Overview of Utah Courts
In order to find Utah 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 Utah trial court system consists of District Courts, Juvenile Courts, and Justice Courts.
District Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, but typically handle cases beyond the jurisdiction of other courts. Juvenile Courts and Justice Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases.
Criminal cases typically heard by District Courts include felonies and Class A misdemeanors. District Courts have jurisdiction over Class B and C misdemeanors if there is no Justice Court with territorial jurisdiction, or if the offense is included in a single criminal episode that also includes a felony or Class A misdemeanor charge.
District Courts share jurisdiction with Juvenile Courts and Justice Courts over certain types of criminal cases involving adults, including contributing to the delinquency of a minor child and misdemeanor custodial interference. District Courts share jurisdiction with Juvenile Courts over violations of federal, state, local or municipal law when the defendant is over age 18 but within the continuing jurisdiction of a Juvenile Court due to a previous Juvenile Court case. District Courts have exclusive original jurisdiction over defendant minors aged 16 or older in certain types of criminal cases, including murder and aggravated murder.
Civil cases typically heard by District Courts include general civil claims for the recovery of money that exceed the financial or other limits on Justice Court jurisdiction. District Courts also handle divorce, child custody, child support, adoption, paternity, and probate matters. District Courts have jurisdiction over the guardianship of minors and cases involving child custody, child support, and child visitation when these cases are incidental to a District Court case.
District Courts may handle a child protective order case if a Juvenile Court transfers the case to District Court. District Courts share some jurisdiction with Juvenile Courts over paternity, guardianship of a minor and modifications to birth certificates, if any of these issues relate to a case within Juvenile Court jurisdiction.
District Courts also handle cases related to the discipline of attorneys, appeals of state or local administrative agency decisions, and appeals of Justice Court decisions.
District Courts may have court divisions organized by case type, including a Drug Court division for certain types of criminal cases involving defendants with a history of substance abuse.
Juvenile Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over juvenile delinquency (violations of laws or ordinances by a person under 18 years of age), except for certain Class B and C misdemeanors committed by a person over 16 years of age, which are heard in Justice Court.
Juvenile Courts also have exclusive jurisdiction over certain juvenile traffic offenses, including vehicular homicide, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless driving, joy riding, and attempting to elude police. Juvenile Courts will also handle some traffic and boating offenses that relate to delinquency cases within Juvenile Court jurisdiction.
Juvenile Courts also have exclusive jurisdiction over abused, neglected, and dependent children, child protective orders, emancipation of minors, termination of a parent-child relationship, adoptions of children after termination of a parent-child relationship, guardianship of minors unless the guardianship is incidental to a custody and support matter in District Court, involuntary treatment or commitment of a minor with a mental disability or illness, truancy, consent to marriage of a child under age 16, and ungovernable or runaway children. Juvenile courts may order parents of a child committed to a corrections facility to participate in group rehabilitation therapy.
Juvenile Courts share jurisdiction with District Courts over some cases involving child custody, support, and visitation; persons over 18 years of age who commit a crime while under the continuing supervision of Juvenile Court; and paternity testing of parties involved in abuse/neglect/dependency or termination of parental rights cases. Child protective order cases may be transferred to District Court under certain circumstances, especially when a parent is involved.
Juvenile Courts share jurisdiction with District Courts and Justice Courts over certain criminal cases with adult defendants, including contributing to the delinquency of a minor and misdemeanor custodial interference.
Juvenile courts may place juveniles under the supervision of the court's probation department, in foster care, and in other protective custody placements.
Juvenile Courts will handle cases involving minors under court supervision in other states if the minor is located in Utah.
Criminal cases heard by Justice Courts include most Class B and C misdemeanors, municipal ordinance violations, and infractions. Justice Courts also have jurisdiction over certain Class B and C misdemeanors, ordinance violations, and infractions committed by juveniles over 16 years of age.
Civil cases heard by Justice Courts are limited to small claims cases involving $10,000 or less, including attorney fees but excluding court costs and interest.
Justice Courts share jurisdiction with Juvenile Courts and District Courts over certain criminal cases with adult defendants, including contributing to the delinquency of a minor and misdemeanor custodial interference.
Justice Court cases may be appealed to District Court.
|Case Type||Court Type|
|Civil||District Courts||Juvenile Courts||Justice 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||District Courts||Juvenile Courts||Justice Courts|
|Felony Preliminary Hearings|
|Traffic and Infractions|
|Domestic Relations||District Courts||Juvenile Courts||Justice Courts|
|Child Custody and Visitation|
|Domestic Violence Protection Order|
|Juvenile||District Courts||Juvenile Courts||Justice Courts|
|Child Abuse and Neglect|
|Termination of Parental Rights|
|Children in Need of Supervision|
|Mental Health||District Courts||Juvenile Courts||Justice Courts|
|Other Mental Health Cases|
|Probate||District Courts||Juvenile Courts||Justice Courts|
|Wills & Estates|
|Guardianships and Conservatorships|