State judges are chosen a few different ways, including appointment, merit selection and elections. For judges that are elected, there are two different types: partisan elections, where judges are selected and voted into the position by the electorate and run affiliated with a political party; and non-partisan elections, where judges run for election on a ballot but don't list the political party they're affiliated with. Some states hold retention elections to determine whether a current judge should continue to serve.Continue Reading
When a state judge is appointed, he's done so by the governor of a legislature of the state, depending on the rules of that state. When a judge is selected by merit selection, this is done by a legislative committee based on the candidate's past performance.
There are a number of different courts on the state level for judges to preside over. Family court is the court where child support, divorce issues and other family-related matters are heard. A probate or surrogate's court that oversees trusts and guardianship cases. Probate court is also the court that oversees the distribution of the property of a deceased person. A few states have landlord-tenant courts where disputes between landlords and tenants are heard, and small claims court, which oversees cases where individuals are seeking monetary relief from another person or entity.Learn more about Branches of Government