will be given an opportunity to cross-examine you.
·I want to show the judge some documents or photographs. Do I need to bring these to my trial? Yes. You should also consider bringing extra copies of your documents in the event the Court retains your documents as evidence in your case.
·I have a witness that I want to testify during my trial. Do I need to bring this witness to my trial? Yes. If you require a witness to be subpoenaed, you should contact the Municipal Court Clerk at least ten (10) business days before your trial date.
·Do I need a lawyer? The decision to retain a lawyer is an important decision. Some charges may result in incarceration or monetary fines. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you can ask the Judge to appoint a lawyer to defend you at no cost to you.
·What is a court-appointed lawyer? A court-appointed lawyer is an attorney that is assigned to defend your case at no cost to you.
·How do I request a court-appointed lawyer? You may ask the court clerk or the Judge for an application for a court-appointed lawyer.
·If I request a court-appointed lawyer, will the Judge automatically appoint a lawyer to defend me? No. The Judge will make a determination on a case-by-case basis depending on the information you provide in the application and depending on the charges you are facing.
·I need more time to prepare for my trial. What should I do? If, prior to your trial date, you find that you cannot appear on the scheduled date, you may file a Motion for Continuance. A Motion for Continuance is a request that the case be rescheduled for another date. The form you need to file is available at the Clerk’s office. The request should be made at least five (5) working days before your trial date. You are NOT excused from your trial date until the Judge has made a decision on your request for a continuance. A motion (or request) for a continuance which is made on the date of the trial is likely to be denied.
·What should I wear to court? You should dress appropriately for your court appearance. Shorts, tank tops, exposed midriffs, hats, and sunglasses are not acceptable attire for court.
·What time should I arrive at the courthouse for my trial? You should arrive at the time stated on your notice. It is recommended that you arrive a few minutes early so that you become familiar with the courtroom and the location of places within or near the courtroom (witness stand, counsel table, bench, bathrooms, etc.).
·If I am representing myself, will I have an opportunity to discuss my case with the City Prosecutor before trial? Yes.
·If the City Prosecutor offers me a plea agreement that I do not like, am I required to accept it? No. You may reject any plea offer made to you by the City Prosecutor and proceed to your trial.
·If the City Prosecutor and I reach a plea agreement, is the Judge required to follow the terms of the plea agreement? No. Any plea agreement between you and the City Prosecutor is not binding on the Judge. The Judge may reject all or part of the plea agreement.
·If I plead guilty or if I am found guilty, when are my fines due? Fines and court costs are due at the time of sentencing. If you are unable to pay your fines in full at that time, the Judge will discuss options that may be available to help you resolve your obligations to the court. These could include community service, probation, in-court review, or other options.
·Is community service available to help me resolve my obligations to the court? Yes, in many cases. The best time to ask the Judge about community service options is at the time of your sentencing
PREPARING FOR YOUR COURT TRIAL
The information provided in this section is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of legal counsel.
You have entered a plea of NOT GUILTY to charges brought against you and have been scheduled for a trial. Subpoenas may now be issued on behalf of the City to bring the citing officer and any witnesses to Court to testify. You also may issue subpoenas to bring witnesses to Court to testify on your behalf. If you wish to have subpoenas issued, see the clerk. Prior to the commencement of the trial, you have the right to withdraw your plea of Not Guilty and enter a plea of Guilty or No Contest to the charges that have been brought against you.
You have several rights that you may exercise during your trial. They are as follows:
1. The right to confront witnesses. You have the right to confront or cross-examine witnesses who may be called to testify against you.
2. The right to call witnesses and present evidence.
You have the right to call witnesses to testify on your behalf and to present evidence to the Court in support of your case.
3. The right to remain silent.
You have the right not to testify in your case. If you choose to testify, you give up the right to remain silent and are subject to cross-examination.
4. You have the right to the assistance of a lawyer.
You have the right to hire a lawyer. You may also choose to represent yourself. If you believe that you require a lawyer and cannot afford to hire an attorney, then you may ask the judge to appoint a lawyer to defend you at no cost to you. The judge will make a decision on whether a lawyer will be appointed to defend you. The best time to ask the judge to appoint an attorney to defend you is at your arraignment (i.e. during your first appearance in court).
5. IF YOU ARE FOUND GUILTY, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPEAL THE DECISION.
In most cases, you have thirty (30) days from the date of a conviction to file an appeal. Any appeal from the Long Beach Municipal Court must be filed in the County Court of Harrison County, Mississippi, First Judicial District. The process of properly filing an appeal can be complicated and it is strongly recommended that you retain or seek the services of an attorney to handle an appeal from the Long Beach Municipal Court.
Your case is scheduled with other cases and will not be called in any particular order. If you are not present when your case is called, your case may be tried in your absence or the officer may be excused and your case dropped from the docket. A warrant may be issued for your arrest if you fail to appear.
When your case is called, you will be asked to come forward with your evidence and your witnesses. All parties will be sworn. The City may be represented by the City’s Prosecutor, an attorney.
The City’s Prosecutor will present the City’s case first. After testimony, but not during, you will have the opportunity to cross-examine any witnesses. Cross-examination is the process by which you may ask questions to a witness who is testifying against you. You may ask questions during cross-examination, but you may not argue with the witnesses or present statements about the case. Once the City has presented its case, you will then present your case. At this time you may present evidence and testimony from any witnesses you may have called. You are not required to testify. No inferences or assumptions will be made by the Court should you choose to exercise your right to remain silent. In other words, the judge will not hold your decision to remain silent against you. The City’s Prosecutor may cross-examine you and/or your witnesses after you and/or your witness testifies.
If you are presenting physical evidence (documents, photographs, etc.), it is suggested but not required that you have copies of the evidence to offer to the City’s Prosecutor and a copy to keep for yourself. Evidence will be marked and, in most cases, retained by the Court.
Both you and the City’s Prosecutor will have the opportunity to make a closing argument. Whether you testify or not, you still have a right to make a closing, summary statement (argument) to the Court. However, the closing argument is not evidence in the case and no new evidence may be presented at that time. The only evidence that the Court can consider is that evidence taken under oath after the witnesses have been sworn. A closing argument is merely your assessment of how the Court should view the evidence that has been submitted.
The Court may make a ruling in your case at the time of trial or may take your case under advisement. If your case is taken under advisement, you can expect a decision within a reasonable amount of time. You are not required to be present at the ruling. If you are not present, a copy of the ruling will be mailed to you.
If you have any questions about the trial procedures or changing your plea, you should ask those questions or make those requests BEFORE your trial begins and the witnesses are sworn. At all times, you may discuss your case with the City’s Prosecutor.
NOTIFY THE COURT CLERK BEFORE YOUR TRIAL COMMENCES IF YOU WISH TO BE HEARD ON A MOTION OR OTHER REQUEST.
If, prior to your trial date, you find that you cannot appear on the scheduled date, you may file a Motion for Continuance. A Motion for Continuance is a request that the case be rescheduled for another date. The form you need to file is available at the Clerk’s office. The request should be made at least five (5) working days before your trial date. You are NOT excused from your trial date until the judge has made a decision on your request for a continuance. A motion (or request) for a continuance which is made on the date of the trial is likely to be denied.
LONG BEACH MUNICIPAL COURT F.A.Q
This information is provided to you as a courtesy of the Long Beach Municipal Court and should not be construed as legal advice.
Where are you located?
201 Jeff Davis Avenue
Long Beach, Mississippi, 39560.
The Court’s telephone number is (228) 865-7840.
What time does court begin? When Court is scheduled on a Friday, Court begins at 9:00 a.m. When Court is scheduled on a Wednesday, Court begins at 4:00 p.m.
What Should I Wear To Court? Appropriate attire is required in the courtroom. In order to maintain order and to uphold the dignity and decorum of the judicial branch of our government, litigants, attorneys, witnesses, court staff and spectators are expected to dress in a manner that does not degrade or insult the dignity of the judicial proceedings in the courtroom.
Shirts and shoes must be worn in the courtroom, and prohibited attire includes:
A.Bare-midriff outfits, shorts, cutoffs, halter tops;
B.Tank tops, undershirts, see-through blouses;
C.Bathing suits, lingerie;
E.There shall be no food or drinks in the courtroom.
F.Cell phones and similar devices are to be turned off.
ARRAIGNMENTS AND PLEAS
I have been scheduled for an arraignment. What does that mean? An arraignment is your initial appearance before the Municipal Court Judge. At the arraignment, the charge will be read to you in open court. At this time, you will tell the Municipal Court Judge how you intend to plea to the charge (i.e. guilty or not guilty).
What is a "guilty" plea? By a plea of guilt (under most circumstances), you admit that you committed the act charged, that the act is prohibited by law, and that you have no legal defense to the charge. By pleading guilty, you relieve the City of proving the charge against you.
If I plead guilty to a charge, what rights am I waiving?
A. The right to a speedy and public trial.
B. The right to cross-examination witness who may testify against you.
C. The right to call and/or subpoena witnesses to testify on your behalf.
D. The right to have an attorney represent you.
E. The right to require the City prove the charge against you beyond a reasonable doubt.
F. The right to testify on your own behalf.
G. The right to an appeal.
What is a "not guilty" plea? A plea of “not guilty” means that you deny guilt for the offense charged and the City must prove the charge against you. If you plea, “not guilty,” your case will be set for trial.
Can I change my plea of "not guilty" to "guilty"? Yes. You can change your plea at any time before your trial begins.
I missed my court date. What should I do? Missing a court date may result in your case proceeding to trial in your absence or a warrant being issued for your arrest. If you have missed your court date, contact the Court Clerk’s office immediately.
PAYMENT OF FINES
I am guilty of the offense as charges. Can I pay my fine ahead of my court date? Contact the Municipal Court Clerk to determine if you can pay your fine ahead of your court date.
How much is my fine? The amount of your fine depends on the offense with which you are charged. The facts and circumstances of the case and your own record may affect the amount of the fine assessed by the Court.
What is the maximum fine and/or sentence I could receive? The maximum fine and/or sentence in the Municipal Court for a single offense, unless set at a lower amount or period by statute or ordinance, is $1,000.00 and/or 6 months in jail.
What are "court costs and assessments"? Mississippi law adds "court costs and assessments" to most fines. It is a statutorily mandated addition to your fines.
When is payment due on my fines? Payment is expected at the time of your sentencing.
What methods of payment are accepted by the Long Beach Municipal Court?
A. Pay online - Only full payments may be paid online with a Visa, MasterCard or Discover card. Go to www.paymyfineonline.com
B. Pay in Person at the Courthouse - Cash, personal checks, money orders, and cashier’s checks are accepted.
C. Pay by Mail: (Contact the Court Clerk’s office to verify that this option is available to you.) Send a copy of your ticket (or note the case/citation number) with your payment to:
Long Beach Municipal Court
P.O. Box 929
Long Beach, Mississippi, 39560
Personal checks, money orders, and cashier’s checks are accepted by mail. Do not send cash by mail.
I owe old fines to the City. What do I do? Contact the Court Clerk’s office and make payment arrangements. A warrant may have been issued for your arrest.
With whom can I discuss my case? Defendants should speak with an attorney of their choosing. Prior to a trial, the Defendant may speak with the Long Beach Municipal Court Prosecutor. Victims and/or complainants may contact the Long Beach Municipal Court Prosecutor.
Can I get a continuance? Motions for Continuances will not be granted on initial appearances or arraignments. A formal, written request should be filed with the Court Clerk at least five (5) business days before your trial. The filing of a Motion for Continuance does not guarantee that a continuance will be granted by the Municipal Court Judge. Unless you are informed otherwise in writing, you should assume that your case is still set for trial.
Do I need an attorney? You are not required to have an attorney in Municipal Court. However, you have the right to hire an attorney to represent you at your own expense.
What if I cannot afford an attorney? At the time of your arraignment, you may ask the Municipal Court Judge to appoint an attorney to defend you. You will be permitted to complete an application for a court-appointed attorney. Depending on your statements in the application and the nature of the charge(s) you are facing, the Municipal Court Judge may or may not appoint an attorney to defend you. If an attorney is appointed to defend you, he or she will represent you at no cost to you.
Can I defend myself in Municipal Court? Yes. However, if you choose to defend yourself at trial, the Court will not relax the rules of evidence, procedure, or courtroom decorum simply because you are not an attorney.
How is a case presented in Municipal Court? As in all criminal trials, the City will present its case first by calling witnesses to testify against you. You have the right to cross-examine each witness at the completion of his or her testimony. Your cross-examination must be in the form of questions. This is not the time to make a statement. You will have the opportunity to testify later in the trial.
After the City has presented its case, you may present your case. You may call witnesses who have knowledge about the incident. You may testify on your own behalf, but you cannot be compelled to do so. If you choose to testify, the Municipal Court Prosecutor may cross-examine you.
Does a judge or jury decide my case? If your case goes to trial in Municipal Court, the case will be decided by the Municipal Court Judge, not a jury.
Can I appeal a decision of the Municipal Court Judge after my trial? Yes. Following your trial, if you want to appeal the decision of the Municipal Court Judge, you have thirty (30) days from the date of the decision to file an appeal. The appeal will be heard by the County Court of Harrison County, Mississippi. The process of filing an appeal is complicated and the Municipal Court Clerks cannot tell you how to file an appeal. Many people employ an attorney to handle an appeal.
I will miss school or work to attend court, can the Municipal Court Clerk provide me with proof of attendance at court so I can show my teacher or boss? Yes. Please ask for this proof of attendance while you are in the courtroom.
I cannot read the court date on my ticket. What do I do? Contact the Court Clerk’s office immediately to verify your court date.
Does the Court accept e-filed pleadings? No.
Can I contact the Municipal Court Judge? No.
Can the Municipal Court Judge give me legal advice? No.