The Structure of Courts

The Structure of Courts

A Comparison of Connecticut and the Federal Court System

The Connecticut and federal court system are similar in structure in that they are divided into levels of authority and jurisdiction. The Federal court system is divided into specific courts with the primary courts being the District Courts, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court. There are also specialized courts such as Bankruptcy Court and Courts of Special Jurisdiction such as armed forces and tax court (USCourts, 2013). The primary courts begin with the US District Court which hears cases that are both civil and criminal in nature. In order to be heard in District Court, a case must pertain to federal law or must have been appealed from a lower state court. The US Court of Appeals will entertain cases that have been appealed from the US District Court and also appeals from federal agencies. The Supreme Court will only hear cases which are of constitutional significance or pertaining to federal laws (USCourts, 2013).

Similar to the federal court system, the Connecticut judiciary is divided into the following branches with jurisdictional authority over types of cases:

· Supreme Court- hears only cases which pertain to state and constitutional law and makes decisions concerning the legality of the arguments in question.
· Appellate Court- This is the appeals court for the state of Connecticut, this court hears arguments from the superior court and makes decisions concerning constitutionality and legality of decisions concerning cases.
· Superior Court- This court hears all civil and criminal cases and provides sentencing and relief.
· Probate Court- This is a specialized court that deals with estates and the division of property for individuals who have died and did not have wills (State of Connecticut Judiciary, 2013).


USCourts. (2013). Federal courts. Retrieved from

State of Connecticut Judiciary. (2013). Connecticut courts. Retrieved from

Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash


Triola Vincent. Mon, Mar 08, 2021. The Structure of Courts Retrieved from

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