Structure of the State Courts | Basics of Court Group | April 25, 2016


This is the old version of the H2O platform and is now read-only. This means you can view content but cannot create content. You can access the new platform at Thank you.

Structure of the State Courts

by Basics of Court Group Show/Hide

The Constitution and laws of each state create parameters for the state courts.

The Supreme Court is the highest court. Some states have an intermediate Court of Appeals, and below these, are state trial courts, otherwise known as Circuit or District Courts. Most states have a multileveled structure, while eight states have a two-tiered system that consist of a trial court and a supreme court.

Specific legal matters are delegated to the appropriate court — for example:

  • Probate court (wills and estates)
  • Juvenile court
  • Family court


Parties dissatisfied with the decision of the immediate trial court may take their case to the intermediate Court of Appeals. Parties are able to ask the highest state court to consider their case. However, only certain cases will be heard by the Supreme Court.


In the Federal court, judges are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. State court judges are selected by election and appointed for a certain period, usually 6 to 10 years.

Types of Cases

  • Most criminal cases: probate (involving wills and estates)
  • Most contract cases, tort cases (personal injuries), family law (marriages, divorces, adoptions, etc


Edit playlist item notes below to have a mix of public & private notes, or:

MAKE ALL NOTES PUBLIC (0/0 playlist item notes are public) MAKE ALL NOTES PRIVATE (0/0 playlist item notes are private)

Playlist Information

April 25, 2016

court structure basics of courts federal courts state courts

Author Stats

Basics of Court Group

Basics of the Court

American University

Other Playlists by Basics of Court Group

Find Items

Search below to find items, then drag and drop items onto playlists you own. To add items to nested playlists, you must first expand those playlists.

Leitura Garamond Futura Verdana Proxima Nova Dagny Web
small medium large extra-large