By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
More than 90 cases of domestic violence were handled between Corinth Municipal Court and Alcorn County Justice Court last year, officials say.
Corinth Municipal Court had 48 cases of domestic violence that were finalized in 2017, said Court Clerk Zane Elliott.
Alcorn County Justice Court had 46 domestic violence cases filed, said Court Clerk Jone Dixon.
Of the 48 domestic violence cases in city court, about 25 resulted in the defendants being found guilty, Elliott said. Another five were dismissed, and 18 were remanded, or “set aside,” Elliott said.
First-time domestic violence defendants can have their cases “set aside” if they successfully complete an anger management course called Life in Focus. The court rarely sees people back in court on future domestic violence charges after taking the class, he said.
The penalty for a first offense domestic violence in justice court is a fine of up to $500 and/or up to six months in jail. The fine in city court is $455.
The city court and justice court can issue domestic violence protection orders, which can order people to have no contact with an individual and to stay a certain distance away.
Twelve domestic violence protection orders were filed in city court in 2017 and 17 in 2016, Elliott said. Typically, about half of the orders filed are actually granted, he added. Both parties are asked to explain the situation to the judge, who decides whether to grant the order.
There could be certain exceptions made in the order regarding contact such as when children are exchanged or when parents attend school activities.
In some cases, a protection order could be “conjoined,” which means it could be filed against both parties, Elliott said. The protection orders are rarely violated, he added.
The chancery court issues longer term, or permanent, protection orders.
The justice court only had two protection orders filed last year, Dixon said. There may have been so few because more people may have opted to file criminal affidavits against alleged perpetrators instead, she noted. The form to request a protection order is numerous pages while the affidavit is only one sheet.