Judicial Branch
State Court Systems in the United States of America

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StateCourt of Last ResortCourt(s) of Intermediate
Appellate Jurisdiction
Court of General Trial
Jurisdiction
Court(s) of Limited
Jurisdiction
Court(s) of Special
Jurisdiction
Alabama Supreme Court (1819--) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: State] Court of Appeals (1910-1969) Statutory Court [IN and FOR: State]
Court of Civil Appeals (1969--) Statutory Court [IN and FOR: State]
Court of Criminal Appeals (1969--) Statutory Court [IN and FOR: State]
Circuit Court (1819--) Constitutional Court [IN: circuit FOR: county] County Court (--1977) Statutory Court [IN and FOR: county]
Recorder's Court (--1977) Statutory Court [FOR: municpality]
Justices of the Peace (1819-1977) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county-1875: precinct]
District Court (1975--) Statutory Court [FOR: county]
Municipal Court (1975--) Statutory Court [IN and FOR: municipality]
Chancery Court (1819--) Constitutional Court [IN: division & district FOR: county. Authorized by the State's Constitutions, over the years, to be a separate court but its equity jurisdiction has, historically, been exercised by the Circuit Court.]
Probate Court (1819--) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county]
Alaska Supreme Court (1960--) Constitutional Court [FOR: statewide] Court of Appeals (1980--) Statutory Court [FOR: statewide] District Court (1884-1959) Constitutional Court [FOR: entire District(-1912-)Territory]
Superior Court (1959--) Constitutional Court [FOR: borough or equivalent]
Municipal Court (1912-1959) Statutory Court [FOR: municipality]
District Court (1959--) Statutory Court [FOR: judicial district]
Magistrate Court (1960--) Statutory Court [FOR: municipality]
Commissioners' Court (1900-1959) Constitutional Court [FOR: entire District(-1912-) Territory]
Arizona Supreme Court (1912--) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: State] Court of Appeals (1965--) Statutory Court [IN: division FOR: State] Superior Court (1912--) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county] Police Justices Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: municipality]
Municipal Court Statutory Court [IN and FOR: municipality]
Justices of the Peace (1863--) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: precinct]
Arkansas Supreme Court (1836--) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: State] Court of Appeals (1979--) Constitutional Court [IN: district FOR: State] Circuit Court (1836--) Constitutional Court [IN: circuit FOR: county] Police Court (--2003) Statutory Court [FOR: municipality. Jurisdiction taken over by the District Court.]
Municipal Court/Mayor's Court (--1971) Statutory Court [FOR: municipality]
Justices of the Peace (1836-2001) Constitutional Court [IN: township FOR: township or county. Jurisdiction taken over by the District Court]
County Court (1836-1868) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county. Also functioned as the county governing body]
Corporation Courts (1836--) Constitutional Court [FOR: municipality]
Supervisors' Court (1868-1874) Statutory Court [FOR: county]
County Court (1874-2003) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county. Also functioned as the county governing body (in this capacity, known as the QUORUM COURT= justices of the peace of the county meeting with the county Judge; after 2001, the justices of the peace no longer exercised judicial functions and this also became true of the county Judge after 2003: however, the QUORUM COURT in this form still exists as the governing body of the county). Judicial jurisdiction taken over by the District Court.]
Court of Common Pleas (1874-2001) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county. Jurisdiction taken over by the District Court]
City Court (1971--) Statutory Court [FOR: municipality]
District Court (2001--) Statutory Court [IN: district FOR: county. Had been known as Municipal Court before taking over jurisdiction of Court of Common Pleas and Justice of the Peace Courts in 2001; also took over jurisdiction of County Court and Police Court in 2003]
Court of Probate (1836-2001) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county. Beginning in 2002, the jurisdiction of this court was taken over by the Circuit Court]
Court of Chancery (1836-2001) Constitutional Court [IN: district FOR: county. Beginning in 2002, the jurisdiction of this court was taken over by the Circuit Court]
California Supreme Court (1850--) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: State] [District] Courts of Appeal (1905--) Constitutional Court [IN: district FOR: State] District Court (1849-1879) Constitutional Court [IN: district FOR: county]
Superior Court (1879--) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county. Beginning in 1998, Municipal Courts began transferring their functions to the Superior Courts of their respective counties: this process was completed throughout the State by July 2000; thus, from mid-2000 on, the Superior Courts have exercised what was formerly the province of courts of limited jurisdiction in addition to the general trial jurisdiction it has always had since replacing the old District Court]
Court of Sessions (1849-1862) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county. Court of Sessions was held by County Court judge and two justices of the peace]
Justices of the Peace (1849-1928) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county or municipality(-1862-)township or municipality]
Municipal Court (1849-1862) Statutory Court [IN and FOR: municipality]
County Court (1862-1879) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county]
Recorder's Court (1862-1879) Statutory Court [IN and FOR: municipality]
Justice Court (1928-1995) Constitutional Court [IN: township, later:"justice" district FOR: township, later: "justice" district. In 1995, any remaining Justice Courts were changed into Municipal Courts and their former justice districts, thereby, became municipal court districts of their respective counties]
Municipal Court (1928-2000) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: municipality, later: "municipal court" district. Each county in California was divided into municipal court districts once the Justice Courts were defunct, with the former justice court districts having become municipal court districts. Beginning in June 1998, upon a majority vote of the Superior Court judges and the municipal court judges in any county, the municipal courts (and their judges) of that county were allowed to become subsumed within the Superior Court of that county: by July 2000, all Municipal Courts in California had transferred their functions to the Superior Court in and for their respective counties.]
County Court (1849-1862) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county]
Probate Court (1862-1879) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county]
Colorado Supreme Court (1876--) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: State] Court of Appeals (1891-1905) Statutory Court [IN and FOR: State]
Court of Appeals (1912-1915) Statutory Court [IN and FOR: State]
Court of Appeals (1970--) Statutory Court [IN and FOR: State]
District Court (1876--) Constitutional Court [IN: district FOR: county] Municipal Court Statutory Court [IN and FOR: municipality]
Justices of the Peace (1876-1965) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: precinct]
County Court (1965--) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county]
Criminal Court (1876--) Constitutional Court [FOR: county]
County Court (1876-1965) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county]
Denver Juvenile Court (1965--) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: City and County of Denver]
Denver Probate Court (1965--) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: City and County of Denver]
Connecticut General Court (1638-1784) Constitutional Court [FOR: colony/state as a whole. the General Court was also the colonial legislature and continued to function, after Independence in 1776, as CONNECTICUT's State legislature until 1818 when its colonial Charter was replaced by a new State Constitution.]
Supreme Court of Errors (1784-1965) Constitutional Court [FOR: state as a whole. Until 1818 the Senate, the upper house of the otherwise legislative General Court, functioned also as the State's highest court under this name: under CONNECTICUT's 1st State Constitution, the judges of what was- to this point- a statewide Superior Court were elevated to become justices of this court which, in turn, was completely separated from the legislative branch]
Supreme Court (1966--) Constitutional Court [FOR: state as a whole]
Appellate Court (1983--) Constitutional Court [FOR: state as a whole] Particular Court (1638-1666) [FOR: colony as a whole]
Court of Assistants (1666-1715) [FOR: colony as a whole. often also called the "Superior Court" after 1687, the 'Assistants' also functioned as the upper legislative house of the General Court (until replaced by the State Senate in 1784) as well as the "Governor's Council" (hence their title, as they were seen- in this capacity- as assisting the Governor): was authorized to hear "major trials" (usually, but not always, criminal in nature); also had appellate jurisdiction over County and other lower courts.]
County Court (1666-1715) [IN and FOR: county. authorized to hear "minor trials" (usually civil)-- was aso called "Prerogative Court" when hearing cases at Equity and "Court of Common Pleas" when hearing suits at Law; also functioned as Administrative body of County, in which capacity was often called "Quarter Court" (since it met every three months for such purposes)]
Superior Court (1715--) Constitutional Court [IN: colony/state (-1818-) county FOR: county (-1978-) county-based 'judicial district'. originally, a colony/state-wide Court with judges "riding circuit" in order to try cases in each County: in 1818, the judges of this court were elevated to become the Supreme Court of Errors; after 1818, judges of a new county-based court took over this court's name and jurisdiction]
City Court (--1978) Statutory Court [FOR: municipality]
Police Court (--1978) Statutory Court [FOR: municipality]
Municipal Court (--1978) Statutory Court [FOR: municipality]
Justices of the Peace (1638-1974) [IN and FOR: town(ship). phased out as a judicial office over the period between 1961 and 1974]
Quarter Court (1715-1855) Statutory Court [FOR: county. in effect, the continuation of the old 'County Court' supplanted by the Superior Court and, as such, continued to serve as County administrative body until supplanted by County Boards of Commissioners; colloquially referred to as "Court of Common Pleas" when it heard cases, "County Court" in general]
Court of Common Pleas (1855-1978) Statutory Court [IN and FOR: county]
District Court (1961-1974) Statutory Court [FOR: district]
Circuit Court (1961-1974) Statutory Court [FOR: district]
Probate Court (1698--) Constitutional Court [FOR: county (-1719-) town(ship)-based 'probate district']
Delaware Court of Appeals (1776-1792) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: State]
High Court of Errors and Appeals (1792-1831) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: State]
Court of Errors and Appeals (1831-1897) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: State]
Supreme Court (1897--) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: State]
Supreme Court (1776-1831) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: State]
Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace and Gaol Delivery (1792-1831) Constitutional Court [IN: State FOR: county]
Court of General Sessions of the Peace and General Jail-Delivery (1831-1897) Constitutional Court [IN: State FOR: county]
Superior Court (1831--) Constitutional Court [IN: State FOR: county]
Court of General Sessions (1897-1951) Constitutional Court [IN: State FOR: county. Functions of Court of General Sessions (principally a criminal court) transferred to Superior Court (heretofore principally a civil court)]
Justices of the Peace Constitutional Court [IN: county FOR: hundred, later: district]
Alderman's Court Statutory Court [IN and FOR: municipality]
Court of Common Pleas (1776-1792) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county]
Court of Common Pleas (1792-1831) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: State]
Court of Common Pleas (1831--) Statutory Court [IN: State FOR: county]
Wilmington Municipal Court (--1998) Statutory Court [IN and FOR: City of Wilmington. In 1998, all jurisdiction exercised by the Municipal Court of Wilmington was transferred to the Justice of the Peace Courts already having jurisdiction in that city]
Orphans' Court (1776-1975) Constitutional Court [IN: State FOR: county]
Court of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol-Delivery (1792-1831) Constitutional Court [IN: State FOR: county]
Chancery Court (1792--) Constitutional Court [IN: State FOR: county]
Register's Court (1792-1975) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county]
Court of Oyer and Terminer (1831-1951) Constitutional Court [IN: State FOR: county. Functions of Court of Oyer and Terminer (which heard cases involving the most serious crimes) transferred to Superior Court along with functions of Court of General Sessions]
Family Court (1977--) Statutory Court [IN and FOR: county]
Florida Supreme Court [IN and FOR: State] [District] Courts of Appeal (1957--) [IN: district FOR: State] Circuit Court Constitutional Court [IN: circuit FOR: county] Justice of the Peace Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county (-1887-) district]
Municipal Court Statutory Court [IN and FOR: municipality. authorized by the State's 3rd and 4th Constitutions]
Criminal Court of Record Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county. under State's 4th Constitution]
[Civil] Court of Record Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county. under the State's 4th Constitution; where established, it replaced the County Court (but not the County Judge)]
County Judge Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county. separate from the County Court: under the State's 4th Constitution]
Corporation Court (1845-1868) Statutory Court [IN and FOR: municipality. authorized by the State's 1st and 2nd Constitutions]
County Court (1868--) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county]
Court of Chancery (1845-1868) Constitutional Court
Judge of Probate (1865-1868) Constitutional Court
Georgia Supreme Court Court of Appeals
Hawaii Supreme Court Intermediate Court of Appeals
Idaho Supreme Court Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: State] Court of Appeals (1982--) [IN and FOR: State] District Court Constitutional Court [IN: district FOR: county] Justice of the Peace (--1971) Constitutional Court [IN: precinct FOR: county]
Magistrate Division (1971--) [IN and FOR: county. part of the District Court: primarily intended to replace the Justices of the Peace as well as take on former Probate Court jurisdiction]
Probate Court (--1971) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: county. functions transferred to Magistrate Division]
Illinois Supreme Court Appellate Court [IN: district FOR: State]
Indiana Supreme Court Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: State] Court of Appeals (1890--) Statutory Court [IN: district FOR: State. originally known as "Appellate Court"] Circuit Court Constitutional Court [IN: circuit FOR: county] City Court Statutory Court [IN and FOR: city. was originally to be abolished statewide in 1979, but abolition was then delayed by legislative action thru 1982; incorporated cities since have been given local option re: abolishing this court on their own.]
Town Court Statutory Court [IN and FOR: town. was originally to be abolished statewide in 1979, but abolition was then delayed by legislative action thru 1982; incorporated towns since have been given local option re: abolishing this court on their own.]
Superior Court Statutory Court [IN and FOR: county. optional: usually, but not always, established in counties with no County Court; some counties, however, have both a Superior Court and a County Court.]
Municipal Court Statutory Court [IN and FOR: consolidated Marion County-City of Indianapolis]
Justices of the Peace (1816-1975) Constitutional Court [IN and FOR: township]
County Court (1975--) Statutory Court [IN and FOR: county. optional: originally intended to replace Justices of the Peace in those counties without a Superior Court]
Probate Court Statutory Court [IN and FOR: county. optional]
Small Claims Court Statutory Court [IN and FOR: county. optional]
Iowa Supreme Court Court of Appeals
Kansas Supreme Court Court of Appeals
Kentucky Supreme Court Court of Appeals
Louisiana Supreme Court Courts of Appeal [IN: circuit FOR: State]
Maine Supreme Judicial Court
Maryland Court of Appeals Court of Special Appeals
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Appeals Court
Michigan Supreme Court Court of Appeals
Minnesota Supreme Court Court of Appeals
Mississippi Supreme Court Court of Appeals
Missouri Supreme Court Courts of Appeals [IN: district FOR: State]
Montana Supreme Court
Nebraska Supreme Court Court of Appeals
Nevada Supreme Court
New Hampshire Supreme Court
New Jersey Supreme Court Superior Court: Appellate Division
New Mexico Supreme Court Court of Appeals
New York Court of Appeals Supreme Court: Appellate Division [IN: department FOR: State]
Supreme Court: Appellate Term [IN: department FOR: State]
North Carolina Supreme Court Court of Appeals
North Dakota Supreme Court Court of Appeals
Ohio Supreme Court Courts of Appeals [IN: district FOR: County]
Oklahoma Supreme Court
Court of Criminal Appeals
Court of Civil Appeals
Oregon Supreme Court Court of Appeals
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Superior Court
Rhode Island Supreme Court
South Carolina Supreme Court Court of Appeals
South Dakota Supreme Court
Tennessee Supreme Court Court of Appeals [IN: grand division FOR: State]
Court of Criminal Appeals [IN: grand division FOR: State]
Texas Supreme Court
Court of Criminal Appeals
Courts of Appeals [IN: district FOR: State/County]
Utah Supreme Court Court of Appeals
Vermont Supreme Court
Virginia Supreme Court Court of Appeals
Washington Supreme Court Court of Appeals [IN: division FOR: State]
West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
Wisconsin Supreme Court Court of Appeals [IN: district FOR: State]
Wyoming Supreme Court
 
 


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