What Are the Different Types of Court Hearings?

The different types of court hearings include those heard by the circuit court, the district court, the small claims court, the probate court, the court of claims, the court of appeals, the supreme court and the bankruptcy court. Each court has a different function within the judicial system, and hears different cases, or, in some cases, may review cases from one of the other courts.

Circuit court handles civil (more that $25,000) and criminal cases in a trial setting, and will sometimes hear cases appealed from the other trial courts or from administrative agencies. District court handles traffic violations and civil claims (under $25,000), and the cases are heard by a judge only. Small claims court hears civil cases under $5,000. Probate court handles wills and estate cases. Court of Claims handles cases filed against a state. Court of Appeals handles cases tried by circuit courts when one party appeals the final decision. Supreme court is the highest court, and handles cases appealed to it from other courts. Bankruptcy court hears cases of personal and business bankruptcy.