In re Adoption Miss. Rules of Criminal Procedure

Decision Date13 December 2016
Docket NumberNo. 89-R-99038-SCT,89-R-99038-SCT
CourtMississippi Supreme Court


No. 89-R-99038-SCT


December 13, 2016

Serial: 209786


The Mississippi Constitution mandates certain procedural requirements in the criminal law of this State. And the Mississippi Legislature and this Court, acting on the respective authority vested in them by the Mississippi Constitution, have articulated additional procedural requirements. In order to promote justice, uniformity, and efficiency in our courts, we find it necessary and reasonable now to combine all of the requirements governing criminal procedure in the courts of this State into a singular set of rules. Therefore, pursuant to the inherent authority vested in this Court by the Constitution of the State of Mississippi, as discussed in Newell v. State, 308 So. 2d 71 (Miss. 1975), we adopt the rules attached hereto as the Mississippi Rules of Criminal Procedure, which shall govern the procedure in all criminal proceedings in the Circuit, County, Justice and Municipal Courts of this State. These rules shall take effect on July 1, 2017.

The Clerk of this Court is authorized and directed to spread this order and the rules attached hereto at large on the minutes of the Court, and the Clerk is further authorized and directed to forward a certified copy thereof to West Publishing Company for publication in

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a forthcoming edition of Southern Reporter, Mississippi Cases, the official publication of decisions of this Court.

SO ORDERED, this the 13th day of December, 2016.

/s/ Ann H. Lamar


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Rule 1 General Provisions

Rule 2 Commencement of Criminal Proceedings

Rule 3 Arrest Warrant or Summons upon Commencement of Criminal Proceedings

Rule 4 Search Warrants

Rule 5 Arrest and Initial Appearance

Rule 6 Preliminary Hearing

Rule 7 Counsel

Rule 8 Release

Rule 9 Trial Setting

Rule 10 Presence of Defendant, Witnesses, and Spectators

Rule 11 Change of the Place of Trial

Rule 12 Mental Examinations

Rule 13 The Grand Jury

Rule 14 Indictment

Rule 15 Arraignment and Pleas

Rule 16 Pre-Trial Motions

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Rule 17 Disclosure and Discovery

Rule 18 Trial by Jury; Waiver; Selection and Preparation of Petit Jury

Rule 19 Trial

Rule 20 Duties of Court Reporters

Rule 21 Motions for Directed Verdict

Rule 22 Jury Instructions

Rule 23 Deliberations

Rule 24 Verdict

Rule 25 Post-Trial Motions

Rule 26 Judgment

Rule 27 Probation

Rule 28 Retention of Records and Evidence

Rule 29 Appeals from Justice or Municipal Court

Rule 30 Appeals from County Court

Rule 31 Post-Conviction Collateral Relief

Rule 32 Contempt

Rule 33 Subpoenas

Rule 34 Motions

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Rule 1 General Provisions

Rule 1.1 Scope.

These are the Mississippi Rules of Criminal Procedure and shall govern the procedure in all criminal proceedings, from arrest through post-trial motions, in all trial courts within the State of Mississippi, except as otherwise provided in these Rules. They may be cited as MRCrP; e.g., MRCrP 1.


The Mississippi Rules of Criminal Procedure are designed to provide comprehensive and uniform practice and procedure for criminal proceedings in all Mississippi trial courts, including justice courts, municipal courts, county courts, and circuit courts, except as otherwise provided. They replace practice under formerly applicable provisions of the Uniform Rules of Circuit and County Court and the Uniform Rules of Procedure for Justice Court.

"It is now well established that 'the constitutional concept of separation of powers dictates that it is within the inherent power of this Court to promulgate procedural rules to govern judicial matters.' Thus, when a statute conflicts with this Court's rules regarding matters of judicial procedure, our rules control." State v. Delaney, 52 So. 3d 348, 351 (Miss. 2011) (internal citations omitted).

Rule 1.2 Purpose and Construction.

These Rules are to be interpreted to provide for the just and speedy determination of criminal proceedings, to secure simplicity in procedure and fairness in administration, to eliminate unjustifiable delay and expense, and to protect the rights of individuals while protecting the public.

Rule 1.3 Computation and Enlargement of Time.

(a) Computation. In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these Rules, by order of court, or by any applicable statute, the day of the act, event, or default from which the designated period of time begins to run shall

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not be included. The last day of the period so computed shall be included, unless it is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday, as defined by statute, or any other day when the court clerk's office is in fact closed, whether with or without legal authority, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is not a Saturday, a Sunday, a legal holiday, or any other day when the court clerk's office is in fact closed. In the event any legal holiday falls on a Sunday, the next day shall be a legal holiday. When the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than seven (7) days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays shall be excluded in the computation.

(b) Enlargement. When by these Rules or by order of court an act is required or allowed to be done at or within a specified time, the court may at any time:

(1) with or without motion, and for cause shown, order the period enlarged if request therefor is made before the expiration of the period originally prescribed or as extended by a previous order; or

(2) upon motion made after the expiration of the specified period, permit the act to be done where failure to act was the result of excusable neglect or good cause shown.

But a court may not, except as provided elsewhere in these Rules, extend the time for making a motion for directed verdict, a motion for new trial, a motion to vacate judgment, or for taking an appeal.

(c) Unaffected by Expiration of Term. The doing of any act or the taking of any action permitted by these Rules is not affected or limited by the existence or expiration of a term of court. However, a criminal sentence cannot be modified, altered, or vacated after the end of the term of court in which the defendant was sentenced, except as provided by law.

(d) Motions Regarding Computation and Enlargement of Time. A written motion, other than one which may be heard ex parte, and notice of the hearing thereof, shall be served not later than five (5) days before the time fixed for the hearing, unless a different period is fixed by these Rules or by order of the court.

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Such an order may, for cause shown, be made on ex parte application. Service shall be accomplished in accordance with Rule 1.7.

(e) Additional Time After Service by Mail. Whenever a party has the right or is required to do some act or take some action within a prescribed period after the service of a notice or other paper and the notice or paper is served by mail, three (3) days shall be added to the prescribed period.


Rule 1.3 is derived from Rule 6 of the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure.

Section (b) provides the court with wide discretion to enlarge various time periods both before and after the actual termination of the allotted time, with the notable exceptions of motions for directed verdict (Rule 21), motions for new trial (Rule 25.1), motions to vacate judgment (Rule 25.2), or appeals (Rules 29 and 30). Importantly, such enlargement is to be made only for cause shown. If the application for additional time is made before the period expires, the request may be made ex parte; if it is made after the expiration of the period, notice of the motion shall be given to other parties and the only cause for which extra time can be allowed is "excusable neglect or good cause shown."

Section (c) does not abolish court terms. This Rule merely provides greater flexibility to the courts in attending the myriad functions they must perform, many of which were previously possible only during term time. The Rule is also consistent with provisions elsewhere herein that prescribe a specific number of days for taking certain actions rather than linking time expirations to the opening day, final day, or any other day of a term of court. The rule recognizes that judges do not have the authority to modify, alter, or vacate a criminal sentence after the end of the term of court during which the sentence was given, except as otherwise provided by law. See Creel v. State, 944 So. 2d 891 (Miss. 2006); Miss. Comm'n of Jud. Performance v. Russell, 691 So. 2d 929 (Miss. 1997).

Rule 1.4 Definitions.

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Unless otherwise defined in a particular Rule, whenever they appear in these Rules, the terms below shall have the following meanings:

(a) "Bill of information" means a written statement charging the defendant(s) named therein with the commission of an indictable offense, made on oath, signed, and presented to the court by the district attorney, without action by the grand jury.

(b) "Capias" means a writ commanding law enforcement officers to take into custody a defendant for whom a grand jury has returned an indictment.

(c) "Charge" means a charging affidavit, indictment, or bill of information.

(d) "Charging affidavit" means a written statement made upon oath before a judge, clerk of the court, or other officer authorized by law to administer oaths, setting forth essential underlying facts and circumstances constituting an offense and alleging that the defendant committed the offense.

(e) "Indictment" is a written statement charging the defendant(s) named therein with the commission of an indictable offense, presented to the court by a grand jury, endorsed "A True Bill," and signed by the foreperson. It includes a true bill from the grand jury or a bill of information in lieu thereof.

(f) "Offense" means conduct for which a fine, a sentence to a term of imprisonment, or the death penalty may be imposed pursuant to any law of...

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