Superior Court: Terms & Definitions

Criminal Complex Cases
  • Complex Cases typically involve the following felonies: Treason, Murder, Rape, Aggravated Sodomy, Armed Robbery, Aircraft & Motor Vehicle Hijacking, All Child Molestation, Aggravated Sexual Battery, Manufacturing & Trafficking Controlled Substances, Kidnapping, Burglary, Arson, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Stalking, any other Felony Sexual Offenses, and any felony involving the use of firearms.  Also, any case involving a defendant with three or more prior felony convictions is classified as a Complex Case, regardless of the charges.
Criminal Non-Complex Cases
  • Non-Complex Cases generally involve all other felonies, unless the facts and circumstances of the case make it unduly complex, in which case the District Attorney can petition Superior Court to consider a transfer to the Complex Division.
Pending Case
  • Cases where a disposition has not been reached.
Closed Case
  • In the criminal context, a case in which all charges brought against the defendant have been resolved.  In the civil context, a case in which all claims brought by any party have been resolved.
  • A felony is a crime that is punishable by imprisonment for one year or more.
  • A misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by up to twelve months in jail.
Judicial Hold
  • A Judicial Hold is a temporary closure of a criminal case due to the defendant not being available for trial.  Examples include the defendant failing to appear for court (bail jumping), the defendant being under medical care, and the defendant being on loan out to another jurisdiction.
Available for Trial
  • “Available for trial” means that the case has been indicted and the Court is able to proceed.  Defendants who are fugitives, who are not competent to stand trial, or who are loaned out to other jurisdictions are not available for trial.
Civil Cases
  • A civil case – often referred to as a lawsuit – involves a legal dispute between two or more parties.  Examples include contract disputes, vehicle accidents, and medical malpractice claims.  Criminal cases (robbery, drugs, etc.) are not civil cases.
Family Cases
  • The Family Division has jurisdiction over cases that involve divorce, separation, annulment, custody and visitation, child support, contempt, modification, paternity, and termination of parental rights.
  • The period or session during which a court conducts judicial business.