Frequently Asked Questions

owThe Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Page provides a comprehensive list of answers to frequently asked questions organized by department.

Lafayette County FAQ List

Administrator FAQ List

  1. How can I get on the Supervisors meeting agenda?

    See section C of the Meeting Policy and Procedure.

  2. Can I use County Property for an event?

    Yes, County Property may be reserved for use by citizens or groups. If you are interested, please complete a Facility Use Permit form and submitted to the County Administrators Office for approval.

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Attorney FAQ List

  1. Does the County Board Attorney represent the interests of the individual Board members regarding county business?

    Generally, the Board Attorney represents the County government as a whole and therefore can not represent individual officials to the extent their interests may diverge from that of the county. The Board Attorney is ethically bound to provide advice and counsel to the Board of Supervisors “as a whole” and act in the interests of the county in all official matters.

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Assessor/Tax Collector FAQ List

    1. When are property taxes due each year?

      Property taxes are due by the 1st of February each year.

    2. What are the Tax Sale procedures?

      Annual Sale of Delinquent Taxes

      All fiscal year taxes that have not been paid by the last FRIDAY before the tax sale will be auctioned at the
      County’s annual Tax Sale. After a lien has been sold, the owner of the property has 2 years from the purchase
      date to pay the taxes plus the Interest (1.5% per month) accrued up to that date through the Chancery
      Clerk’s office.

      Property owners are required to pay their delinquent taxes (oldest first) prior to paying their current year taxes.

      How does the purchaser of the delinquent lien benefit?

      If the owner of the property does not pay the taxes within 2 years from the purchase date the purchaser can acquire
      the property.

      -OR-

      If the owner of the property does pay the taxes within 2 years from the purchase date, the purchaser will be
      reimbursed the initial amount of the lien plus 1.5% interest on that initial amount, not to include the overbid.

      Tax Sale Procedures

      1. The sale will be conducted on the last Monday of August, beginning at 10:00 a.m., 2nd Floor of the
        Chancery Building, Court Room #1.
      2. All bidders are required to first register and get a bidder’s number before being allowed to
        participate in the sale. If you arrive late, the sale will not be stopped while you register.
      3. Upon registration, each bidder will be issued one bidding number to be used while bidding on
        properties auctioned. (When registering, you wlll be required to leave a check made payable to
        the Tax Collector, unless paying cash. Your check total will be entered on the face of your check
        by this office upon final reconciliation of the tax sale). There will be only be one bidder allowed per
        each W-9.
      4. Method of pavments State law requires property to be sold to the highest and best bidder for
        cash,
        check, cashier’s check or money order. If pavment is not made as requested, the County
        Tax Collector has the authority to immediately offer and will sell unpaid parcels to another
        bidder.
      5. Overbids Understand that you will not get back excess bids (overbids). By law,
        overbids must be settled to the County general fund. The amount received upon redemption of property you
        purchased will be the original starting amount plus interest. Again, overbid amounts cannot be
        regained
        .
      6. It is our goal to keep the sale moving quickly in a peaceful and orderly manner. Please be
        courteous to all involved by not causing disturbances. Cell phone disturbances will not be
        allowed. If necessary, you will either be asked to turn off cell phones or leave the sale.
      7. You may check-out at any time during the sale by returning your numbers to the Tax Collector
        personnel and paying for ALL parcels you have purchased before leaving.
      8. We start registering two (2) weeks before the sale until the last day of the sale. There is no fee,
        however a Social Security Number or Tax lD Number is required for all bidders or individuals representing companies.
      9. You or a representative must be present at the sale. There are no over-the-counter, phone or fax purchasing.
      10. A listing of approximately 1200 parcels are advertised in the local paper, The Oxford Eagle. The
        list may be purchased on the 2nd and 3r Friday of August preceding the sale from The Oxford Eagle
        (662.234.4331) or purchased from Delta Computer Systems (228.388.7688).
      11. Land forfeited to the State may be purchased by filling out an application obtained by contacting
        Public Lands Division (601.359.6373) or toll free within Mississippi at 1-866-TFLANDS.
      12. Once the tax sale has ended, the Tax Collector turns everything over to the Chancery Clerk’s Office.

 

  1. What forms of payment do you accept?

    Cash, Check, (MasterCard, Visa, Discover and Debit Cards at deltacomputersystems.com)

  2. When can I file homestead?

    You can only file homestead between January 1st and April 1st each year. If the 1st of April falls on the weekend, the deadline for filing would be the preceding Friday.

  3. What information is needed to file homestead?

    If you are filing a new homestead, you must have the following information:

      1. Copy of your warranty deed

     

  4. Social Security numbers of both husband and wife
  5. Purchase price of your house and land
  6. <!–

  7. Amount of the down payment
  8. –>

  9. Tag numbers of all vehicles in your possession
  10. Must a homestead be filed each year?

    No, you do not need to file each year. The following are reasons that would cause you to re-file:

      1. You have moved and need to file homestead on your new residence

     

  11. You became 65 or 100% disabled
  12. What information is needed to file for the 65 and 100% disability?

    Information for filing over 65 exemption:

      1. Date of birth

     

  13. Proof of age (medicare card, birth certificate or driver’s license)
  14. Information for filing disability exemption: Letter from Social Security stating the date you were declared 100% disabled OR two detailed letters from two different doctors stating that you are 100% disabled.

  15. How many days do I have to buy my car tag after the purchase date?

    The state of MS requires that you buy your tag within 7 working days of the purchase date to avoid penalties.

  16. Does Mississippi have a temporary tag or drive out tag?

    No

  17. How many disabled parking placards and plates can I have?

    Any eligible person may have 2 license plates and 2 placards

  18. I purchased a vehicle out of state. What do I need to register and title that vehicle in Mississippi?

    When registering the vehicle in Mississippi, you will need to provide the title from the other state and an odometer disclosure statement. If the vehicle was not titled in the other state, you will need to provide the manufacturer’s statement of origin.

  19. How much sales tax do I pay when I purchase a vehicle?

    You must pay the sales tax on any vehicle purchased outside of Mississippi and on any casual sale of an automobile. That state sales tax rate is 5% and is based on the dealer’s selling price before subtracting any manufacturer’s rebate. Tax on a casual sale is based on the assessed value of the vehicle as determined by the most recent assessment schedule.

  20. What are the requirements in Mississippi for a vehicle to be registered as an antique?

    Any vehicle 25 years or older is considered an antique vehicle. Any vehicle currently registered in Mississippi is eligible for this tag and the cost is $28.50.

  21. I have a tag number for a vehicle; How do I find out who the owner is?

    The federal driver privacy protection act protects personal information included in motor records. Information may only be released to applicants that meet an exemption noted on the records request form.

  22. My license plates were stolen or lost, what should I do?

    You will need to take your registration (if lost also go by the tax collector’s office and get a copy) to the sheriff’s dept. and someone will fill out the lost or stolen tag form for you. You will then take the form to the tax collector’s office and another tag will be issued to you for $10.00. If only the decal was lost/stolen your cost will be $2.50.

  23. Is there a grace period for renewing my tag without penalties?

    You do have a 15 day grace period for renewing your car tag without penalties.

  24. What do I do if I have lost my title?

    You can go to www.dor.ms.gov and print out a replacement title form.

    There are 2 forms to choose from:

    1. Replacement title form- cost $9.00 and the title will be mailed to you within 3 weeks.
    2. Fast track title form- cost $39.00 and the title will be mailed to you within a week to 10 days.

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Chancery Clerk FAQ List

  1. How much does it cost to file a document?

    See List of Fees.

  2. Do you accept credit or debit cards?

    Not at this time.

  3. How do I go about paying delinquent taxes?

    Call 234-2131 for specific information.

  4. Can I write my own deed, will, divorce, etc. or do I have to have an attorney prepare these documents?

    Yes, you can write your own documents but we never recommend it. It is to your benefit to have an attorney prepare the documents for you so that they are prepared legally and properly.

  5. How do I contact Judge Glenn Alderson?

    Call his Court Administrator, Robin Minyard, at 236-0232.

  6. How do I contact Judge Robert Q. Whitwell?

    Call his Court Administrator, Marsha Kisner, at 236-0233.

  7. Where do I pay traffic tickets?

    If the ticket was received in the county, you pay it at Justice Court which is the building directly behind the Lafayette County Detention Center on Jackson Avenue. If the ticket was received in the city, you pay it at City Hall which is on the Square.

  8. How do I go about doing a mental or alcohol/drug commitment on a loved one?

    You must come to the Chancery Clerk’s office to complete paperwork. The person you are committing cannot have any outstanding tickets, warrants, or fines. The charge for a mental commitment is $142.50 and the charge for an alcohol or drug commitment is $92.50 to the Chancery Clerk and $35.00 to the Sheriff. You must be able to provide the party’s name, address, phone number, social security number, date of birth, medications currently taking, and medical history. The person who is committed will be held in the Lafayette County Detention Center until a bed becomes available at a treatment facility.

  9. What information is required on a deed?

    The grantor and grantee’s name, address, and phone number are required, along with the legal description of the property to be transferred. A notary must notarize the document and affix his/her seal.

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Chancery Court FAQ List

  1. Why can’t I talk to the Judge about my case?

    The Chancellors are not allowed to talk to individuals about their cases. The purpose of this is so there is no bias towards either party when the case is heard. Only in the courtroom after parties have been sworn in does the judge ever hear from a litigant.

  2. Why should I have an attorney representing me?

    It is always in the best interest of any litigant to have an attorney representing their interest. The judge or court personnel cannot give anyone legal advice. The judge must hold pro se litigants to the same standards as an attorney. And in most cases, it is to the detriment of the individual without legal representation.

  3. How do I get on the court’s docket if I am pro se?

    If the case has been assigned to Judge Alderson, you must call his court administrator, Robin Minyard (662) 236-0232 to get a date to present your decree.

    If the case has been assigned to Judge Whitwell, you must call his court administrator, Marsha Kisner (662) 236-0233 to get a date to present your decree.

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Circuit Clerk FAQ List

  1. Where do I vote?

    See the Lafayette County Polling Locations map for a list of the available polling locations.

  2. How do I register to vote?

    A citizen may register to vote by mail or by visiting the Circuit Clerk’s office or the municipal clerk’s office. You can also register to vote when applying or renewing your driver’s license. In the event you register in a manner other than visiting the Circuit Clerk’s office you should contact the Circuit Clerk’s office to verify their receipt of your registration. You must be register 30 days before an election in order to be eligible to vote in that election. Once registered, a voter will receive a voter registration card identifying your voting precinct location and address, legislative district, supervisor district, chancery and circuit court districts, justice court districts, Supreme Court district, school board district, and congressional districts.

    If you need to update your address for the voter registration database, you must notify the Circuit Clerk’s office in writing.

  3. How can I obtain election results?

    Election results can be obtained by calling 866.653.9426.

  4. What are the requirements for Jury Duty?

    Circuit Court jurors are called for criminal and civil cases. The civil cases are generally between two or more parties in dispute over money, damages due to injuries, or property. Criminal cases are brought forth in the name of the State of Mississippi on an indictment returned by the Grand Jury charging a defendant for committing an alleged crime.

    When a juror is called upon to serve, they MUST CALL 662.234.4951 after 6:00 p.m. the night before you are to report to court and each night thereafter.

    Juror Qualifications

    1. Must be over 21 years of age
    2. Must be able to read and write
    3. Must NOT be a convicted felon, habitual drunkard, or common gambler
    4. Must NOT have been convicted of he illegal sale of alcoholic beverages in the past five years
    5. Must not have a case pending in the court

    Juror Selection

    Juror names are drawn at random from jury pool. This process may allow for an individual to be called more than once or not at all.

    Excuses from Jury Duty

    It is a citizens’ obligation or duty to serve in making sure justice is done and that government “by the people” is served. For that reason, only legal excuses should be presented to the Court. An example of a legal excuse is as follows:

    • Illness or presence required to assist someone with an illness
    • Personal Hardship
    • Emergency
    • Performed jury service in this court within 2 years
    • Over the age of 65 years and you wish not to serve

    Compensation for Jury Duty

    A juror is paid the nominal fee of $40 per day plus mileage at .30 cents per mile.

  5. How do I obtain a marriage license?

    To obtain a marriage license both parties must appear in the Circuit Clerk’s office and provide the following information:

    1. Full names and addresses of both parties applying for marriage
    2. Names and addresses of the parents of both parties applying (includes maiden name of mother)
    3. Age, Date of birth, and State of Birth and Country
    4. Proof of Age (e.g., Driver’s license, Birth Certificate, School Record)
    5. Highest Grade Completed in School
    6. Number of Previous Marriages
    7. Reason previous marriage ended (e.g., Death, Divorce)
    8. Date Last Marriage Ended (must bring proof of divorce if within last six months)

    NOTICE: In the event a female applicant is under the age of TWENTY-ONE (21) years, and is a resident of the State of Mississippi, the application for marriage must be made in the Circuit Clerk Office of the county of residence of the parent or legal guardian of the female applicant.

    Additionally, if either applicant is under the age of TWENTY-ONE (21) years, parental consent is needed. In the event the parent does not accompany the applicant to the Circuit Clerk office when applying, the Clerk must send a notice of filing of the application via certified mail to the parents or legal guardian.

    As a matter of Mississippi Law, NO marriage license may be issued unless the Male applicant is at least SEVENTEEN (17) years of age, and the Female applicant is at least FIFTEEN (15) years of age.

    The Marriage License fee is $21.00 cash and due at the time of application.

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Constable FAQ List

  1. ?

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Coroner FAQ List

  1. How long will the autopsy take to complete?

    The time varies based on the availability of the medical examiner and/or crime lab if toxicology reports, etc. are necessary.

  2. How do you determine whether the death was accidental in nature or suicide?

    Determinations on cause of death are generally based on evidence found at the scene of the death or toxicology reports

  3. What type of deaths must be investigated?

    All deaths must be investigated by the Coroner

  4. What type of deaths must be viewed by the Coroner?

    Deaths believed to be accidental or suspicious in nature, homicide, or suicide must be viewed at the scene of the death. Deaths believed to be of natural causes can be viewed by the Coroner after the body has been moved.

  5. Does the Coroner have to be contacted before a body is moved?

    Yes, the body can only be moved with the permission of the Coroner.

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E-911 FAQ List

  1. What is Enhanced 911?

    Enhanced 911 allows E-911 operators to see the caller’s name, address, and phone number.

  2. Am I allowed to request copies of E-911 reports and/or audio recordings?

    Yes, but the request must accompany a subpoena with the exact date and time of the call that you are requesting the information on.

  3. Who needs an E-911 address?

    All structures needs a 911 address.

  4. When should I call 911?

    You should call 911 when you have any type of MEDICAL, POLICE, OR FIRE EMERGENCY, or if you see a crime in progress and can help in catching the suspect.

  5. What should I do if I call 911 by mistake?

    Stay on the line and let the operator know that you are alright. An officer will be dispatched anyway but at least they will know that it was a mistake.

  6. If I call 911 from my cell phone will the Dispatcher know where I am?

    If the department you reach has Phase II, they should be able to locate you.

  7. Do I have to give my name when I call to report a crime?

    No, but the dispatcher has to create a call for service and it will help in doing so, but the call can still be handled if you don’t.

  8. What if I have a non-emergency call?

    All non-emergency calls should go through the admin. lines. If you do not know the numbers 1411 can get it for you.

  9. What is the difference between a residential call and a cell phone call?

    When a call to 911 is received from a resident the name, address and phone number will be displayed. With a cell phone call, the call back number and the cell tower address is all that shows up on the screen. If the dept. is Phase II the dispatcher should be able to get a GPS location.

  10. How was my 911 address determined?

    The person in charge of the addressing in the area has a starting point usually the center of the area that the department serves and they go from there.

  11. Why is it important for me to post my house number?

    It is easier for you to be located by emergency responders.

  12. How can I change my street name?

    Requests should be made to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

  13. What is a private road?

    Any road that is not maintained by the County.

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Justice Court FAQ List

  1. What is the civil jurisdiction limit for the Justice Court?

    $2500

  2. What is the filing fee for civil cases?

    $62.50 for first defendant and $10.00 for each additional defendant

  3. Where is the court located?

    Behind the Lafayette County Detention Center

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Planning Department FAQ List

  1. What is the cost of a building permt?

    $150

  2. Does the County have Subdivision Regulations?

    Yes and they are administered by the Planning Commission

  3. When does the Planning Commission Meet?

    The Planning Commission meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 5:30 PM in the Lafayette County Chancery building.

  4. Does Lafayette County participate in National Flood Insurance Program?

    Yes

  5. Can I get flood insurance for my home or business in Lafayette County?

    Yes

  6. Do I have to have a Flood Plain Permit before I build in a flood plain?

    Yes

  7. Who is the Flood Insurance Administrator?

    The County Planner/Engineer is the Flood Insurance Administrator.

  8. How do I get a building permit?

    Complete Appendix 8 of the Subdivision Regulations and bring it and the $150 fee to the County Administrator’s office in the Chancery building.

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Prosecutor FAQ List

  1. ?

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Road FAQ List

  1. What is the Right of Way Distance from County roads?

    The right of way varies from road to road. In general, the right of way is from center line to back slopes of the ditches.

  2. What can I do about a drainage problem at my home or on my road?

    Drainage problems are addressed on a case by case basis and take into account the right of way.

  3. How often are culverts replaced?

    Culverts are maintained & replaced as needed on the right of way.

  4. Does the County Road Department cut trees on the right of way?

    Yes, trees are cut and removed for safety reasons.

  5. How often are maintenance and repaving of roads conducted?

    Maintenance is done as needed while repaving is conducted in accordance with the 4 year road plan.

  6. How often does the County cut the grass on county roads?

    The Road Department begins cutting grass on the right of ways in the spring and continues through the grass growing season.

  7. How often are road signs replaced?

    Road signs are maintained on a daily basis.

  8. Can the County add gravel or pave my drive way?

    As a general rule the answer is No. In the event a drive way is approved by the Lafayette County School Board and Board of Supervisors as a school bus turnaround, the County can assist in maintaining the drive way for the benefit of the school bus.

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Sheriff FAQ List

  1. What is the cost of service of summons or a subpoena?

    $35

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Solid Waste FAQ List

  1. Are waste containers supplied by county?

    No. You should purchase your own waste containers.

  2. Who do I call about disposing of household chemicals?

    Call the Solid Waste department at 662-236-2535.

  3. What are the landfill hours?

    Monday Thru Friday 7:30 to 3:30

  4. When is the bulk waste pickup?

    Call the Solid Waste department at 662-236-2535.

  5. Who do I call about animals on state highways?

    Call Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) at 601.359.7001.

  6. Who do I call about animals on county right of ways that are 15 lbs or less?

    Call the Solid Waste department at 662-236-2535.

  7. Who do I call about animals on county right of ways that are over 15 lbs?

    Call Central Maintenance at 662-234-4197.

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