Upon filing in the clerk's office, cases, unless otherwise set by court rule, are randomly assigned to a district judge.
The judge hears all matters pertaining to the case through final judgment. If a judge is excused from a case, the case is randomly assigned to another judge.
A general description of the cases filed and processed are as follows:
Cases are filed and processed from the date of: Indictment by a Grand Jury, an Information, a Fugitive Complaint, or a Magistrate Appeal, through to the disposition of the case or appeal to the higher courts. Processing includes the preparation of the court files, the filing and docketing of all pleadings and scheduling of hearings. Any bail bonds posted for defendants, such as cash, surety (bonding companies) or property, must meet the required specifications as set by Supreme Court and local rules. Criminal court files are public records, with the exception of pre-sentence reports and psychiatric and medical reports which are sealed and confidential.
The clerk's office files, maintains and processes all cases relating to "family matters" Included are: Divorces, Legal Separations, Annulments, Child Custody, Paternity, Child Support, Domestic Violence, etc.
Filing and processing of all cases that come under the Children's Code. The district court has exclusive original jurisdiction of all proceedings under the Children's Code in which a person under the age of 18 years is alleged to be:
- A delinquent child
- a child of a family in need of services
- a neglected child
- an abused child
- a child subject to adoption
- a child subject to placement for a developmental disability or a mental disorder.
All social records including evaluations, social reports, medical reports, etc., in delinquency proceedings are confidential and shall not be disclosed to the public. All other case files and records maintained by the clerk from (2) to (6) are confidential and shall not be disclosed to the public.
Each district court designates one or more district judges to sit as judge of the children's court.
The clerk's office files, processes and maintains all files pertaining to civil matters. These include personal injury, property damage, foreclosure, condemnation, debt, appeals from lower courts (municipal court, magistrate court) probate, water adjudications, adoption, mental illness and miscellaneous cases.
Adoption, mental illness, and some probate matters are sequestered records (not open to the public).
Beside these duties described before, the clerk's office is responsible for processing all appeals to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court and a wide range of other duties. These include microfilming records, data processing input, drawing of juries, notification to juries, swearing of juries and witnesses and the daily processing of incoming and outgoing mail.