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Guide to Law Online: U.S. Pennsylvania


In Pennsylvania, the judiciary has four general levels. The Minor Courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, hearing arraignments in most cases. The Minor Courts are presided over by non-lawyer magistrates in some instances. The Court of Common Pleas is the trial court of general jurisdiction. The Superior Court and Commonwealth Court act as intermediate appellate courts, with the Superior Court having jurisdiction over most civil and criminal matters, while the Commonwealth Court hears matters involving government regulations. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is the highest court in the state.