Missouri circuit courts are the primary trial courts in the state. They have general jurisdiction over almost all civil and criminal matters. Cases usually begin in the circuit court, which is where trials may occur.
Missouri’s counties and the city of St. Louis are organized into 45 judicial circuits. There is a court in every county. The circuit court is typically in the county seat (or the city of St. Louis) and may be in additional locations in the county.
In addition to hearing cases in the Associate and Probate Division, the associate judge hears cases from the Circuit Division involving dissolution of marriage (divorce), child custody, visitation, child support, and adult abuse (ex parte) orders.