In civil court cases where a party does not agree with the trial court’s decision, the party can appeal the decision. In many states, the appeal goes to an intermediate court of appeals and then, if appealed again, goes to the state supreme court. Some states do not have a court of appeals and the appeals from the trial court go directly to the state supreme court.
When civil cases go to a state’s supreme court, the supreme court will do one of three things. The supreme court will refuse to hear the case (and the decision of the lower court stands), consider the case, but issue a summary ruling where there is not a written opinion, or consider the case and issue a written opinion stating the supreme court’s decision and explaining why the supreme court made its’ decision. Most state supreme courts publish their opinions on the internet. Note that several states do not use the name “supreme court”. Following are links to web pages that contain an index to the respective state’s highest court of appeals for civil cases in which the court issued a written opinion. Simply click on the state.
Supreme Court of Alabama (no opinions online)