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Things to know about the Kansas court system

If you've ever wondered about the court system in Kansas, it might surprise you to learn that it is actually a multi-tiered system, or rather, the court system is actually several different court systems and each one has its own type of structure and procedures. However, each court system can handle a variety of different types of cases.

They are as follows:

-- Municipal court. This court system handles alleged violations that occur within the city limits. The type of cases heard in municipal court generally involve traffic or other types of minor offenses. Since the offenses people are charged with are considered minor, municipal court does not have jury trials. Instead, the verdict for these types of cases are decided by a judge. Although some may choose to attend court on their own, those appearing in municipal court do have the option of being represented by a lawyer.

-- District court or trial court. This court system generally handles civil cases, such as divorce, small claims and damage suits. It also hears criminal cases that could include anything from drug offenses to robbery or even murder. Interestingly, each county in Kansas has its own district court and there are a varying number of judges that hear cases in each district.

-- The Kansas Court of Appeals. This court hears the appeals from the district courts as well as appeals from order of the State Corporation Commission. It hears almost all of the appeals in the state of Kansas for both civil and criminal matters, although it does not generally hear those that may be directly appealed to the Supreme court. Unlike municipal and district courts where cases are heard by only one judge, cases heard in appeals court are generally heard by a panel of three.

An experienced Kansas attorney may be able to assist those who are facing charges and could help to provide defendants with a strong criminal defense.

Source: Kansas Judicial Branch, "Kansas Courts" Nov. 05, 2014

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