Courts in Colorado

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More information on Colorado's state courts:
Selection methods
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Federal courts

Courts in Colorado include the six courts of Colorado's state court system, one federal district court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which is based in Denver.

The structure of Colorado's state court system.

Appellate Courts

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Colorado Supreme Court

The supreme court has direct appellate jurisdiction over the review of potentially unconstitutional statutes, writs of habeas corpus and criminal appeals. The court also has special jurisdiction over any cases involving the Public Utilities Commission, water rights, summary proceedings under the election code and attorney and judge regulation.

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Colorado Court of Appeals

The court of appeals is the state's intermediate appellate court. The Colorado Court of Appeals hears most of the direct appeals from the district courts. It also hears appeals of rulings made by some of Colorado's administrative agencies.

Trial Courts

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Colorado District Courts

The district courts are the trial courts with general jurisdiction. District courts handle felony criminal matters, civil claims in any amount, juvenile matters (including adoption, dependency and neglect, juvenile delinquency and paternity actions), probate, mental health, divorce proceedings and water cases.

Courts with limited jurisdiction

Colorado County Courts

County courts handle civil cases involving no more than $15,000, misdemeanor cases, felony advisements, bond setting, preliminary hearings and traffic cases. County judges can issue search warrants, as well as restraining orders, in cases involving domestic violence.

Denver Probate Court

The Denver Probate Court is the only court of its kind in the state. It has exclusive jurisdiction over "all matters of probate, settlements of estates of deceased persons, appointment of guardians, conservators and administrators, and settlement of their accounts, the adjudication of the mentally ill, and such other jurisdiction as may be provided by law."[1]

Denver Juvenile Court

The Denver Juvenile Court is the only youth-oriented court in the state. It only handles matters pertaining to minors.

Colorado Municipal Courts

The municipal courts are created by local governments separate from the state judicial system, but each is subject to the rules and procedures set forth by the Colorado Supreme Court.

Federal courts

The only federal district court in Colorado is the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. In addition, Denver is home to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which hears appeals from the district courts of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.

Restorative justice

House Bill 11-1032 passed Colorado’s General Assembly on May 11, 2011, and was signed by the governor on June 7, 2011.[2] This bill does not force DAs to use restorative justice, but it mandates that judges must inform victims and defendants of the option.[3]

If offenders have a better understanding of the harm that they have done to the community, they will have a better foundation to build in themselves better behavior. They understand that their actions have consequences. The idea is that then it makes it harder for the individual to do harm to the community after they are released.[4]

—Liz McDonough, Spokesperson for the CDHS[3]

Further reading

See also

External links

References

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