Keyword search across all of the laws in the states. Subject-area tabs above allow you to narrow results. Click the advanced search for further refinement.
Every law can be saved to the Reform Builder
Below are all of the laws that govern the structure of courts that match your search criteria.
|State||Statute||Description/Statute Name||Statutory language||Court/legal body||Function|
|Louisiana||La. Const. Art. 3 Sec. 9||District courts - elected judges||
Section 9. Each circuit shall be divided into at least three districts, and at least one judge shall be elected from each. The circuits and districts and the number of+ See more
judges as elected in each circuit on the effective date of this constitution are retained, subject to change by law enacted by two-thirds of the elected members of each house of the legislature.
|District Courts||Creation of the courts|
|Louisiana||La. Const. Ann. art. V, § 20||Justice of the Peace/Mayor's Court - subject to change by law||Mayors' courts and justice of the peace courts existing on the effective date of this constitution are continued, subject to change by law.||Justice of the Peace Courts/Mayor's Courts||Creation of the courts|
|California||Cal. Con. art. VI, § 2||Supreme Court; justices; time for convening; concurrence required for judgment; acting Chief Justice||
The Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice ofCalifornia and 6 associate justices. The Chief Justice may convene the court at any time. Concurrence of 4 judges present at+ See more
the argument is necessary for a judgment. An acting Chief Justice shall perform all functions of the Chief Justice when the Chief Justice is absent or unable to act. The Chief Justice or, if the Chief Justice fails to do so, the court shall select an associate justice as acting Chief Justice.
|Supreme Court||Creation of the courts|
|California||Cal. Con. art. VI, § 3||Courts of appeal; districts; divisions; power; concurrence required for judgment; acting presiding justice||
The Legislature shall divide the State into districts eachcontaining a court of appeal with one or more divisions. Each division consists of a presiding justice and 2 or more associate justices.+ See more
It has the power of a court of appeal and shall conduct itself as a 3-judge court. Concurrence of 2 judges present at the argument is necessary for a judgment. An acting presiding justice shall perform all functions of the presiding justice when the presiding justice is absent or unable to act. The presiding justice or, if the presiding justice fails to do so, the Chief Justice shall select an associate justice of that division as acting presiding justice.
|Court of Appeals||Creation of the courts|
|California||Cal. Con. Art. VI, Sec. 4||Superior courts; officers and employees; appellate divisions||
In each county there is a superior court of one or morejudges. The Legislature shall prescribe the number of judges and provide for the officers and employees of each superior+ See more
court. If the governing body of each affected county concurs, the Legislature may provide that one or more judges serve more than one superior court. In each superior court there is an appellate division. The Chief Justice shall assign judges to the appellate division for specified terms pursuant to rules, not inconsistent with statute, adopted by the Judicial Council to promote the independence of the appellate division.
|Superior Court||Creation of the courts|
|Connecticut||Conn. Const., art. V, § 1||Creation of lower courts||
The judicial power of the state shall be vested in a supreme court, a superior court, and such lower courts as the general assembly shall, from time to time, ordain+ See more
and establish. The powers and jurisdiction of these courts shall be defined by law.
|Lower courts||Creation of the courts|
|Maine||Me. Rev. Stat. tit 4 § 421||Establishment||
+ See more
The Judicial Department may establish alcohol and drug treatment programs in the Superior Courts and District Courts and may adopt administrative orders and court rules to govern the practice, procedure
and administration of these programs. Alcohol and drug treatment programs must include local judges and must be community based and operated separately from juvenile drug courts.
|Alcohol and drug treatment court||Creation of the courts|
|Maine||Me. Rev. Stat. tit 4 § 431||Mental health treatment courts||
The Judicial Department may seek and receive grants to establish mental health treatment courts.
|Mental health treatment courts||Creation of the courts|
|Maine||Me. Rev. Stat. tit 4 § 433(2)||Veterans treatment courts||
+ See more
Chief Justice may establish. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court may establish veterans treatment courts for veterans and members of the United States Armed Forces. The Supreme Judicial
Court may adopt administrative orders and court rules of practice and procedure as necessary.
|Veterans treatment courts||Creation of the courts|
|Ohio||Ohio Const. Art. IV § 1||In whom judicial power vested||
+ See more
The judicial power of the state is vested in a supreme court, courts of appeals, courts of common pleas and divisions thereof, and such other courts inferior to the supreme
court as may from time to time be established by law.
|Judiciary||Creation of the courts|
|Ohio||Ohio Const. Art. IV, § 4||Common pleas court||
+ See more
(A) There shall be a court of common pleas and such divisions thereof as may be established by law serving each county of the state. Any judge of a court of
common pleas or a division thereof may temporarily hold court in any county. In the interests of the fair, impartial, speedy, and sure administration of justice, each county shall have one or more resident judges, or two or more counties may be combined into districts having one or more judges resident in the district and serving the common pleas courts of all counties in the district, as may be provided by law. Judges serving a district shall sit in each county in the district as the business of the court requires. In counties or districts having more than one judge of the court of common pleas, the judges shall select one of their number to act as presiding judge, to serve at their pleasure. If the judges are unable because of equal division of the vote to make such selection, the judge having the longest total service on the court of common pleas shall serve as presiding judge until selection is made by vote. The presiding judge shall have such duties and exercise such powers as are prescribed by rule of the supreme court.
(B) The courts of common pleas and divisions thereof shall have such original jurisdiction over all justiciable matters and such powers of review of proceedings of administrative officers and agencies as may be provided by law.
(C) Unless otherwise provided by law, there shall be a probate division and such other divisions of the courts of common pleas as may be provided by law. Judges shall be elected specifically to such probate division and to such other divisions. The judges of the probate division shall be empowered to employ and control the clerks, employees, deputies, and referees of such probate division of the common pleas courts.
|Court of Common Pleas||Creation of the courts|
|Ohio||Ohio Const. Art. IV, § 3||Court of Appeals||
+ See more
(A) The state shall be divided by law into compact appellate districts in each of which there shall be a court of appeals consisting of three judges. Laws may be passed
increasing the number of judges in any district wherein the volume of business may require such additional judge or judges. In districts having additional judges, three judges shall participate in the hearing and disposition of each case. The court shall hold sessions in each county of the district as the necessity arises. The county commissioners of each county shall provide a proper and convenient place for the court of appeals to hold court.
(B) (1) The courts of appeals shall have original jurisdiction in the following:
(a) Quo warranto;
(c) Habeas corpus;
(f) In any cause on review as may be necessary to its complete determination.
(2) Courts of appeals shall have such jurisdiction as may be provided by law to review and affirm, modify, or reverse judgments or final orders of the courts of record inferior to the court of appeals within the district, except that courts of appeals shall not have jurisdiction to review on direct appeal a judgment that imposes a sentence of death. Courts of appeals shall have such appellate jurisdiction as may be provided by law to review and affirm, modify, or reverse final orders or actions of administrative officers or agencies.
(3) A majority of the judges hearing the cause shall be necessary to render a judgment. Judgments of the courts of appeals are final except as provided in section 2(B) (2) of this article. No judgment resulting from a trial by jury shall be reversed on the weight of the evidence except by the concurrence of all three judges hearing the cause.
(4) Whenever the judges of a court of appeals find that a judgment upon which they have agreed is in conflict with a judgment pronounced upon the same question by any other court of appeals of the state, the judges shall certify the record of the case to the supreme court for review and final determination.
(C) Laws may be passed providing for the reporting of cases in the courts of appeals.
|Court of Appeals||Creation of the courts|
|South Carolina||S.C. Code Ann. § 14-29-30||Veterans treatment court programs may be established||
Each circuit solicitor may establish a veterans treatment court program. Each circuit solicitor that accepts state funding for the implementation of a veterans treatment court program must establish and administer+ See more
at least one veterans treatment court program for the circuit within one hundred eighty days of receipt of funding. The circuit solicitor must administer the program and ensure that all eligible persons are permitted to apply for admission to the program.
|Veterans Treatment Court||Creation of the courts|
|South Carolina||S.C. Code Ann. § 14-31-40||Mental health court program may be established||
each circuit solicitor may establish a mental health court program under one of the formats defined in Section 14-31-30. An offender arrested or convicted for any charges, except those excluded+ See more
under the provisions of Section 16-1-130, who are suffering from a diagnosed, or diagnosable mental illness, including those with a co-concurring disorder of substance abuse, may be eligible for referral to a mental health court program. In cases involving victims, proper notice shall be given to victims pursuant to Section 16-3-1525. Proper notice to a victim is not achieved unless reasonable attempts are made to contact the victim and the victim is either nonresponsive or cannot be located after a reasonable search. (b) Each circuit solicitor that accepts state funding for the implementation of a mental health treatment court program must establish and administer at least one mental health court program for the circuit within one hundred eighty days of receipt of funding. The circuit solicitor must administer the program and ensure that all eligible persons are permitted to apply for admission to the program.
|Mental Health Court||Creation of the courts|
|Texas||Tex. Const. Art. 5 Sec. 1||Judicial power; courts in which vested||
+ See more
The judicial power of this State shall be vested in one Supreme Court, in one Court of Criminal Appeals, in Courts of Appeals, in District Courts, in County Courts, in
Commissioners Courts, in Courts of Justices of the Peace, and in such other courts as may be provided by law.
The Legislature may establish such other courts as it may deem necessary and prescribe the jurisdiction and organization thereof, and may conform the jurisdiction of the district and other inferior courts thereto.
|State courts||Creation of the courts|
|West Virginia||W. Va. Const. art. VIII, § 2||Supreme court of appeals||
+ See more
The supreme court of appeals shall consist of five justices. A majority of the justices of the court shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
The justices shall be
elected by the voters of the State for a term of twelve years, unless sooner removed or retired as authorized in this article. The legislature may prescribe by law whether the election of such justices is to be on a partisan or nonpartisan basis.
Provision shall be made by rules of the supreme court of appeals for the selection of a member of the court to serve as chief justice thereof. If the chief justice is temporarily disqualified or unable to serve, one of the justices of the court designated in accordance with the rules of the court shall serve temporarily in his stead.
When any justice is temporarily disqualified or unable to serve, the chief justice may assign a judge of a circuit court or of an intermediate appellate court to serve from time to time in his stead.
|Supreme court of appeals||Creation of the courts|
|West Virginia||W. Va. Const. art. VIII, § 1||Judicial power||
+ See more
The judicial power of the State shall be vested solely in a supreme court of appeals and in the circuit courts, and in such intermediate appellate courts and magistrate courts
as shall be hereafter established by the legislature, and in the justices, judges and magistrates of such courts.
|State Court||Creation of the courts|
|West Virginia||W. Va. Const. art. VIII, § 5||Circuit courts||
+ See more
The judge or judges of each circuit court shall be elected by the voters of the circuit for a term of eight years, unless sooner removed or retired as authorized
in this article. The legislature may prescribe by law whether the election of such judges is to be on a partisan or nonpartisan basis. Upon the effective date of this article, each statutory court of record of limited jurisdiction existing in the State immediately prior to such effective date shall become part of the circuit court for the circuit in which it presently exists, and each such judge of such statutory court of record of limited jurisdiction shall thereupon become a judge of such circuit court. During his continuance in office, a judge of a circuit court shall reside in the circuit of which he is a judge.
The legislature may increase, or other than during term of office decrease, the number of circuit judges within any circuit. The judicial circuits in existence on the effective date of this article shall remain as so constituted until changed by law, and the legislature, at any session thereof held in the odd-numbered year next preceding the time for the full term election of the judges thereof, may rearrange the circuits and may increase or diminish the number of circuits. A judge of a circuit court in office at the time of any such change shall continue as a judge of the circuit in which he shall continue to reside after such change until his term shall expire, unless sooner removed or retired as authorized in this article.
There shall be at least one judge for each circuit court and as many more as may be necessary to transact the business of such court. If there be two or more judges of a circuit court, provision shall be made by rules of such circuit court for the selection of one of such judges to serve as chief judge thereof. If the chief judge is temporarily disqualified or unable to serve, one of the judges of the circuit court designated in accordance with the rules of such court shall serve temporarily in his stead.
The supreme court of appeals shall provide for dividing the business of those circuits in which there shall be more than one judge between the judges thereof so as to promote and secure the convenient and expeditious transaction of such business.
In every county in the State the circuit court for such county shall sit at least three times in each year. The supreme court of appeals shall designate the times at which each circuit court shall sit, but until this action is taken by the supreme court of appeals, each circuit court shall sit at the times prescribed by law. If there be two or more judges of a circuit court, such judges may hold court in the same county or in different counties within the circuit at the same time or at different times.
|Circuit courts||Creation of the courts|
|West Virginia||W. Va. Const. art. VIII, § 11||Municipal courts||
+ See more
The legislature may provide for the establishment in incorporated cities, towns or villages of municipal, police or mayors’ courts, and may also provide the manner of selection of the judges
of such courts. Such courts shall have jurisdiction to enforce municipal ordinances, with the right of appeal as prescribed by law. Until otherwise provided by law, all such courts heretofore established shall remain and continue as now constituted, and with the same right of appeal, insofar as their jurisdiction to enforce municipal ordinances is concerned; but on and after January one, one thousand nine hundred seventy-seven, any other jurisdiction now exercised by such courts shall cease. No judge of a municipal, police or mayor’s court or any officer thereof shall be compensated for his services on a fee basis or receive to his own use for his services any pecuniary compensation, reward or benefit other than the salary prescribed therefor.
|Municipal court||Creation of the courts, Jurisdiction of the courts|
|West Virginia||W. Va. Const. art. VIII, § 10||Magistrate courts||
+ See more
The legislature shall establish in each county a magistrate court or courts with the right of appeal as prescribed by law. Such courts shall be courts of record if so
prescribed by law.
The legislature shall determine the qualifications and the number of magistrates for each such court to be elected by the voters of the county, and the legislature may prescribe by law whether the election of such magistrates is to be on a partisan or nonpartisan basis: Provided, that any person in office as a justice of the peace of this State on the effective date of this article and who has served as a justice of the peace of this State for at least one year prior to such effective date shall, insofar as any qualifications established by the legislature for the office of magistrate are concerned and notwithstanding the same, be deemed qualified for life to run for election as a magistrate of any such court: And provided further, that the legislature shall not have the power to require that a magistrate be a person licensed to practice the profession of law, nor shall any justice or judge of any higher court establish any rules which by their nature would dictate or mandate that a magistrate be a person licensed to practice the profession of law. The magistrates of such courts shall hold their offices for the term of four years unless sooner removed or retired as authorized in this article. The legislature shall also determine the number of officers to be selected for each such court and the manner of their selection. During his continuance in office a magistrate or officer of such a court shall reside in the county for which he is elected or selected. The legislature shall prescribe by law for the filling of any vacancy in the office of a magistrate or officer of such court.
The jurisdiction of a magistrate court shall extend throughout the county for which it is established, shall be uniform for all counties of the State and shall be subject to such regulations as to venue of actions and the counties in which process may be executed or served on parties or witnesses as may be prescribed by law. The times and places for holding such courts shall be designated or determined in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
Magistrate courts shall have such original jurisdiction in criminal matters as may be prescribed by law, but no person shall be convicted or sentenced for a felony in such courts. In criminal cases, the procedure may be by information or warrant of arrest, without presentment or indictment by a grand jury. Such courts shall have original jurisdiction in all civil cases at law wherein the value or amount in controversy, exclusive of interest and costs, shall not exceed fifteen hundred dollars, unless such amount and value shall be increased by the legislature, except such civil matters as may be excluded from their jurisdiction by law; and, to the extent provided by law, in proceedings involving real estate when the title thereto is not in controversy. No judgment of a magistrate in any proceeding involving real estate or any right pertaining thereto shall bar the title of any party or any remedy therefor . . .
|Magistrate court||Creation of the courts, Jurisdiction of the courts|