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Supreme Court Rules, Practices, and Traditions

State Courts

State High Courts

Often times, the question of whether a case is filed in federal or state court depends on which court has jurisdiction, or the ability to hear a case. Because state courts have broad jurisdiction, the most common question is whether the federal court has jurisdiction. An exception is bankruptcy cases, which are heard in federal court. Sometimes, cases—such as employment discrimination cases—can be filed in either state or federal court. The question then becomes one of legal strategy.

State Highest State Court # of Justices
Alabama Alabama Supreme Court 9
Alaska Alaska Supreme Court 5
Arizona Arizona Supreme Court 5
Arkansas Arkansas Supreme Court 7
Colorado Colorado Supreme Court 7
Connecticut Connecticut Supreme Court 7
Delaware Delaware Supreme Court 5
District of Columbia D.C. Court of Appeals 9
Florida Florida Supreme Court 7
Georgia Georgia Supreme Court 7
Hawaii Hawaii Supreme Court 5
Idaho Idaho Supreme Court 5
Illinois Illinois Supreme Court 7
Indiana Indiana Supreme Court 5
Iowa Iowa Supreme Court 7
Kansas Kansas Supreme Court 7
Kentucky Kentucky Supreme Court 7
Louisiana Louisiana Supreme Court 7
Maine Maine Supreme Judicial Court 7
Maryland Maryland Court of Appeals 7
Massachusetts Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court 7
Michigan Michigan Supreme Court 7
Minnesota Minnesota Supreme Court 7
Mississippi Mississippi Supreme Court 9
Missouri Missouri Supreme Court 7
Montana Montana Supreme Court 7
Nebraska Nebraska Supreme Court 7
Nevada Nevada Supreme Court 7
New Hampshire New Hampshire Supreme Court 5
New Jersey New Jersey Supreme Court 7
New Mexico New Mexico Supreme Court 5
New York New York Court of Appeals 7
North Carolina North Carolina Supreme Court 7
North Dakota North Dakota Supreme Court 5
Ohio Ohio Supreme Court 7
Oklahoma Oklahoma Supreme Court (civil cases) 9
Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals(criminal cases) 5
Oregon Oregon Supreme Court 7
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Supreme Court 7
Rhode Island Rhode Island Supreme Court 5
South Carolina South Carolina Supreme Court 5
South Dakota South Dakota Supreme Court 5
Tennessee Tennessee Supreme Court 5
Texas Texas Supreme Court (civil cases) 9
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (criminal cases) 9
Utah Utah Supreme Court 5
Vermont Vermont Supreme Court 5
Virginia Virginia Supreme Court 7
Washington Washington Supreme Court 9
West Virginia West Virginia Supreme Court 5
Wisconsin Wisconsin Supreme Court 7
Wyoming Wyoming Supreme Court 5


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