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Presentation on theme: "COURTS OF LIMITED JURISDICTION AND SPECIALIZED COURTS."— Presentation transcript:


2  Process a significant number of cases  Courts that people are most likely to encounter  Most pervasive U.S. courts  “The People’s Courts”

3  Federal Courts  Article III Courts  Article I Courts  State Courts  Magistrates’ Courts  Municipal Courts

4  Established by the judicial article  U.S. Court of Claims  Meets in Washington D.C.  Hears suits filed against the federal government  U.S. Court of International Trade  Meets in New York City  Hears cases regarding tariff and international trade disputes

5  Created by authority given to Congress  U.S. Magistrate Judges  Judicial adjuncts to federal district judges  Appointed by district judges  Handle warrants, initial appearances, and some hearings  U.S. Tax Court  Cases that involve tax payments  Disputes over amount of taxes paid and owed  Bankruptcy Courts  Exclusive jurisdiction over personal and business bankruptcy  May involve financial restructuring or liquidation  U.S. Court of Military Appeals  U.S. Court of Veterans’ Appeals

6  46 states have courts of limited jurisdiction  Many have merged with justice of the peace offices  Magistrates’ Courts  Elected  Have regular offices and courtrooms  Paid a salary  Municipal Courts  Traffic cases  Violations of municipal ordinances

7  Authority given by the state constitution or legislature  Small claims court  Minor civil disputes  Landlord/tenant, consumer credit disputes  Jurisdiction set at a specific dollar amount  Criminal Cases  Hear and dispose of misdemeanor cases  Traffic cases  City ordinance violations  Simple assault, drunk driving  Punishment is a fine and/or jail time up to one year  “Front-end” responsibility for felony cases  Issue warrants  Conduct initial and preliminary hearings

8  Responsible for adjudicating vast majority of cases  Not courts of record  Both sides often without attorney representation  Most are bench trials  Many states allow for lay judges  Courts are frequently criticized by the public

9  Tort Claims  Private or civil wrong  Claims below a certain dollar amount  Breaches of Contract  Consumer credit loans and landlord/tenant disputes  Claims below a certain dollar amount  Probate Cases  Disposition of wills and inheritance issues  Often complex cases

10  First created in Cook County, Illinois  Idea that children should be treated differently than adults  Doctrine of parens patriae  Age Jurisdiction  Minimum age to take jurisdiction  Maximum age of jurisdiction  Age at which juveniles can be tried as adults  Subject Matter Jurisdiction  Delinquency  Dependency  Neglect  Status Offenses

11  Annulments  Divorces  Paternity suits  Custody disputes  Child support

12  Wills  Inheritances  Legal affairs of orphans  Adoptions  Mental Health  Property Transfers

13  Tax Courts  Police Courts  Water Courts  Mayor’s Courts  Administrative Courts  Housing Courts  Land Courts  Workers’ Compensation Courts  Court of Claims  Environmental Courts

14  Extends specialized courts into dealing with social problems  Principles utilized by ancient cultures and American Indian societies  Emerged in the U.S. around 1989 with the creation of a drug court in Miami, Florida

15  Emphasizes therapeutic relationships  Motivates offenders to correct behavior patters  Has encountered both criticism and support  Gained acceptance of many judges and attorneys  Led to the creation of other courts dealing with social issues  Teen/youth courts  Mental health courts  Domestic violence courts  Firearms/gun courts

16  Treatment integration into traditional case processing  Attorneys operate in a non-adversarial mode  Participants placed in program early in legal process  Array of available treatment and rehabilitation services  Frequent drug and alcohol testing  Coordination among judges, attorneys, and treatment personnel  Judges maintain ongoing contact with participants  System to monitor and evaluate outcome effectiveness  Interdisciplinary educational effort  Courts work with public agencies and community organizations to promote support

17  Defendants should not be required to plead guilty to receive drug court treatment  Prosecutors should surrender their role as gatekeepers, and admission criteria should be objective and fair  Drug courts must incorporate strong ethical frameworks  Drug courts should be used only for high-risk clients  There should be rigorous research efforts to establish that drug courts are open to all appropriate clients


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