The Fourteenth Judicial District is comprised of four counties: Baxter, Boone, Marion and Newton. Four Judges serve as Divisions 1, 2, 3 and 4 and each Judge serves in all four counties. Circuit Court hears all appeals from District Court and has criminal jurisdiction concurrent with most misdemeanor cases, exclusive as to all felony cases. Felony cases involve serious criminal matters that have a potential penalty of the penitentiary. Circuit Court has civil jurisdiction of all cases in excess of $5,000.00, including personal injury matters, foreclosure of promissory notes, mortgages and other breach of contract suits, and all jury trial matters. Also under the Circuit Court's jurisdiction are: domestic relations involving divorce or separation; equity, including boundary line determinations, interpretation of contracts and injunctions; Guardianship and Probate, including decedent's estates, wills, appointment of guardians for minors and for persons mentally disabled, or du to age or infirmity, and adoptions; and Juvenile Court, involving family in need of services, children of dependency/neglect, and juvenile delinquency. The Circuit Court now handles a broad range of subject matter and the four Judges agree and submit a case plan to the Arkansas Supreme Court for approval concerning assignment of cases.
Effective 7-1-2001 Arkansas Constitutional Amendment 80 Section 19(a)(2) reorganized the court system in Arkansas. Municipal Court became District Court. Also, Circuit, Chancery, Probate and Juvenile Court were all combined into Circuit Court.
District Court is elected county-wide and has civil jurisdiction up to $25,000.00 and small claims jurisdiction up to $5,000.00, non-jury. It also has misdemeanor criminal jurisdiction involving traffic violations such as speeding and other violations of the rule of the road. The court also hears misdemeanor violations such as DWI, petty theft and misdemeanor drug violations. All cases decided in District Court are subject to appeal de novo to Circuit Court.