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State Courts

In the United States, a state court has jurisdiction over disputes with some connection to the concerned U.S. state.  Cases are generally heard and decided in the first instance before the trial court, which is usually located in a courthouse in the county seat.  Territory outside of any state in the United States, such as the District of Columbia, often have courts established under federal or territorial law which substitute for a state court system, distinct from the ordinary federal court system.  All these courts are distinguished from courts of general jurisdiction (superior jurisdiction), which are the default type of trial court that can hear any case which is not required to be first heard in a court of limited jurisdiction.  Most such cases are civil cases involving large sums of money or criminal trials arising from serious crimes like rape and murder.

A few states like California have unified all courts of general and inferior jurisdiction to make the judicial process more efficient.

In the United States, the state Supreme Court is the highest state court in the state court system.  The state Supreme Courts are known by various names in various states.

In the rare case where the trial court made an egregious error in its finding of facts, the state Supreme Court will remand to the trial court for a new trial.

Inside State Courts