What kinds of Courts are the Superior Court and the Unified Criminal Docket?

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In the United States there are state and federal court systems. The Superior Court and Unified Criminal Docket (UCD) in which you will serve are part of the Maine state court system. The types of cases that can be heard in each court are specified by state and federal laws, which establish the jurisdiction or subject matter that each court system may handle. Superior Court cases are heard by justices,  District Court cases are heard by judges, and in the UCD they may be heard by either.  We will use the general term judge in this handbook.

Within the federal and state court systems, there are different types of courts, whose jurisdiction is also set by law. The Superior Court is a trial court as distinguished from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which is an appellate court. The Maine District Court is a limited jurisdiction trial court in which cases are heard by a judge without a jury.

UCD are dockets where cases which would have been filed in either a Superior or District Court may be heard.  UCDs are trial courts and UCD cases may be decided by judges or juries depending upon the nature of the case.

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