An Overview of the Utah Justice Courts
Justice Courts are established by counties and municipalities and have the authority to deal with class B and C misdemeanors, violations of ordinances, small claims, and infractions committed within their territorial jurisdiction. Justice Court jurisdictions are determined by the boundaries of local government entities such as cities or counties, which hire the judges.
There are two types of Justice Court judges: county judges who are initially appointed by a county commission and then stand for retention election every 6 years, and municipal judges who are appointed by city officials for a 6-year term. Some are both county and municipal judges. Some judges hear cases daily, and others have limited court hours each week. Justice Court judges need not be attorneys, although they receive extensive and continuing legal training. All Justice Court judges must attend 30 hours of continuing judicial education each year to remain certified. Currently there are 81 Justice Court judges who serve in 115 county and municipal courts.