The Arkansas Court system consists of one Supreme Court with one Chief Justice and six Associate Justices. The next level is the Court of Appeals with one Chief Judge and 11 other judges. The Arkansas Supreme Court and Court of Appeals are federal-level courts. The state-level courts include Circuit Courts, split into five divisions to handle separate legal issues such as criminal matters, civil disputes, domestic relations, probate, and juvenile cases. The final level is District Courts, and the state splits those into State and Local Districts.
There are a total of 28 circuits and 121 Circuit judges. There are 37 State District Courts with 54 judges in 166 different departments. AR has 35 Local Districts with 37 judges and 73 departments. Supreme and Appeal Court judges have terms of 8 years, Circuit judges are elected to 6-year terms and District judges are in position for four years.
The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) has a CourtConnect Website (.gov), called Public Court Connect where users can search for cases. However, on their page, they have a disclaimer stating that no images will be included, and some types of cases are omitted. Additionally, only basic case information will be available from “Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Clay, Crittenden, Desha, Drew, Greene, Independence, Jackson, Lafayette, Lawrence, Perry, Randolph, Sebastian, and Stone Counties.” Typically, personal and confidential information like home address, children’s names, juror information, banking or financial data and personal IDs will not be shown to the public. Additionally, sealed or expunged records will be hidden from public view. It is easiest to search if you have the case ID.
The Arkansas Clerk’s Office of the Court handles all filings for both the Supreme Court and Appeals Court for civil cases and criminal cases. The state offers both e-filing and in-person options for the public for cases assigned to either Circuit or District dockets. AR uses the Contexte Case Management System for its e-filing vendor and has named their system eFlex. Users must register for an account and pay a $100 fee before using eFlex. Not all courts throughout the state participate in the e-filing program. There are detailed instructions on how to use the system on the state's court website.
Use the Infotracer tool to search quickly and easily for state records in the three major counties of Pulaski, Benton, and Washington County or the entire state! The Freedom of Information Act, Ark. Code Ann. §25-19-101 et seq. including §25-19-106 allows individuals the right to access criminal records, civil records, and court cases from all different types of courts.
The general public can search for all public records without a reason or authorization from all counties including Poinsett County, Pulaski County, Garland County, White County, and Faulkner County. The state allows docket searches from the following courts: district, circuit, domestic relations court, civil court, and criminal court. Some files will be court-ordered sealed, but most are online and open to the public. Find marriages, divorces, bankruptcies, and more!
Using Infotracer and a state public records name search, you can gain free access to thousands of records from traffic court, and family court, instantly.
In 2012, the Arkansas courts received 734,010 filings. In 2016, the number of filings decreased by 79.5% and counted 150,511 filings and had 48,439 outgoing cases
|Court Type||Incoming Caseloads|
Domestic relations caseload of Arkansas at year end of 2016 has decreased by 11.8% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases have been 59,578 but are higher than in 2015.
|Year||Domestic Relations Caseload||Total Statewide Caseload|
The number of criminal cases in Arkansas courts counts to 474,081, with 39,765 felony cases and 434,316 misdemeanors accordingly.
|Year||Criminal Caseload||Misdemeanor Caseload||Felony Caseload|
AR has 28 Circuit Courts with 121 judges presiding. These courts have general jurisdiction in the state and are split into five divisions: criminal, civil, domestic relations, domestic violence, child support, probate and real estate, and juvenile. These divisions help specialize the types of cases making it easier for the courts and patrons. Judges serve a six-year term and are elected into office. To qualify to be a Circuit judge, the person must have worked as a licensed attorney for six years before being elected. Some Circuit divisions have their own website to help users navigate the court structure and process. The Circuit Clerk is in charge of documentation.
The District Courts are its courts of limited jurisdiction. These courts are split into two divisions, State and Local. AR has 15 State Districts with 25 judges serving them full time. The Local Districts have only part-time judges. The Districts exercise territorial jurisdiction over matters within their district. Generally, they try case types for misdemeanors, violations of city ordinances, contract, and personal property cases of $25,000 or less, small claims matters of $5,000 or less and preliminary felony hearings. All Districts are governed by the state District Judges Council which is made up of all the District judges in the state.