Courts in Idaho

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
More information on Idaho's state courts:
Selection methods
Federal courts

Courts in Idaho include the state court system and two federal courts. The state court system has three types of courts—a unified trial court, an intermediate appellate court and a court of last resort, or supreme court. The trial courts are called district courts, and the state is divided into seven judicial districts. Within each district court, there is a magistrate division, which hears minor cases.

The structure of Idaho's state court system.
Structure of the Idaho appellate courts (Click to enlarge)
Structure of the Idaho trial courts (Click to enlarge)

Appellate courts

Judgepedia's Supreme Weekly: The States

Idaho Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the court of last resort. It has original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear claims against the state and to issue writs, or legal orders. It has appellate jurisdiction over appeals from the district courts, the state Public Utilities Commission and the Industrial Commission. The court may review decisions of the Court of Appeals upon petition of the parties or sua sponte, which means on its own accord. The Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction over appeals stemming from capital murder convictions.[1][2]

The Supreme Court is responsible for the administration of the court and oversees the Administrative Office of the Courts.[3]

Opinions: Civil, Criminal

Portal:Intermediate appellate courts in the states

Idaho Court of Appeals

The Court of Appeals is the state's intermediate appellate court. It hears cases assigned to it by the Supreme Court. Though cases from this court may be reheard by the Supreme Court on occasion, most decisions of the Court of Appeals are final. The Court of Appeals utilizes three-judge panels when rendering decisions.[1][2]

Opinions: Civil, Criminal

Trial courts

Judgepedia:WikiProject Trial Courts

The 44 counties in Idaho are organized into seven judicial districts. There is one district court per county and each district court contains a magistrate division.

  • The Idaho District Courts hear criminal cases, civil cases where the amount involved is more than $10,000 and appeals of Magistrate Division decisions. They may also hear domestic relation cases and rule on situations where an inmate is challenging his/her conviction or incarceration.[1]
  • The Idaho Magistrate Divisions hear misdemeanors, municipal infractions (such as traffic tickets) and civil cases where the amount involved is less than $10,000. Magistrates may hold preliminary hearings and issue warrants. They can handle probate, juvenile and domestic relation cases, as well as habeas corpus proceedings. Magistrates may also hear small claims cases informally and without attorneys, in what is known as the "people's court."[1]

Federal courts

There are two federal courts in Idaho: the District of Idaho and the District of Idaho Bankruptcy Court[4]

Appeals from these courts go to the Ninth Circuit Court.[5]

An Introduction to the Idaho State Court System


  • 1971: The trial courts were unified by consolidating probate, justice and municipal courts into one type of court—the district courts. The magistrate divisions are included as part of the district courts.
  • 1919: The state Constitution was amended to increase the number of justices to five, including one chief justice.
  • 1890: Idaho becomes a state. The Idaho Constitution creates three supreme court justices.
  • 1860: Idaho becomes a territory, and justices for the new Territorial Supreme Court are appointed by President Abraham Lincoln.[3][6]

Court rules

The following are links to Idaho's court rules, which explain details and procedures regarding court appearances:

See also

External links


IdahoIdaho Supreme CourtIdaho Court of AppealsIdaho District CourtsIdaho Magistrate DivisionUnited States District Court for the District of IdahoUnited States bankruptcy court, District of IdahoUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitIdaho countiesIdaho judicial newsIdaho judicial electionsJudicial selection in IdahoIdahoTemplate.jpg