The Guide to North Dakota Court Records

Overview of North Dakota Courts

The North Dakota trial court system consists of District Courts and Municipal Courts.
 
District Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, and usually only handles cases beyond the jurisdiction of Municipal Courts. Municipal Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of cases.

Please select a North Dakota county below to view directory of all courts with links to court record resources for each court.
Find North Dakota court pages by Town or Zip Code.
Select a court record or online resource category below to view all resources at both the statewide and county level.
Go to the court records pages for another state.
North Dakota District Courts
District Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, and generally do not handle trials for municipal ordinance violations that are within the jurisdiction Municipal Courts.

District Courts handle all criminal cases, and may handle municipal ordinance violations cases transferred from Municipal Courts if a right to a jury trial exists and a proper request is made.

District Courts handle all civil cases, including general civil, domestic relations, juvenile, mental health and probate matters.

Each District Court has a Small Claims Court division that handles most general civil claims for less than $5000, if both parties agree to Small Claims Court jurisdiction. The Small Claims Court division can hear cases for the recovery of money and cases involving the cancellation of agreements when mental fraud, deception, misrepresentation or false promise is alleged. If a case has complex facts or legal issues, it may be dismissed and can be filed in the regular civil division of District Court.

District Courts each have a Juvenile Court division with exclusive original jurisdiction over cases that allege a juvenile is unruly, delinquent or deprived.

Under certain circumstances, District Courts may exercise limited jurisdiction over some civil claims from Tribal territories, including claims related to guardians appointed by a Tribal Court and enforcement of certain Tribal Court orders.
North Dakota Municipal Courts
Municipal Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of cases and typically handle most violations of municipal ordinances.

Municipal Courts do not offer jury trials, so if a right to a jury trial exists and a proper request is made, the case will be transferred to District Court.
North Dakota Tribal Courts
North Dakota has a separate Tribal Court system that may interact with District Courts.

Under certain circumstances, District Courts may exercise limited jurisdiction over some civil claims from Tribal territories, including claims related to guardians appointed by a Tribal Court and enforcement of certain Tribal Court orders.

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

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

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