Trial court

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Judgepedia:WikiProject Terms and Definitions

A trial court or court of first instance is a court of original jurisdiction in which most civil or criminal cases commence. In the trial court, evidence and testimony are first introduced, received and considered. Findings of fact and law are made in the trial court and eventually, the findings of law may be appealed to a higher court that has the power of review. This is commonly referred to as an appellate court. Trial courts can be of both general jurisdiction and limited jurisdiction. A trial court of general jurisdiction may hear any civil or criminal case that is not already exclusively within the jurisdiction of another court. An example of this would be a state-level trial court such as the California Superior Courts. On the other hand, a trial court of limited jurisdiction may only hear specific kinds of cases based on certain criteria such as subject matter, amount in controversy, statutory grant or administrative matters. A municipal court is an example of a trial court with limited jurisdiction.[1]