The Courts

 There are a number of different courts in the system that handle different types of cases.


Municipal courts deal with violations of city laws that occur within city limits.  These are generally more minor types of crimes such as dog leash violations or disorderly conduct. 


Every county in Colorado has countycourts with one or more county judges.  Misdemeanor cases, such as shoplifting, minor assaults and DUIs are heard in county court.  In cases where a jury trial is allowed, the jury consists of 6 persons.   Felony cases begin in county court with the advisal of rights, bond hearings, preliminary hearings and sometimes dispositional hearings where misdemeanor pleas can be taken on felony cases.  Felonies that begin in county court that involve felony dispositions or trials are transferred to District Court.


There are district courts in every county in Colorado. Although felonies start in county courts, they are usually resolved in district court before a district court judge.  Along with felony cases, there are other types of cases heard in district court including  juvenile cases, divorces, mental health, and civil cases.


The Denver courts are different from the rest of the state because Denver is both a city and county.  The county court functions as both the county and municipal court.  There are district courts in Denver, but the juvenile court is a separate court, unlike other counties where juvenile cases are heard in District Court.


Unlike other courts, the court of appeals and supreme courts are not trial courts.  The judges in the court of appeals hears appeals from district courts and juvenile courts.  The supreme court can then choose to review appeals from the court of appeals.  If a case is not chosen for an appeal to the supreme court, the decision of the court of appeals is final.

Appeals from municipal court decisions are heard by the county court.  Appeals from the county court are heard by the district court.