Connecticut state court system

Understanding how the system of Connecticut state court works is very important as it helps you find court records easily.

Connecticut Courts Overview

The trial court system of Connecticut State consists of Probate Courts and Superior Courts.

Connecticut Superior Courts

Connecticut Superior Courts are the highest courts in Connecticut State and they have general jurisdiction over all types of criminal and civil cases, but typically hear cases that Probate Courts have no jurisdiction to handle.

Superior Courts are geographically organized into Juvenile Matters, Geographical Area Courts, and Judicial District Courts. Geographical Area Courts typically handle most traffic cases, code violations, and criminal arraignments. The location of transaction, parties, crime, or injury determines which Geographical Area Court or District Court has jurisdiction over the case.

Small claims cases can also be handled by the Centralized Small Claims Court, which is located in Hartford. Other types of small claims cases can also be heard in Housing Session, or in any other Special Sessions.

These courts are also organized into special sessions and divisions by the type of case. Each Superior Court in Connecticut has court divisions for Criminal, Civil, and Family/Juvenile cases. Special sessions hear some types of cases. While some special sessions serve the whole state from a particular location, some special sessions are available only in some courts.

Court Divisions

As mentioned earlier, each Superior Court has Court Division, which is then divided into 5 parts namely, Small Claims, Civil Non-Jury, Civil Jury, Administrative Appeals, and Landlord/Tenant. The Small Claims division hears claims for up to money damages of $5,000 provided all requirements are met for Small Claims jurisdiction.

Criminal Division hears crimes, infractions, and violations. Crimes include misdemeanors with potential punishment of one year or less by incarceration, and felonies with potential punishment of more than a year by incarceration. Violations include any motor vehicle cases which are punishable by a fine only. Where substance abuse treatment seems to be appropriate, a special session of Drug Court or Drug Docket may handle the case. A Community Court may handle cases where involving “quality of life” crimes.

Juvenile Matters has jurisdiction to handle cases that involve the behavior of a child or care of children.

Family Divisions deal with many types of cases related to family relationships, including child support, custody, “relief from abuse”, and divorce.

Special Sessions

Child Protection Session functions as a juvenile trial court and serves the whole state. It is located in Middlesex Judicial District Superior Court. Some Local Superior Courts also have their own independent Child Protection Sessions.

Tax and Administration Appeals Session hears appeals of the decisions that the Commissioner of Revenue Services as well as other administrative agencies have made. New Britain Superior Court houses this special session and serves the whole state.

Available in Waterbury, Hartford, and Stamford Judicial Districts, Regional Family Trial Docket handles some cases which involve complex legal issues, several parties, or large sums of monetary claims.

Land Use Litigation Docket accepts certain types of cases that have been transferred to it by the local Superior Courts. It is positioned in Hartford Judicial District.

Connecticut Probate Courts

Connecticut Probate Courts generally hear cases that include probate, wills, estates, adoptions, and trusts. They share jurisdiction over name changes, mental health cases, and related matters with Superior Courts.

Probate Courts do not have the jurisdiction to provide jury trials. However, a case that has been moved to Superior Court for a jury trial may be returned back to Probate Court if a proper request is made after the end of trial.

The Official Website of Connecticut County

New Haven New Haven, CT
Hartford Hartford.Gov – City of Hartford City of Hartford Connecticut’s Capital City Official Website
Stamford Stamford CT
Norwalk Norwalk, CT – Official Website
New Britain City of New Britain
Bristol Bristol, CT – Official Website See how the Bristol’s various departments work to maintain and promote the city on a day-to-day basis.
Meriden Welcome to the City of Meriden, Connecticut Within the community of Meriden, Connecticut, you’ll find award-winning schools, 3,000+ acres of parks, and spirited civic, service, & cultural activities.
West Haven West Haven, CT | Official Website
Middletown Middletown, CT | Official Website
Norwich Norwich, CT – Official Website
Shelton City of Shelton CT | Located in Fairfield County Shelton, CT municipal site with information on city government, public works, public safety, education, boards and commissions
Torrington Torrington CT
New London Welcome to New London, Connecticut
Derby City of Derby, Connecticut
Groton Welcome to the Town of Groton, Connecticut
Fairfield County Western CT Convention & Visitors Bureau Connecticut’s Official Source of Travel & Tourism Information, Fairfield County, Southwest Connecticut, Gold Coast, Fairfield, Coastal Fairfield County, Southern Connecticut, New England, Online travel planner information, on destinations, travel bargains, lodging packages, travel tips.
Hartford County Hartford.Gov – City of Hartford City of Hartford Connecticut’s Capital City Official Website
New Haven County New Haven, CT
Litchfield County Litchfield County, Connecticut CT Welcome to Litchfield County where you will enjoy many rewarding opportunities for dining, shopping for art and antiques, lodging, and relaxing in the picturesque Northwest Hills of Connecticut
Middlesex County Middlesex County, Connecticut