Arkansas Courts Overview
Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction over all criminal and civil cases, but generally only handle cases beyond the jurisdiction of other courts. District Courts have limited jurisdiction to handle certain types of civil and criminal cases.
If you prefer, you can start your search by going to Arkansas courts by county.
Arkansas Circuit CourtsCircuit Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil cases for claims over $100, and all criminal cases, but typically only handle cases that are beyond the limited jurisdiction of other courts.
Criminal cases heard by Circuit Courts include felonies, some misdemeanors, and lesser-included offenses.
Circuit Courts share jurisdiction with State District Courts over civil claims up to $25,000, and with Local District Courts over civil claims up to $5,000. Circuit Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over civil equity claims.
Circuit Courts also handle domestic relations, juvenile, probate, and mental health cases; case types include divorce, child abuse and neglect, guardianships, civil commitments, and the administration of estates.
Circuit Courts may refer certain types of civil and criminal cases to State District Courts, although referral of most civil, domestic relations, and probate cases requires the consent of all parties.
Arkansas District CourtsDistrict Courts have jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases. District Courts may be State District Courts or Local District Courts.
Criminal cases heard by both types of District Courts include most types of misdemeanors and preliminary hearings for all types of criminal cases. District Courts also handle traffic cases and local ordinance violations.
District Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over civil claims of $100 or less. State District Courts share jurisdiction with Circuit Courts over civil claims between $100 and $25,000. Local District Court share jurisdiction with Circuit Courts over civil claims between $100 and $5,000.
State District Courts may also have certain types of civil and criminal cases referred by Circuit Court, although referral of most civil, domestic relations, and probate cases requires the consent of all parties.
Each District Court has a Small Claims division for most general civil claims for less than $5000.
Where to Find Court Cases in Arkansas
The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of Arkansas court.
|Case Type||Court Type|
|Civil||Circuit Courts||District Courts|
|General Civil - Unlimited|
|General Civil - Limited|
|Foreclosures and Liens|
|Real Estate Title and Boundary|
|Landlord / Tenant|
|Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders|
|Administrative Agency Appeals|
|Criminal||Circuit Courts||District Courts|
|Felony Preliminary Hearings|
|Traffic and Infractions|
|Domestic Relations||Circuit Courts||District Courts|
|Child Custody and Visitation|
|Domestic Violence Protection Order|
|Juvenile||Circuit Courts||District Courts|
|Child Abuse and Neglect|
|Termination of Parental Rights|
|Children in Need of Supervision|
|Mental Health||Circuit Courts||District Courts|
|Other Mental Health Cases|
|Probate||Circuit Courts||District Courts|
|Wills & Estates|
|Guardianships and Conservatorships|