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Finding Court Records in Alaska

Alaska Courts Overview

It helps to understand how the Alaska state court system works when you’re trying to find court records. The Alaska trial court system consists of Superior Courts and District Courts.

Superior Courts are courts of general jurisdiction and District Courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Superior Courts and District Courts share jurisdiction over some criminal and civil cases, but Superior Courts usually only handle civil cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of District Courts, with the exception of domestic violence protection orders, which are heard by both courts.

If you prefer, you can start your search by going to Alaska Courts by Borough.

Alaska Superior Courts

Superior Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, and typically handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of District Courts.

Criminal cases heard by Superior Courts include felonies and lesser-included offenses.

Civil cases heard by Superior Courts include general civil cases with claims of more than $100,000 per defendant. Superior Courts also handle probate matters, guardianships, juvenile matters, involuntary commitments, administrative agency appeals and domestic relations cases.

With the exception of domestic violence protection orders, Superior Courts do not handle civil cases within the jurisdiction of District Courts.

Alaska District Courts

District Courts have jurisdiction over certain civil and criminal cases.

Criminal cases handled by District Court include most misdemeanors and ordinance violations.

Civil jurisdiction of District Courts includes most general civil cases with less than $100,000 in dispute per defendant, excluding costs, interest and attorney fees. District Courts do not have jurisdiction over civil cases with disputes over title to real property or certain equity issues.

District Courts have Small Claims divisions for cases that involve claims for less than $10,000, excluding costs, interest and attorney fees. The Small Claims division cannot handle cases that raise important or unusual points of law, or cases where the State is a defendant. The State is permitted to use the Small Claims division for cases involving the payment of wages, if the claim does not exceed $20,000, excluding costs, interest and attorney fees.

District Courts handle stalking protection orders and share jurisdiction over domestic violence protection orders with Superior Courts. District Courts also have jurisdiction to hear certain emergency cases involving the protection of a minor.

Alaska Court Notes

Some Alaska courts have Therapeutic Court divisions that provide alternative proceedings for certain types of criminal cases.

Where to Find Court Cases in Alaska

The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of Alaska court.

Most Cases = Most or all cases.     Some Cases = Some cases.

Case Type Court Type
Civil Superior Courts District Courts
General Civil - Unlimited Most or All Cases  
General Civil - Limited Some Cases Most or All Cases
Small Claims   Most or All Cases
Civil Equity Most or All Cases  
Complex Commercial Most or All Cases  
Foreclosures and Liens Some Cases Some Cases
Real Estate Title and Boundary Most or All Cases  
Landlord / Tenant   Most or All Cases
Ordinance Violations   Most or All Cases
Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders Some Cases Some Cases
Administrative Agency Appeals Most or All Cases  
Criminal Superior Courts District Courts
Felony Most or All Cases  
Felony Preliminary Hearings Some Cases Some Cases
Misdemeanors Some Cases Most or All Cases
Ordinance Violations   Most or All Cases
Juvenile Most or All Cases  
Traffic and Infractions   Most or All Cases
Domestic Relations Superior Courts District Courts
Divorce Most or All Cases  
Child Custody and Visitation Most or All Cases  
Child Support Most or All Cases  
Paternity Most or All Cases  
Domestic Violence Protection Order Most or All Cases Some Cases
Juvenile Superior Courts District Courts
Adoptions Most or All Cases  
Juvenile Delinquency Most or All Cases  
Child Abuse and Neglect Most or All Cases  
Termination of Parental Rights Most or All Cases  
Children in Need of Supervision Most or All Cases  
Mental Health Superior Courts District Courts
Involuntary Commitments Most or All Cases  
Other Mental Health Cases Most or All Cases Some Cases
Probate Superior Courts District Courts
Wills & Estates Most or All Cases  
Name Changes Some Cases Some Cases
Trusts Most or All Cases  
Guardianships and Conservatorships Most or All Cases  

Find Alaska Courts by Borough

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