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, Probate Courts, Tax Session, and Child Protection Session.
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\" that are specialized court divisions for certain types of cases. Some special sessions handle cases for the entire state, including the Tax Session and the Child Protection Session.
Superior Courts are organized into divisions and special sessions by case type.
Every Superior Court has court divisions for Civil, Criminal, Family and Juvenile Cases. Special sessions are court divisions that 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.
Civil Division. The 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 $5,000 or less, if all requirements for Small Claims jurisdiction are met.
Criminal Division. The Criminal division handles crimes, violations and infractions. Crimes include felonies (punishable by more than one year of incarceration) and misdemeanors (punishable by less than one year of incarceration). 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. The 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 Division. The Juvenile Division handles certain 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).
Tax Session. This special session handles appeals of decisions made by the Commissioner of Revenue Services and other administrative agencies. This session is located at New Britain Superior Court but serves the entire state.
Child Protection Session. The special session located in Middlesex Superior Court acts as a statewide juvenile trial court and accepts cases from all Juvenile Court divisions if the case meets certain criteria, such as complexity. Other Superior Courts may also have Child Protection Sessions that serve local courts.
Complex Litigation Docket. For certain cases that involve many parties, complex legal issues, or very large monetary claims, this special session is available in Hartford, Middlestown, Waterbury and Stamford.
Regional Family Trial Docket. Located in the Middlesex Judicial District Superior Court, this session accepts cases that meet certain criteria in an effort to handle contested cases involving children as quickly as possible.
Truancy Docket. The Chief Court Administrator may establish a Truancy Docket at any Superior Court to handle truancy separate from the Juvenile Division.
Drug Docket. The Chief Court Administrator may establish a Drug Docket at any Superior Court for defendants in criminal or juvenile cases that meet the legal definition of a “drug-dependent person.” This session is available for offenders who may benefit from placement in substance abuse treatment programs.
Community Court. This session is currently available in Hartford and Waterbury 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 and illegal vending. This session may order a defendant to participate in community service programs.
Housing Session. Some Superior Courts offer special sessions and dispute resolution services for landlord-tenant cases. These sessions currently operate in the Superior Courts of Bridgeport, Hartford, New Britain, New Haven, Norwalk and Waterbury.
Probate Courts share jurisdiction over some cases with Superior Courts. 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.
This session is located at the New Britain Superior Court but handles cases for the entire state.
The statewide Child Protection Session accepts cases from all Juvenile Court divisions if the case meets certain criteria, such as complexity.
Other Superior Courts may also have Child Protection Sessions that serve local courts.
|Case Type||Court Type|
|Civil||Superior Courts||Probate 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||Superior Courts||Probate Courts|
|Felony Preliminary Hearings|
|Traffic and Infractions|
|Domestic Relations||Superior Courts||Probate Courts|
|Child Custody and Visitation|
|Domestic Violence Protection Order|
|Juvenile||Superior Courts||Probate Courts|
|Child Abuse and Neglect|
|Termination of Parental Rights|
|Children in Need of Supervision|
|Mental Health||Superior Courts||Probate Courts|
|Other Mental Health Cases|
|Probate||Superior Courts||Probate Courts|
|Wills & Estates|
|Guardianships and Conservatorships|
Note: Some courts in Connecticut are not included in the chart above. Please use the following links for descriptions and types of cases heard:
Tax Session Child Protection Session