Connecticut State Courts

Courts – State Courts – Connecticut

Highest Court

The highest court in Connecticut is the Supreme Court of Connecticut.  The Supreme Court consists of 7 justices. It has jurisdiction over (1) Mandatory jurisdiction in civil, capital criminal, criminal, and judge disciplinary cases. (2) Discretionary jurisdiction in civil, noncapital criminal, and  administrative agency cases.

Intermediate Courts

Appellate Court
The Appellate Court consists of 9 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Mandatory jurisdiction in civil, noncapital criminal, administrative agency (workers’ compensation), juvenile, lawyer disciplinary, and original proceeding cases. (2) Discretionary jurisdiction in administrative agency (zoning only) cases.

General Courts

Superior Court
The Superior Court consists of 180 judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Support/ custody, paternity, miscellaneous domestic relations, mental health, miscellaneous civil, exclusive tort, contract, real property rights, small claims ($2,500), marriage dissolution, domestic violence, and administrative agency appeals (except workers’ compensation). (2) Exclusive criminal jurisdiction. (3) Exclusive traffic/ other violation jurisdiction, except for uncontested parking (which is handled administratively). (4) Exclusive juvenile jurisdiction.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Limited Courts

Probate Court
The Probate Court consists of 133 judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Support/ custody, paternity, miscellaneous domestic relations, mental health, and miscellaneous civil. Exclusive adoption, estate jurisdiction.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Additional Information

Rooms for Special Sessions (Section 51-27f [formerly Sec. 51-188])
Special Sessions of the Superior Court may be held in any judicial district.  When needed, the Office of the Chief Court Administrator shall provide the suitable rooms, subject to the provision of section 4b-23 concerning real estate.

Offices of Superior Court
In accordance to Section 51-27b (formerly Sec. 51-156b), the Superior Court shall have a sufficient number of offices to ensure that the court is able to operate to its potential.  The Chief Court Administrator, after consulting with the Superior Court Judges, shall designate the number and location of the offices.

Punishment for Contempt of Court
Any person who behaves contemptuously or in a disorderly manner in any court, including a family support magistrate, may be punished by a fine no greater than $100 or punished by imprisonment for a term no longer than six months. Also, punishment is limited to either imprisonment or fine, not both. (Conn. Gen. Statute, Sec. 51-33)

Witness Refusing to Testify; Imprisonment. Self-Incrimination
Subsection (a) of Conn. General Statute, Section 51-35 allows any court or family support magistrate to commit any legally summoned person who refuses to appear and testify for any case to a community correctional center.  The person will be held at the center at his/her own expense until that person decides to testify.  Subsection (b) of this statute states that a person shall not be compelled to give evidence against him/herself, except as otherwise provided by statute, nor shall such evidence when given by him/her be used against  him/her.

Microfilming, destruction and transferring of court records.
Section 51-36 of Connecticut General Statutes defines who has the authority to decide the fate of the records, the records that may be destroyed, and how they may be destroyed or saved.

Access to records maintained by Judicial Department. Policies and procedures. Conn. General Statutes: Sec. 51-36a.
Note: Concerning this Statute, “employees of the Judicial Department” does not include employees of the courts of probate or the Public Defender Services Commission.  Also, “records” shall not include records maintained by the courts of probate or the Public Defender Services Commission. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, employees, contractors, and authorized agents of the Judicial Department may, in accordance with policies and procedures adopted by the Chief Court Administrator, access records (including erased records) and disclose the information maintained by the Judicial Department.  This applies to all records inexistent on and after June 7, 2002.


Inside Connecticut State Courts