Administration, Organization & Responsibilities
Under state law, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is the head of the Judicial Branch and is responsible for its administration. See Section 51-1b of the Connecticut General Statutes. The chief court administrator is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Judicial Branch.
The chief justice appoints the chief court administrator to oversee
the administration of the Judicial Branch. Section 51-5a of the
Connecticut General Statutes outlines the duties and powers of the chief
court administrator, who is assisted by the deputy chief court
The chief court administrator oversees four divisions within the branch: Administrative Services, Court Support Services, External Affairs, and Superior Court Operations. An executive director manages each of the four divisions and reports to the chief court administrator.
The chief court administrator appoints chief administrative judges to oversee the following Superior Court
divisions: criminal, juvenile, civil and family. Their duties include working on behalf of and with the chief court administrator on policy matters affecting their respective areas.
The chief court administrator also appoints administrative judges and presiding judges. Administrative judges oversee the administrative operations of each of the state’s 13 judicial districts. In addition, each judicial district has an assistant administrative judge.
Presiding judges expedite the fair disposition of court business
within a particular judicial district. They also apportion among judges
the judicial business to which such judge and other judges have been
The Supreme Court is the state’s highest court. It reviews decisions made in the Superior Court to determine if any errors of law have been made and also reviews selected decisions of the Appellate Court.
The Appellate Court, like the Supreme Court, reviews final decisions issued by the Superior Court to determine if errors of law have been committed.
State law specifies which types of appeals may be brought directly to the Supreme Court from the Superior Court, bypassing the Appellate Court. These cases include decisions where the Superior Court has found a provision of the state constitution or a state statute invalid, and convictions of capital felonies.
The Superior Court hears all legal matters except those over which the Probate Court has exclusive jurisdiction.
Connecticut has 13 judicial districts (JD) in which civil, criminal, family and juvenile matters are heard. Each “JD” has at least one JD courthouse and one “geographical area” court, although some judicial districts may have more than one GA court location. There are a total of 20 GA courts in the state.
Civil jury, civil non-jury, administrative appeals and family matters generally are heard in a JD courthouse.
Regarding criminal cases, GA
courts typically handle all arraignments. Each GA court receives
criminal cases from a specified group of towns. Thus, where an alleged
crime occurs determines in which GA the case will begin.
GA courts handle misdemeanors, felonies, and motor vehicle violations
that require a court appearance. The most serious criminal offenses
(i.e. capital felony, murder) are transferred from a GA to the JD level,
commonly called “Part A.” Statistics for both the JD and GA courts are
Cases involving housing matters (evictions, civil, and criminal jury
and non-jury) are heard in
sessions in the Bridgeport, Hartford, New Britain, New Haven,
Stamford-Norwalk and Waterbury judicial districts. In all other judicial
districts, housing cases are part of the regular civil docket and are
heard in GA courts.
Probate Court is not part of the Superior Court. If you have a
question about Probate Court, please contact the Office of the Probate
Administrator at (860) 231-2442.
The Superior Court has eight
special sessions: Child Protection Session; the Complex Litigation
Docket; Land Use Litigation Docket; Community Court in Hartford;
Domestic Violence Dockets; Housing Session; Regional Family Trial
Docket; and Tax Session.
Through the inherent authority of the court, the Judicial Branch oversees attorney discipline through the Statewide Grievance Committee, the Statewide Bar Counsel's Office and the Chief Disciplinary Counsel's Office. Decisions of the Statewide Grievance Committee may be accessed online.
The grievance process begins when a complaint is filed with the Statewide Bar Counsel. The Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s Office pursues those complaints before the Statewide Grievance Committee when there is a finding of probable cause. The Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s Office also litigates disciplinary matters in court.
The Connecticut Practice Book contains the Rules of Professional Conduct and the grievance procedure.
An attorney's status, including the imposition of public discipline, if any, is available on the Judicial Branch’s website. Complaints against an attorney are not public unless and until probable cause is found to pursue the grievance.
The Judicial Branch’s Commission on Official Legal Publications publishes the Connecticut Practice Book annually. It contains the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys, the Code of Judicial Conduct, the Rules for Superior Court, and the Rules of Appellate Procedure. The Practice Book is available on the Judicial Branch's website.
The Rules Committee of the Superior Court, which is composed of judges, considers proposed changes in the rules of practice and may recommend amendments.
If the Rules Committee decides to pursue a proposed change, a public hearing usually is held at the end of May. After the public hearing, and if the committee recommends the proposal for adoption, it then goes before the entire bench for a vote at the judges’ annual meeting. This meeting usually occurs in June and is open to the public. If the judges decide that circumstances require adopting a new rule or a rule change between annual meetings, the procedures in Section 1-9 of the Practice Book set out the mechanism for doing so.
What is the difference between a probation officer
and a parole officer?
Probation officers work for the Judicial Branch as part of the Court Support Services Division. Parole officers are part of the Department of Correction, which is under the Executive Branch.
Prosecutors are not Judicial Branch employees. They work for the
Division of Criminal Justice,
which is part of the Executive Branch.
The Public Defender Services Commission is the policy-making body and
appointing authority for the
Public Defender Services. Section 51-289(j) of the Connecticut
General Statutes says that the commission is an “an autonomous body
within the judicial department for fiscal and budgetary purposes only.”
Thus, while the commission is part of the judicial branch, it is
Judicial marshals, who are part of the Judicial Branch, provide courthouse security and prisoner transportation. State marshals serve civil process and are overseen by the State Marshal Commission. Neither the state marshals nor the commission fall under the Judicial Branch’s jurisdiction.
Is the Office of Victim Services the same as the
Office of Victim Advocate?
No. The Office of Victim Services (OVS), which provides compensation and other services to crime victims, is part of the Judicial Branch. Court-based victim advocates are part of OVS.
Office of Victim Advocate (OVA) is an independent state agency that
evaluates and monitors how crime victims are treated by the state’s
criminal justice system. The OVA is not part of the Judicial Branch.
The Judicial Branch in 1986 centralized the processing of infractions
Centralized Infractions Bureau
(CIB). An infraction is the breaking of a state law, regulation or
ordinance that does not require going to court. Individuals may resolve
the infraction by
paying the amount to the CIB online,
by mail or in person.
In 1990 certain violations became payable by mail to the CIB.
Under Section 51-165 of the Connecticut General Statutes, the number
of authorized judgeships is 201, including the justices of the Supreme
Court, the judges of the Appellate Court and the judges of the Superior
Under state law, the Judicial Selection Commission seeks and recommends to the governor qualified individuals for nomination as judges. The governor must choose candidates from the approved list. The governor then refers his or her nominees to the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee for confirmation after a public hearing. Both chambers of the Legislature must approve the nominees.
If the legislature is not in session when the governor nominates
prospective judges, interim appointments may occur. The prospective
judge or judges appear before the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee at a
public hearing and may be approved by the committee as an interim
appointment. During the next regular session of the General Assembly,
the judge must again appear before the Judiciary Committee at a public
hearing and then be approved by members of the Judiciary Committee, the
House of Representatives and the Senate.
Judges serve eight-year terms; upon expiration of their term, they
may be reappointed. The Judicial Selection Commission, the governor, the
Judiciary Committee and both chambers of the General Assembly must again
approve judges who are up for reappointment.
The Judicial Selection Commission
(860-256-2957) is an independent, non-partisan commission of
lawyers and non-lawyers appointed by the governor and the General
Assembly to seek and approve qualified applicants for judgeships. The
commission also evaluates incumbent judges who seek reappointment and
forwards to the governor for consideration the names of those judges
recommended for reappointment. The Judicial Selection Commission’s
powers are outlined in Section 51-44a of the Connecticut General
Judicial Review Council
(860-566-5424) investigates complaints against judges and may
initiate an investigation. Its powers and composition are outlined in
sections 51-51k and 51-51l of the Connecticut General Statutes. The
Judicial Branch does not oversee the Judicial Review Council.
Age 70 is the constitutionally mandatory retirement age for Supreme
Court justices, Appellate Court judges and Superior Court judges. Judge
trial referees are judges who are 70 years or older and who have been
designated by the chief justice to hear certain types of cases
prescribed by statute.
Senior judges have retired from full-time active service but have not
reached age 70. Senior judges are constitutional officers who may hear
matters, as assigned.
The chief court administrator, in consultation with the deputy chief
court administrator, assigns Superior Court judges. These assignments
generally occur annually and typically run from September of one year to
the end of August in the succeeding year. However, reassignments also
may occur during the court year. The Judicial Branch website lists the
assignments of all judges as well as all of the judges at a
particular court location.
Judges' salaries are set by the Legislature and are outlined in
Section 51-47 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
Rule 2.10 of the Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits a judge or staff from making any public statement that might reasonably be expected to affect the outcome or impair the fairness of a matter pending or impending in any court. The rule specifically allows a judge to make public statements in the course of official duties, to explain court procedures and to comment on any proceeding in which the judge is a litigant in a personal capacity.
A magistrate is a lawyer who is not a judge but who is authorized to hear and decide certain types of cases, such as motor vehicle/small claims matters.
A federal mandate in 1986 for all states led to the establishment of
the Family Support Magistrate Division of Superior Court.
Family Support Magistrates are not judges but perform some judicial
functions, hearing cases involving child support, spousal support and
The Committee on Judicial Ethics is appointed by the chief justice to issue formal and informal advisory opinions to judicial officials regarding their ethical and professional conduct. Its opinions are based on its interpretation of the Code of Judicial Conduct, court rules and state statutes. Four of the committee’s members are judges or judge trial referees, and one of its members is a law professor specializing in professional ethics. The committee posts its activities on the Ethics Committee webpage, which also includes its annual reports, membership, minutes and agendas, and policy and rules.
The best way is to monitor the Judicial Branch website, where you can
advance release rulings
from both the
Appellate courts. Opinions that are to be released on a particular
day are listed online at about 8:30 a.m.; the text of the rulings is
available after 11:30 a.m. on the same day.
There is no date set for the release of a Supreme Court ruling. We
recommend that you monitor the Judicial Branch’s website on a regular
basis if you are waiting for a ruling from either the Supreme or
Judicial Branch personnel cannot provide a legal opinion,
interpretation of a law or a comment regarding court rulings. We
recommend that you either contact the parties in the case or an
organization for attorneys.
dockets of the Supreme and
courts are accessible through the website. In addition,
information for Supreme and Appellate cases
filed after Jan. 1, 1991 is available online. This information includes
case status, trial court case information, names of the attorneys and
parties, transcript and exhibit information, the due date of briefs as
well as information about motion, order and transfer activity. In
addition, Supreme Court briefs and other documents may be accessed
online through the
Case Look-up section.
Online access is available through Case Look-up for appellate civil, family, criminal, housing and small claims cases.
Basic information about criminal cases may be found
online – for example, charges and continuance dates in disclosable
pending cases. However, documents in criminal cases are not posted
online. Documents that are disclosable in a criminal
case file may be obtained through the clerk's office in the courthouse where the case is pending. Copy fees are $1 a page.
Handheld scanners may be used in the clerk’s office to copy documents in
a court file at no charge.
Conviction information is generally shown on the Judicial
Branch website for no more than 10 years after the date of sentencing
unless Section 7-13 of the Connecticut Practice Book provides for a
shorter period of time, in which case this information will be shown for
the shorter period of time. Please note that conviction information will
be removed from the website one month before the end of the period you
might find in the Connecticut Practice Book.
Also, each criminal and motor vehicle charge that
resulted in a conviction within the past 10 years is shown, including
convictions resulting from unvacated forfeitures of bail or collateral
deposited to secure a person's appearance in court in motor vehicle
cases. Unvacated forfeitures of bail or collateral deposited to secure a
person's appearance in court in non-motor vehicle cases are not shown.
Juvenile cases, and Infractions and violation convictions
are not shown.
Criminal history record information shown on the Judicial Branch’s website may change daily due to erasures, corrections, pardons and other modifications to individual criminal history record information.
Housing MattersCase records for housing matters filed:
Case records for housing matters filed in Ansonia/Milford, Litchfield, New London and Windham are available online only for cases filed on or after Jan. 1, 2017.
Case records for housing matters filed in the Housing Sessions on and after March 1, 2016, are available through the Civil/Family/Housing Case Look-up. Case records for summary process (eviction) matters that were filed in the Housing Sessions before March 1, 2016, can be found only through the Housing Sessions Case Look-Up.
Case records for housing matters filed in the geographical area locations at Derby, New London, Danielson, and Bantam are not available online for cases filed prior to Jan. 1, 2017.
If you need to look up short calendars or information on other scheduled court events, use the search option under Short Calendar Look-up or Court Events Look-up. If you need information on scheduled foreclosure sales, choose Pending Foreclosure Sales.
If you need help understanding the information displayed on the case detail page for your case, choose Understanding Civil/Family/Housing Display of Case Information.
The case information displayed on this website for housing cases includes all information entered into the system through the end of the previous business day.
If you need an attorney or firm juris number, choose Attorney/Firm Juris Number Look-up.
If you are looking up a case, use one of the search options under Case Look-up on the left side of this page. If you are looking for a list of cases for a specific attorney or law firm, use By Attorney/Firm Juris Number under Case Look-up.
Civil and Family Cases
Disclosable documents in civil cases are available
Limited case information regarding family cases is
available online; however, disclosable documents in family cases are
not posted. You may view disclosable documents at the clerk’s office
where the case is, or access it through computers at any of the
Court Service centers.
Case information is generally shown on this website
for no less than one year and no more than 10 years after the
disposition date unless Connecticut Practice Book Sections 7-10 and
7-11 provide for a shorter period of time, in which case this
information will be shown for the shorter period of time. If a
motion is filed after a case has been decided -- for example, a
motion to modify a support order in a family case -- the time the
case is shown on this website may be extended for 11 more months.
Please note that cases will be removed from the
website one month before the end of the period you might find in the
Connecticut Practice Book. Also, Under the Federal Violence Against
Women Act of 2005, cases for relief from physical abuse, foreign
protective orders, and motions that would be likely to publicly
reveal the identity or location of a protected party may not be
displayed and may be available only at the courts.
The case information displayed on this website for
civil and family cases includes all information entered into the
system through the end of the previous business day.
If you need an attorney or firm juris number, choose
Attorney/Firm Juris Number Look-up.
If you are looking up a case, use one of the search options under Case Look-up on the left side of this page. If you are looking for a list of cases for a specific attorney or law firm, use By Attorney/Firm Juris Number under Case Look-up.
Case information includes all data entry completed by the close of
business the previous day, so the most up- to-date information may not
have been added when you look up a case.
Convictions within the past 10 years are
Convictions for infractions, violations, and unvacated forfeitures of
bail or collateral deposited to secure a person’s appearance in court in
non-motor vehicle cases are not included in the database.
Please note that this criminal history record information may change
daily due to erasures, corrections, pardons, and other modifications to
individual criminal history record information.
The Judicial Branch has a
statistics page covering various topics and may provide you with the
information that you need.
If you are seeking statistics that are not available through the
website, there may be a charge; please email the request to
If the request involves a specific state statute, please also provide
the statute number. In addition, we need to know how many years’ worth
of data you are seeking and whether you are inquiring on a statewide or
For appellate, criminal, civil, family, housing and small claims
cases, disclosable information may be available through the
Lookup section of the Judicial Branch’s website.
Chapter 7 of the Practice Book provides retention schedules for files
and records. These rules outline what may or may not be available in a
file once it is disposed, and for how long the information will be
For all types of files, you should start by contacting the clerk’s
office in the judicial district where the case originated to determine
whether the file you are seeking is still there and/or disclosable. The
clerk’s office may inform you that the file has been sent to the
Superior Court Records Center, located at 111 Phoenix Ave., Enfield. In
that event, please obtain the following information from the clerk’s
office to provide to the records center:
The following information is necessary for the records
center to locate a record:
If you are seeking a civil case, the records center also needs the “records center location number,” which is available at the court.
The record center’s phone number is 860-741-3714.
Please note that information regarding disposed of cases may not
be available because of state erasure laws Chapter 961a, “Criminal
Records,” Part 1, Erasure, of the Connecticut General Statutes.
There is a fee for transcripts set forth in Section 51-63(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes.
PSI stands for presentence investigation. Section 54-91a(a) of the
General Statutes says:
“No defendant convicted of a crime, other than a capital felony, the
punishment for which may include imprisonment for more than a year, may
be sentenced, or defendant’s case otherwise disposed of, until a written
report of investigation by a probation officer has been presented to and
considered by the court, if the defendant is so convicted for the first
time in this state; but any court may, in its discretion, order a
presentence investigation for a defendant convicted of any crime or
offense other than capital felony.”
Section 54-91a 9(c) of the General Statutes outlines what information
may be included in a PSI.
It is not uncommon for court officials – the judge, prosecutor or
public defender, for example – to refer in open court during a
sentencing to information contained in the PSI. A PSI, however, is not
disclosable to the public, pursuant to Section 43-9 of the Connecticut
Certain diversionary programs in criminal court require that a file
be sealed once a defendant applies for the program. These are statutory
sealings; in other words, the Legislature put in the requirements for
sealing. The court and court personnel are bound by these requirements.
When someone applies for the pretrial alcohol-education program,
Section 54-56g of the General Statutes requires that the file be sealed.
At that point, Judicial Branch personnel cannot confirm whether someone
has applied for the program or not.
No. The state
State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services runs and
contracts for the program.
Yes. A list of diversionary programs may be found here under “Criminal Publications.”
Please see Section 54-47e of the General Statutes.
A court file is the official record of the court and includes
documents from a case.
The contents of a file depend on the nature of the case and the
charges (see Connecticut Practice Book Section 7-13 for more detailed
information). Among other things, the file’s contents may include
the following documents:
The contents of a civil or family file depend on the nature of the case and the allegations. The file’s contents may include the following documents;
Generally, all records of juvenile matters are
confidential in accordance with state law.
Please see the
Connecticut Practice Book for these rules: Sec. 11-20, Sec. 11-20A,
Sec. 11-20B, Sec. 25-59, Sec. 25-59A, Sec. 25-59B, Sec. 42-49; Sec.
A notice of
motions to seal documents and to close proceedings in family, civil
and housing matters is posted on the Judicial Branch website.
Please see Section 36-2(b), (c) and (d) of the
Please see Practice Book section 37-12(d) which reads: "Unless the
judicial authority entered an order limiting disclosure of the
affidavits submitted to the Judicial authority in support of a finding
of probable cause, whether or not probable cause have been found, all
such affidavits, including any police reports, shall be made part of the
court file and be open to public inspection and copying..."
The following situations could apply:
Under state law, the state’s Freedom of Information
laws apply with respect to the administrative functions of the Judicial
The Connecticut Practice Book and state statutes
govern court access, records and proceedings.
The Judicial Branch's meetings, agendas and minutes are posted on the Judicial Branch website.
Is there anyone to whom I should submit a camera
Media organizations may e-mail camera requests to Alison.Chandler@jud.ct.gov and/or Rhonda.Hebert@jud.ct.gov and they will forward the request to the judge.
Yes, individuals are allowed to bring their camera cell phones into
Judicial Branch facilities. However, they may not use their phone to
take pictures. View a complete listing of rules regarding
electronic devices in the
courts. Also view Section 1-10 of the
Do the Supreme and Appellate Courts have rules regarding electronic devices? Yes. Please see Section 70-9 of the Practice Book, Coverage of Court Proceedings by Cameras and Electronic Media. You will also want to review: the Protocol for Broadcasting, Televising, Recording or Photographing Oral Arguments for both the Supreme and Appellate Courts; and the Supreme and Appellate Courts ’
Child protection, delinquency, and Family with Service Needs cases
are handled at Connecticut’s 11 juvenile court locations, which are located in Bridgeport, Hartford,
Middletown, New Britain, New Haven, Rockville, Stamford, Torrington,
Waterbury, Waterford and Willimantic.
Child Protection involves cases of
neglect, termination of parental rights and emancipation. These matters
typically involve the filing of an action or a petition at the Superior
Court for Juvenile Matters. Usually the state Department of Children and
Families – the agency responsible for investigating allegations of child
abuse and neglect – files the petition.
In many towns, police may divert a case to a juvenile review board.
These boards generally are limited to misdemeanor cases and situations
where police believe the matter may be resolved with mediation or short-
term intervention. Not every town has such a board.
Family With Service Needs:
Status/non-criminal offenses (that is, runaway, truancy, beyond control)
committed by a juvenile before reaching 18 years of age.
Child Protection Sessions are located in Middletown and Willimantic.
They serve as a statewide juvenile trial court, accepting child
protection cases referred by local juvenile court judges. The referral
criteria include: age of the case, significance of the action
(termination of parental rights is the most important), and complexity
of the case.
Generally, all records of cases in Juvenile Court are confidential
under Section 46b-124 of the Connecticut General Statutes. The Judicial
Branch may provide general administrative information about Juvenile
Court, for example, the number of cases handled annually, budget, types
of programs, etc. Information also is available on the Judicial Branch
Sections 46b-120 through 46b-150h of the Connecticut General Statutes
may provide the basic information that you are seeking.
The Judicial Branch operates two juvenile detention
centers, one each in Bridgeport and Hartford. These are pre-trial (cases not
yet adjudicated) facilities.
Media Inquiries: Contact Rhonda Stearley-Hebert (860) 757-2270, Rhonda.Hebert@jud.ct.gov
Camera Requests: Contact Alison Chandler (860) 757-2270, Alison.Chandler@jud.ct.gov
General Information: External.Affairs@jud.ct.gov