Most people do not fully understand court proceedings. The State of Utah Administrative Office of the Courts under the direction of Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, provided an informative booklet on the navigation of the court system. To better inform readers, the Southern Utah News will be highlighting different aspects of our court system.

Utah court system-

Justice Court

There are justice courts located throughout the state of Utah. All told, there are 108 justice court judges in our state. They serve four-year terms, and are locally funded and operated. Cases that come before them are issues such as misdemeanor criminal cases, traffic and parking infractions and small claims court.

Gary Johnson serves as the Kanab City Justice Court Judge, and Kirk Heaton serves as the Kane County Justice Court Judge. 

District court

There are 71 judges in Utah who serve six-year terms. There are nine court commissioners. A District Court is the state trial court of general jurisdiction. Among the cases they hear are civil, domestic relations, probate, criminal, small claims and appeal cases from justice courts.

Three judges serve our court system here. On a rotating basis, Judge Paul Lyman (primary duty is juvenile court), Judge Marvin Bagley and Judge Wallace Lee, sit on the bench for proceedings.

Juvenile court

In the state of Utah, there are 28 judges that serve six-year terms, with one court commissioner. Juvenile court is the state court with jurisdiction over youth under 18, who violate a state or municipal law. The Juvenile Court also has jurisdiction in all cases involving a child who is abused, neglected or dependent.

Judge Paul Lyman serves as this area''s juvenile court judge.

Court of appeals

There are seven court of appeals judges that serve six-year terms. The Court of Appeals hears all appeals from juvenile courts and those from the district courts involving domestic relationship and criminal matters of less than a first-degree felony. It also may hear cases transferred to it by the Supreme Court.

Utah Supreme Court

There are five Utah Supreme Court Justices who each serve ten-year terms. It is sometimes referred to as the "court of last resort." It hears appeals from capital and first-degree felony cases and all district court civil cases other than domestic relations cases. The Supreme Court also has jurisdiction over judgments of the Court of Appeals, proceedings of the Judicial Conduct Commission, lawyer discipline and constitutional and election questions.