County Justice courts are may be established by a county, a municipality, or a county in cooperation with a municipality. A county justice court’s territorial jurisdiction extends throughout the county, except for those municipalities which have separate municipal justice courts. Justice court jurisdiction is over class B and class C misdemeanors, ordinance violations, and infractions; they also have jurisdiction over small claims cases.
A justice court judge is initially nominated by the chair of the county commission or by the executive in a county executive–council form of government and final appointment is by vote of the county commission or county council. Judges are appointed for a six-year term, and when that term expires the judge is subject to an unopposed retention election. Justice court judges must be U.S. citizens, age 25 or older, a Utah resident for at least three years, a resident of the county or adjoining county for at least six months, and a registered voter of the justice court precinct. Judges are not required to be licensed attorneys but are required to have a high school education and be a person of demonstrated judgment, integrity and ability to understand and apply appropriate law.