Idaho State Courts

Courts – State Courts – Idaho

Highest Court

The highest court in Idaho is the Supreme Court of Idaho.  The Supreme Court consists of 5 justices. It has jurisdiction over (1) Original jurisdiction in claims against state (advisory opinions). (2) Appeals from interim orders and final judgments in District Court. (3) Appeals from administrative agencies. (4) Appeals from Court of Appeals.

Intermediate Courts

Court of  Appeals
The Court of Appeals consists of 3 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Appeals from District Courts which are assigned by the Supreme Court.

General Courts

District Court
The District Court consist of 39 judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Original civil, personal injury and other tort, contracts, domestic relations, and habeas corpus. (2) Original criminal, felony, and  postconviction review. (3) Appeals from magistrate division and state agencies and boards.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Magistrate Division of District Court
The Magistrate Division of District Court consists of 83 lawyer magistrates. It has jurisdiction (1) Civil actions to $10,000, forcible entry and detainer, liens to $2,000 on real and personal property; probate and administration of decedent estates; and small claims to $3,000. (2) Misdemeanors, felony preliminaries, arrest warrants, and searches and seizures. (3) Traffic. (4) Juvenile. Small claims appeals.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Additional Information

Criminal Procedure-Supreme Court Rules Govern
Concerning matters of criminal actions, the district court or magistrate division of the district court shall be governed by rules of the Supreme Court. This applies to all criminal actions prior to January 11, 1971, that were triable in the probate court, justice court, or police court. (Idaho Code 1-105)

Duty to Make Rules
In accordance with Idaho Code Section 1-213, the Supreme Court shall supply the general rules for all the courts of Idaho.  Also the Supreme Court shall provide the forms of process, writs, pleadings, motions, the manner of service, time for appearance, and the practice and procedure in all actions and proceedings. Said rules shall neither abridge, enlarge nor modify the substantive rights of any litigant.

Jurisdiction – Original and Appellate
The District Court has original jurisdiction in (1) all cases and proceedings,  (2) in the issuance of writs of mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, habeas corpus and all writs necessary to the exercise of its powers, (3) Its appellate jurisdiction extends to all cases assigned to magistrate’s division of the district court; and to all other matters and cases wherein appeal is allowed by law. (Idaho Code, Section 1-705)

Miscellaneous Provisions: Courts Having Seals
The Supreme Court, the district courts, and the magistrate’s division of the district courts have a seal. (Idaho Code, Section 1-1614)

Drug Court and Family Court Services Fund (Idaho Code, Section 1-1625)
The Drug Court and Family Court Services Fund is a special fund created within the office of the state treasurer. The money that is deposited into this fund pursuant to section 23-217, is subject to appropriation by the legislature.  This money shall be used by the supreme court for the operation of the drug courts and assisting children and families in the family courts as provided in Chapter 14, Title 32 of the Idaho Code.

Supreme and District Judges
A justice of the Supreme Court or judge of the district court can not act as attorney or counsel in any court, except in an action or proceeding to which he is a party on the record. (Idaho Code, Section 1-1803)

Small Claims Department: Creation, Scope of Claims, Venue
Each magistrate’s division of the district court may create and organize a “Small Claims Department of The Magistrate’s Division.” This department shall have jurisdiction in cases regarding a maximum of $4000 (for either claims or recovery of personal property) not awarding punitive damages or damage relating to pain or suffering of any proceeding.  Any action shall be brought in the magistrate’s division in the county where the defendant resides or the county where the cause of the action began.  A defendant may request a change of venue for an action brought in an improper county. (Idaho Code, Section 1-2301)

Jury Trial Not Allowed
A party may not have their cause heard before a jury in the small claims department of the magistrate’s division of the district court.  (Idaho Code 1-2315)


Inside Idaho State Courts