Today's Court System Has Three Levels
- Limited jurisdiction courts are justice and municipal (or city) courts. These courts have jurisdiction over a limited variety of cases. They are nonrecord courts, meaning that permanent records of court proceedings are not required. However, some courts do make a record of proceedings.
- The general jurisdiction court is the Superior Court of Arizona, a statewide trial court. This court hears the widest variety of cases and keeps permanent records of court proceedings.
- The state appellate courts have jurisdiction to review trials and decisions appealed to them. Most appeals come from the superior court, except for death penalty appeals and some cases involving elected officials and disputes between counties, which go directly to the Supreme Court.
To appeal a decision from the court of appeals, the appellant must file a Petition for Review requesting a Supreme Court hearing. The Supreme Court judges, known as justices, evaluate the petitions for review and decide whether they will review the case. Unlike the court of appeals, the Supreme Court is not required to hear every appeal.