Alaska Court System

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Alaska Court System

There are four levels of courts in the Alaska Court System, each with different powers, duties and responsibilities. Alaska has a unified, centrally administered, and totally state-funded judicial system. Municipal governments do not maintain separate court systems.

The four levels of courts in the Alaska Court System are

  • the supreme court,
  • the court of appeals,
  • the superior court and
  • the district court.

The supreme court and the court of appeals are appellate courts, while the superior and district courts are trial courts. Jurisdiction and responsibilities of each level of court are set out in Title 22 of the Alaska Statutes.

The supreme court and the superior court were established in the Alaska Constitution. In 1959, the legislature created a district court for each judicial district and granted power to the supreme court to increase or decrease the number of district court judges. In 1980, the legislature created a court of appeals.

The chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court is the administrative head of the Alaska Court System. An administrative director is appointed by the chief justice with concurrence of the supreme court. The director supervises the administration of all courts in the state.

Rules governing the administration of all courts and the rules of practice and procedure for civil and criminal cases are promulgated by the supreme court.

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