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Overview of the North Dakota Court System

North Dakota has a simple three-tiered court system. Depending on the severity of your case, you may be heard by either of the two bottom tiers of court. The top tier is reserved exclusively for appeals and other matters.

The bottom tier consists of North Dakota's municipal courts. These primarily deal with DWI and DUI cases, as well as other traffic infractions and moving violations. There are no jury trials in the municipal courts.

Decisions made in the municipal courts may be appealed up to the district courts, the middle tier, which handle all other matters as well. These include all civil and criminal trials, probate and estate cases, domestic relations and family matters, and juvenile cases.

The Supreme Court handles appeals from the district courts. It also takes care of court administrative matters such as advisory opinions, bar admissions, and lawyer discipline.

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