Alaska state court system
Understanding how the system of Alaska state court works is very important as it helps you find court records easily.
Alaska Courts Overview
The trial court system of Alaska State consists of District Courts and Superior Courts.
Alaska Superior Courts
Alaska Superior Courts have general jurisdiction over all criminal and civil cases. Actually, they are courts of general jurisdiction. Typically, Superior Courts handle cases that the District Courts have no jurisdiction to handle.
Criminal cases that Superior Courts handle include lesser-included offenses and felonies. Civil cases that Superior Courts handle include the general civil cases with claims of above 10,000 dollars per defendant. These courts also handle juvenile matters, domestic relations cases, administrative agency appeals, involuntary commitments, guardianships and probate matters.
Superior Courts do not handle any civil case that is within the jurisdiction of Alaska District Courts except domestic violence protection orders.
Alaska District Courts
Alaska District Courts, unlike Superior Courts, are courts of limited jurisdiction. The criminal cases that these courts handle include ordinance violations and misdemeanor. Civil cases that District Courts handle include most general civil cases that involve dispute claims of less than $100,000 per defendant, exclusive of attorney fees, interest and costs.
Alaska District Courts cannot handle civil cases with disputes over real property title or some equity disputes. These courts also have Small Claims divisions where claims for less than $10,000, exclusive of attorney fees, interest and costs are handled. The Small Claims division has no jurisdiction to handle cases that raise unusual or important points of law. The Small Claims division also has no jurisdiction to handle cases where the State is the defendant. The Small Claims division can be used by the State for cases that involve payment of wages, provided the claim doesn’t exceed $20,000, exclusive of attorney fees, costs and interest.
These courts have jurisdiction over stalking protection orders and they share jurisdiction with Superior courts over domestic violence protection orders.
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