The Civil Division is divided into five parts or types:
Criminal Division hears cases where the state is prosecuting a person (the defendant) who is accused of breaking the law. The state is represented by a state's attorney.
There are three kinds of criminal cases, depending on the severity of the offense:
All criminal cases but the most serious ones are heard in geographical area courts around the state.
Family Division hears cases involving juveniles and family relationships. Typical cases include divorce, child custody, child support, relief from abuse (temporary restraining orders), juvenile delinquency, child abuse and neglect, and termination of parental rights. Most family cases are heard in judicial district courthouses.
Cases involving juveniles are heard in juvenile court facilities described below.
Juvenile Matters is a special subdivision of Superior Court designed to protect the rights of children, family relationships and confidentiality. There are twelve Juvenile Courts state-wide. All court documents are confidential and court hearings are closed to the public.
All juvenile court cases either involve care of the minor child or the child's behavior. Children are those under 16 years old. Youth are age 16 up to age 18.
Cases in juvenile court include: termination of parental rights; emancipation of a minor; delinquency (crimes committed by children under age 16); neglected or uncared for children and youth; families with service needs (FWSN) (a family with a child under age 16 who has bad behavior).Related Links: