Home > Utah Court Guide

Finding Court Records in Utah

Utah Courts Overview

It helps to understand how the Utah state court system works when you’re trying to find court records. 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.

If you prefer, you can start your search by going to Utah Courts by County.

Utah District Courts

District Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, and typically handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of other courts.

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.

Utah Juvenile Courts

Juvenile Courts have jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases. Juvenile Courts share jurisdiction over certain types of cases with District Courts and Justice Courts.

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.

Utah Justice Courts

Justice Courts have jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases that occur within their territorial jurisdiction.

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.

Utah Drug Courts

Many Utah counties and and judicial districts have Drug Court divisions that can set up treatment in lieu of incarceration for some offenders with substance abuse problems. Drug Courts in Utah include Adult Criminal Drug Courts, Dependency Drug Courts, and Juvenile Drug Courts.

Utah Tribal Courts

Several Native American nations in Utah operate their own independent judicial systems. The courts in these judicial systems are known as Tribal Courts. Tribal Courts have some civil and criminal jurisdiction and their orders may be enforced by the Utah state court system.

Where to Find Court Cases in Utah

The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of Utah court.

Most Cases = Most or all cases.     Some Cases = Some cases.

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

Find Utah Courts by County

Return to Top