Missouri State Courts
Missouri’s court system features both municipal and circuit courts, which feed into an appeals court and a state supreme court, both of which are available to overrule and hear appeals from the lower courts in the hierarchy. There are also two federal district courts within the state, a starting point for federal cases.
The federal courts within the state are:
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
- United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
Trial courts in Missouri are divided into Circuit Courts and also Municipal Courts.
Municipal Courts have jurisdiction over violations of “municipal ordinance” which usually refers to civil cases relating to a certain municipality of the state of Missouri. Some of these have multiple judges but the vast majority of the state’s Municipal Courts have just one judge.
The Circuit Courts are given general jurisdiction. They deal with the vast majority of both civil and criminal cases that take place in the districts of Missouri, of which there are 45.
|Court Name:||Missouri Supreme Court|
|Address:||207 W High St, Jefferson City, MO 65101|
Intermediate and Supreme Courts
The intermediate court is the Missouri Court of Appeals, for all of the state of Missouri, but it is split into three separate districts for the east, west and south of the state.
Appeals that come from the lower courts such as circuit and municipal courts are often heard here, and the Court of Appeals has general jurisdiction over the majority of laws.
In some extreme cases the decision made by the Court of Appeals can be referred and appealed upward to the Supreme Court, but a tiny fraction of these appeals are actually heard. In most scenarios, the intermediate court has made the final decision.
The Supreme Court has an important role to play. It has jurisdiction over all appeals relating to statutes or constitutional provisions as well as the death penalty impositions in Missouri. Appeals can be heard here, but this is at the discretion of the court itself. The Supreme Court also supervises the rest of the state’s judiciary employees and professionals.
Types of Courts in Missouri
How to Find Missouri Court Records Online
You can use our search tool to find specific court records from the state of Missouri. Since the 1960s, the Missouri Public Records Law has protected the public’s right to copy and access the records kept by the state relating to court cases. Details such as arrest warrants, court records, plea and sentencing details and even mugshots are made available to the citizens to promote a more transparent system.
Some records are still being digitized. Modern records are often easier to find, but historic case details are available, and may need to be specifically requested from the courts in question around Missouri.