Unlike most other United States court systems, the District of Columbia does not have a Supreme Court. Instead, their court system consists of only two levels; a Court of Appeals and Superior Courts, which are the trial courts for the state. The District of Columbia court system also includes a “Court System,” which is a single entity that supports all courts in the state in a variety of administrative ways.
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals is just like a Supreme Court in that it is the highest court in the state and the court of last resorts. The DC Court of Appeals handles all appeals from the Superior Courts, interlocutory orders, and appeals from administrative agencies, boards, and commissions. Congress established the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in 1970.
District of Columbia has 120 judges, 24 magistrate judges and court staff totaling 1,500 employees. The Court System, which aids the courts in many ways, is comprised of several divisions, and they are:
- Administrative Services.
- Budget & Finance.
- Capital Projects & Facilities Management.
- Center for Education & Training.
- Court Reporting.
- General Counsel's Office.
- Human Resources.
- Information Technology.
Most court records in the District of Columbia will be available to the general public. Cases regarding criminal offenses, civil matters, domestic violence, tax issues, probate/estate, major litigation, wills, and foreign estate proceedings will be included in Superior Court Records. Many Court of Appeals cases will also be included in open court records. The items that will not be available are sealed, expunged, or juvenile records. Additionally, federal laws prohibit courts from including personal identifiers such as social security numbers, tax IDs, and bank information along with children's names, home addresses, and trade secrets.
Despite the simplicity of the District of Columbia court system, their DC Courts website is well organized and user-friendly for self-represented litigants, attorneys, and the public. Since February of 2018, the Court of Appeals made e-filing mandatory for appeals cases. Additionally, the DC Courts website has all the forms needed to file a case in person. The site also offers an e-filing option for all the trial courts as well making it easier for the courts to receive and organize paperwork and the litigants and attorneys to get things in on time.
Interested in searching for District of Columbia court records? You can use Infotracer to access hundreds of court cases in the District of Columbia, including places like Mount Pleasant, Chevy Chase, The Palisades, and Garfield Heights. The District of Columbia’s Freedom of Information Act D.C. Code § 2-531, et seq., protects citizen’s rights to public records and court cases. Therefore things like criminal court cases, civil cases, family court issues like divorce and bankruptcies are available online.
Anyone may conduct a court records search privately without providing any information. The person searching doesn’t even need a reason to search except in cases where the record is court-ordered private or confidential by law like juvenile records.
Obtain instant free instant access to District of Columbia court records from courts all over the area. All you need to search is a District of Columbia court records name search, and you can look up cases online from superior courts in all eight wards of the state.
In 2012, the District Of Columbia courts received 101,061 filings. In 2016, the number of filings decreased by 2.3% and counted 98,749 filings and had 90,474 outgoing cases
|Court Type||Incoming Caseloads|
Domestic relations caseload of District Of Columbia at year end of 2016 has increased by 6.9% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases have been 11,890 but are lower than in 2015.
|Year||Domestic Relations Caseload||Total Statewide Caseload|
The number of criminal cases in District Of Columbia courts counts to 30,659, with 5,725 felony cases and 24,934 misdemeanors accordingly.
|Year||Criminal Caseload||Misdemeanor Caseload||Felony Caseload|
The U.S. Congress also established the Superior Courts in the District of Columbia in 1970. These are the general jurisdiction courts for the state. These courts have one Chief Judge, 61 Associate Judges, and 24 Magistrate Judges. Some retired judges that work in Superior Courts carry the title of "Senior Judge," and they assist the court in many ways. Superior Courts handle cases that involve civil claims of $5,000 or more, small claims cases of up to $10,000, domestic relations cases, all criminal cases, and all juvenile cases within the state. These courts are split into many divisions to handle specific types of issues like civil, criminal, juvenile and domestic.