Arkansas Circuit Courts

Arkansas Constitutional Amendment 80, having taken effect on July 1, 2001, eliminated separate courts of law and courts of equity in Arkansas. Circuit courts are general jurisdiction trial courts. Effective January 1, 2002, circuit courts shall consist of five subject matter divisions: criminal, civil, probate, domestic relations, and juvenile. You can find contact numbers for all the circuit courts in the Judical Directory.

Judicial candidates for circuit judge will now run in nonpartisan elections and are required to have been licensed attorneys in the state for six years preceding the date of assuming office. Circuit judges serve a six-year term. source

Arkansas Court of Appeals

The Arkansas General Assembly was empowered to create and establish a Court of Appeals by Arkansas Constitution of 1874, amendment 58 (approved 1978; repealed by amendment 80, eff. July 1, 2001).

Effective July 1, 1979, the Arkansas General Assembly established the Court of Appeals to be composed of six members. 1979 Ark. Acts 208. Governor Bill Clinton appointed Ernie E. Wright, Steele Hays, George Howard, Jr., David Newbern, Marian F. Penix, and James H. Pilkinton to serve as the first judges of the Arkansas Court of Appeals; Judge Wright was the first Chief Judge. The court handed down its first opinions for publication on August 8, 1979. source

Arkansas Supreme Court

1836, Arkansas became the 25th state admitted to the union. Its first constitution created a supreme court composed of three judges including one styled Chief Justice, and directed that the judges be elected by the Arkansas General Assembly. Ark. Const. of 1836, art. VI, § §2 & 7. Daniel Ringo, Townsend Dickinson, and Thomas J. Lacy were selected to serve as the first supreme court judges, and Mr. Ringo became the first Chief Justice. source