Youth Court Topics:
Judge Sharon Sigalas
Cynthia Wilson, Court Administrator
Physical Location/Mailing Address:
4903 Telephone Road
Pascagoula, MS 39567
Cases Heard in the Youth Court
The Youth Court is a division of the County Court and deals with persons under age 18 who fall under the following categories: Delinquent Child, Child in Need of Supervision or Neglected and/or Abused Child.
"Delinquent child" is a child between the ages of 10-17 years who has committed a delinquent act.
"Delinquent act" is any act, which if committed by an adult, is designated as a crime under state or federal law, or municipal or county ordinance other than offenses punishable by life imprisonment or death.
Child in Need of Supervision
"Child in need of Supervision" means a child who has reached his seventh birthday and is in need of treatment or rehabilitation because the child:
Is habitually disobedient of reasonable and lawful commands of his parent, guardian or custodian and is ungovernable; or
While being required to attend school, willfully and habitually violated the rules thereof or willfully and habitually absents himself therefrom; or
Runs away from home without good cause, or
Has committed a delinquent act or acts before his 10th birthday.
Neglected and/or Abused Child
"Neglected child" means a child:
Whose parent, guardian or custodian or any person responsible for his care or support, neglects or refuses, when so able to do, to provide for him proper and necessary care or support, or education as required by law, or medical, surgical, or other care necessary for his well-being; provided, however, a parent who withholds medical treatment from any child who in good faith is under treatment by spiritual means alone through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination by a duly accredited practitioner thereof shall not, for that reason alone, be considered to be neglectful under any provision of this chapter; or
Who is otherwise without proper care, custody, supervision or support; or
Who, for any reason, lacks the special care made necessary for him by reason of his mental condition, whether said mental condition be mentally retarded or mentally ill; or
Who for any reason, lacks the care necessary for his health, morals or well being.
"Abused child" means a child whose parent, guardian or custodian or any person responsible for his care or support, whether legally obligated to do so or not, has caused or allowed to be caused upon said child sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, emotional abuse, mental injury, non-accidental physical injury or other maltreatment. Provided, however, that physical discipline, including spanking, performed on a child by a parent, guardian or custodian in a reasonable manner shall not be deemed abuse under this section.
"Child in need of special care" means a child with any mental or physical illness that cannot be treated with the dispositional alternatives ordinarily available to the youth court.
Monday - Thursday, 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Friday, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
In the Youth Court courtroom (location in left column)
Youth Court Public Defender
The Youth Court Public Defender represents minors from indigent (as determined by the YC) families who are charged with delinquent acts.
Mississippi Law requires each child to have his/her own attorney in all formal court proceedings. Source: Youth Court Act, Miss. Code Sections 43-21-101 et seq.
About the Court and Judge
County/Youth Court Judge Requirements
County Court Judges are elected officials serving 4 year terms. To qualify to serve as a County Judge the candidate must meet the following requirements:
Practicing lawyer for five years
26 years of age or older
Citizen of state for at least five years
About the Court
The public is excluded from Youth Court, the proceedings are civil, and the court has a wide range of possible options in dealing with those youth who enter its doors. Appeals are to the Supreme Court.
Jackson County Youth Court has numerous programs aimed at helping families and childrenof Jackson County. Programs include but are not limited to Jackson County Juvenile Drug Court and Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program.
Like the Justice, Municipal, and County Courts, the Family and Youth Courts are of limited jurisdiction, but all are busy, vital to the justice system, and in need of cooperation and support of all officials and branches of government.