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.
- Cases where a disposition has not been reached.
- 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.
misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by up to twelve months in jail.
- 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.
- 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 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.