Nesbett courthouse in Anchorage, Alaska
The Alaska Superior Court is a key component of Alaska's trial court system. It has general jurisdiction. There are forty Alaska Superior Court judgeships in Alaska's four judicial districts.
Every January, the Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court chooses a superior court judge from each of Alaska's four judicial districts to serve as presiding judge for a one-year renewable term. The presiding judge is responsible for trial court administration within the district. This includes assignment of cases, supervision of court personnel, handling of court business and appointment of magistrates.
There are four judicial districts in Alaska with 42 Superior Court judges between them.
|| Area served
| Alaska First District
|| Haines, Juneau, Ketchikan Gateway, Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan, Sitka, Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon, Wrangell-Petersburg, Yakutat
| Alaska Second District
|| Nome, North Slope, Northwest Arctic
| Alaska Third District
|| Aleutians East, Aleutians West, Municipality of Anchorage, Bristol Bay, Dillingham, Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak Island, Lake and Peninsula, Matanuska-Susitna, Valdez-Cordova, Yakutat
| Alaska Fourth District
|| Bethel, Denali, Fairbanks North Star, Southeast Fairbanks, Wade-Hampton, Yukon-Koyukuk
The superior court hears all civil and criminal cases brought within the state as state court cases, with the exception of some rare cases that are taken directly to the Alaska Supreme Court.
The Superior Court specifically:
- is a trial court for both criminal and civil cases.
- serves as an appellate court for appeals from civil and criminal cases which have been tried in the Alaska District Court and for appeals from some administrative agencies
- hears cases involving children who have committed crimes or who are abused or neglected
- hears cases involving the property of deceased or incompetent persons
- hears cases involving the involuntary commitment of persons to institutions for the mentally ill
- handles domestic relation matters
To serve as a judge of the Alaska Superior Court system, these qualifications must be met:
- Citizen of the United States
- Resident of Alaska for five years prior to appointment.
- Licensed to practice law in Alaska at the time of appointment
- Engaged in the active practice of law for at least five years.