The 16th Judicial Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, is a State trial court where issues involving Missouri law are litigated. Judges hear everything from small claims cases to death penalty cases.
The Circuit Court has 19 Circuit Judges, nine Associate Circuit Judges, five Family Court Division Commissioners, one Drug Court Commissioner, and two Probate Division Commissioners. The Judges of the Circuit Court rotate trial assignments, hearing both civil and criminal cases over the course of a year. Commissioners' assignments remain constant.
Because the 16th Judicial Circuit Court is a court of general jurisdiction, the Court hears both civil and criminal cases. The civil caseload, which includes matters involving domestic relations, is higher than the criminal caseload. In 1999, there was a monthly average of 407 civil cases filed in the Circuit Division, 2,165 civil cases in the Associate Circuit Division, 573 domestic relations cases, and 567 domestic violence cases. In comparison, during the same year, there was a monthly average of 473 felony criminal cases, and 121 misdemeanor criminal cases filed with the Court.