The Guide to Connecticut Court Records

Please select a Connecticut county below to view directory of all courts with links to court record resources for each court.
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Overview of Connecticut Courts

In order to find Connecticut court records, it's helpful to understand how the state court system works. Each state varies and we've compiled this information to help your search. You can also start your search by going directly to courts by county.

The Connecticut trial court system consists of Superior Courts and Probate Courts.
 
Superior Courts have general jurisdiction over all types of civil and criminal cases, and generally handle cases that are beyond the limited jurisdiction of Probate Courts. Some Superior Courts also have "special sessions" for certain types of cases. Some special sessions (Tax and Administrative Appeals Session, Child Protection Session, Land Use Litigation Docket, and Regional Family Trial Docket) handle cases for the entire state.

Probate Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving wills, estates, probate, trusts, and adoptions. Probate Courts share jurisdiction with Superior Courts over mental health cases, name changes, and issues that affect its exclusive jurisdiction.

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

Superior Courts are organized geographically by Judicial District Courts, Geographical Area Courts, and Juvenile Matters. Most traffic cases, criminal arraignments, and code violations are heard in Geographical Area Courts. The location of the parties, transaction, injury, or crime determines which Judicial District Court or Geographical Area Court has jurisdiction. Small claims cases may also be heard in the Centralized Small Claims Court in Hartford, and other types of cases may also be heard in Special Sessions, such as Housing Session in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Britain, New Haven, Norwalk, or Waterbury.

Superior Courts are also organized into divisions and special sessions by case type. Every Superior Court has court divisions for Civil, Criminal, Family/Juvenile cases. Special sessions handle certain types of cases; some special sessions are only available in some courts, while other special sessions serve the entire state from one location.

Court Divisions

Civil Division is divided into five parts: Administrative Appeals, Civil Jury, Civil Non-Jury, Landlord/Tenant (including Summary Process/eviction) and Small Claims. The Small Claims division handles claims for money damages of $5,000 or less, if all requirements for Small Claims jurisdiction are met.

Criminal Division handles crimes, violations and infractions. Crimes include felonies (punishable by incarceration for more than one year) and misdemeanors (punishable by incarceration for one year or less). Violations include motor vehicle cases that are punishable only by a fine. Infractions include traffic tickets and offer the ability to pay a fine by mail to avoid a court appearance. Some cases may be handled by a special session of a Drug Docket or Drug Court, for cases where substance abuse treatment appears appropriate, or by a Community Court, for cases that involve “quality of life” crimes.

Family Division handles many types of cases about family relationships, including divorce, child custody, child support, and “relief from abuse” (also known as restraining orders or abuse prevention orders).

Juvenile Matters is a subdivision that handles cases involving the care of children or the behavior of a child, including but not limited to termination of parental rights, emancipation of a minor, child or youth neglect, delinquency, and cases involving families with service needs (FWSN).

Special Sessions

Tax and Administrative Appeals Session handles appeals of decisions made by the Commissioner of Revenue Services and other administrative agencies, and some municipal property tax appeals. This session is located at New Britain Superior Court but serves the entire state.

Child Protection Session, located in Middlesex Judicial District Superior Court, acts as a statewide juvenile trial court and accepts juvenile cases referred by local judges that meet certain criteria, such as complexity. Local Superior Courts may also have their own Child Protection Sessions.

Complex Litigation Docket is available in Hartford, Waterbury, and Stamford Judicial Districts, and handles certain cases that involve many parties, complex legal issues, or very large monetary claims.

Community Court is currently available in Hartford Judicial District and handles some misdemeanor cases and some violations of municipal ordinances, including disorderly conduct, prostitution, public drunkenness, excessive noise, simple possession of marijuana, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, public nuisance, larceny, minor in possession of liquor, and illegal vending. This session may order a defendant to participate in community service programs.

Domestic Violence Dockets use a team of prosecutors, counselors, advocates, and law enforcement, and have regular meetings including defendants' return to court insuring that court orders are being followed.

Housing Session in some Superior Courts handles landlord-tenant cases. Housing Sessions currently operate in the Superior Courts at Bridgeport, Hartford, New Britain, New Haven, Norwalk, and Waterbury.

Land Use Litigation Docket is located in Hartford Judicial District and accepts certain cases transferred from local Superior Courts, such as planning and zoning, environmental, land use litigation, and affordable housing.

Regional Family Trial Docket, located in the Middlesex Judicial District, handles certain contested child custody and visitation cases referred by local judges that meet certain criteria, such as child-focused and ready for trial.
Connecticut Probate Courts
Probate Courts generally handle cases that include wills, estates, probate, trusts, and adoptions. Probate Courts share jurisdiction with Superior Courts over mental health cases, name changes, and related matters including title to property, support, custody, and paternity.

In addition, even though Probate Courts do not offer jury trials, if a proper request for a jury is made in Probate Court, a case may transfer to Superior Court for a jury trial and then return to Probate Court after the end of a jury trial.
Connecticut Court Notes
On July 1, 1978, the Circuit Court and Court of Common Pleas were incorporated into the Superior Court, so all references to Circuit Court or the Court of Common Pleas are now interpreted to mean Superior Court.

Where to find court cases in Connecticut
The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of court in Connecticut.
 
Most Cases = Most or all cases.     Some Cases = Some cases.

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

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