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State Court Structure

The federal nature of the United States helps each state in the country to enjoy a greater authority in almost all respects. The law is no exception either. The State Court Structure of most of the states is uniform in nature barring a few exceptions. However the federal system allows for a lot of flexibility and punitive measures as well as regional variances find its way into the Structure of the State Court System for almost every state. However, all matters related to national security are dealt with by the federal system. The structure of State Court System is such that the federal system is bound to respect the wishes of the state insofar the state law is concerned.

The State Court System Structure usually consists of a three tier system. The court of first instance or the primary courts for initial hearing are the district courts. The nomenclatures for these courts vary from state to state and the Structure of the State Court enables each state to name its basic court as district, municipal or superior courts. Circuit courts form the courts of first instance in the states of Arkansas, Illinois, Florida and Alabama. The only exception is the state of New York. The State Court Structure Charts show that the Supreme Court is the court of first instance here.

The courts of appeal for both civil as well as criminal divisions form the intermediate tier in the State Court Structure of most states. However, the states of Nevada, Vermont, Wyoming, North Dakota and its southern counterpart do not have any intermediary court of appeal within its Structure of State Court. The Supreme Court of each state holds the highest authority in the State Court Structure of the United States. The state of New York again proves to be an exception as the appellate court enjoys the prestige of being the court of last resort according to the State Courts Structure.

At the lower end of the court structure, below the district courts, come the county courts. As the name suggests, county courts have judicial jurisdiction over the various counties that may be present in a particular state. In most cases, a county will have its own seat of law, meaning a separate county court. In certain cases, however, there may be a single county court serving two counties or more. Below the county courts, at the very bottom of the chain, come the circuit courts as far as the state court structure is the United States is concerned.

It is important to understand the State Court Structure in order to make effective use of the system. Filing for personal injury, trespassing or reporting against sex offenders can be done with ease if you have a thorough understanding of the State court system. Traffic violation cells and family courts are an integral part of every state's court structure and filing provisions for each court is available online. Self help documents as well as other legal help provisions can be accessed by visiting the official site of the state courts. However, most laws are complex and proper interpretation of the legal system is necessary if you want to go ahead and file a case all by yourself.

Registering yourself on the public access court electronic system will not be very beneficial particularly if you want to view legal dispute case records of the county or municipal courts. Every state in the country has its own official website and you will be able to follow appropriate links if you want to educate yourself about the judiciary system of your state. Logging into the national center for state courts will enable you to view the court structure of every state in the country.

The PACER initiative is a great way to obtain court records for various purposes. However, the pacer system does charge small fees for its services. The fees are nominal and affordable to say the least. In most cases, viewing legal documents after registering yourself on the site costs as little as 8 cents. If you want to download a full case file, or order a certified copy, you will need to pay some additional charges for the same. If you wish to view court records online for free, there are several non- government sites that can help you with the same. All you have to do is find an appropriate site with a relevant Internet search.