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State Constitution

Executive Branch

Legislative Branch

Judicial Branch

State Government - Judicial Branch

The judicial branch decides how state laws should be applied. The governor appoints judges to the Supreme and Superior courts with the Senate's approval. The judges serve seven-year terms, but after they have been re-appointed once, they can serve until they are 70.

The highest court in the judiciary branch is the state Supreme Court. This court hears cases involving constitutional problems and other major matters. The Supreme Court consists of a chief justice and six associate justices.

The chief justice investigates complaints against the courts, supervises the clerks and court workers, and oversees the court finances. He or she earns $156,634 per year. Associate justices each earn $152,191.

The state Superior Court is divided into the Appellate, Law, and Chancery divisions. Superior Court is where most trials take place. The Appellate Division hears appeals of decisions from lower courts and state agencies. Law hears cases in its Criminal Division and Civil Division. Criminal deals with people accused of crimes while Civil deals with lawsuits. Chancery consists of a General Equity Division and Family Division. General Equity cases involve matters such as contracts. The Family Division deals with family and children's legal matters.

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