Colorado has 64 counties and a County Court for each one of them including the consolidated county of Denver and Broomfield. Colorado County Courts are trial courts of limited jurisdiction. Each County Court has at least one judge presiding. County judges handle a lot of cases regarding public safety including misdemeanors and felony complaints. They can also issue bonds, hold preliminary felony hearings, issue search warrants, domestic protective orders and resolve traffic cases, civil suits of $15,000 or less and conduct jury trials. County courts also handle small claims.
County Court cases may involve landlord/tenant disputes such as evictions, ownership of real property of up to $25,000, name changes and temporary restraining orders. For small claims cases, individuals may self-represent their case in matters of $7,500 or less. The County Courts hold sessions during the day and at night to better serve the public. Small claims do not involve a jury; the judge makes all decisions. Plaintiffs are limited to filing two claims per month or a total of 18 in a single calendar year.
County Court cases that are appealed go to District Court first then the Court of Appeals. County Courts average about 410,000 filings per year and dispose of approximately the same. The total filings have an increase rate of less than 1% per year, although felony complaints have been increasing by 10% per year. The most significant number of cases are civil filings, followed closely by traffic violations, then infractions and misdemeanors. Felony complaints and small claims make up a small percentage of the total annual cases.
Colorado’s Justice Branch website has an area where users can view each county and find information on the county courthouse, address and contact information. Some counties have more extensive County Court services than others, for example, Denver.