Colorado's Judicial System
There are 22 judicial districts in Colorado. Each judicial district is served by an elected District Attorney and has several different types of courts that operate within the district. For a map of the judicial districts, click here.
Municipal courts are created by statute and their jurisdiction is limited to municipal ordinance violations within city limits. This might include animal control matters, zoning violations, traffic tickets and petty offenses such as disturbing the peace. Most municipal court judges are appointed by the city government based on its charter.
County courts hear misdemeanor criminal cases such as third degree assault and the more serious traffic cases such as careless driving resulting in death or hit and run. They also hear some civil cases in which the debt, damage or value of property involved does not exceed $10,000.
District courts are Colorado’s trial courts of general jurisdiction. They handle divorce and custody cases, civil cases, juvenile cases, probate and criminal cases.
Water courts have exclusive jurisdiction over water rights and the adjudication and litigation concerning such rights. Any appeal from a water judge’s decision is filed directly with the Colorado Supreme Court.
Colorado Court of Appeals hears appeals from district court cases, probate court and juvenile court. The Court of Appeals consists of 16 judges sitting in divisions of three to hear cases.
Colorado Supreme Court exercises supervisory power over all state courts and has original jurisdiction to render decisions involving all procedures of other courts. The Colorado Supreme Court deals with petitions for review, ballot title submissions, appeals from prosecutors regarding the suppression of evidence, attorney discipline, and writs of certiorari in which the Court decides to hear particular cases.