2 The Basic Principles of American Court Organization JurisdictionTrial and Appellate CourtsDual Courts
3 Jurisdiction Types of Jurisdiction Jurisdiction is the power of a courtto decide a dispute.Types of JurisdictionGeographicalSubject MatterHierarchical
4 TRIAL and APPELLATE COURTS Trial CourtsAll cases begin hereFinders of factPlea or trialWitnesses appear only in trial courtsOpinions are rareAppellate CourtsEnsure that trial courts interpret the law correctlyMay make new lawNo trial, witnesses, or juriesOpinions are common and many are written
5 includes one national court separate court systems for each Dual Court SystemThe Dual Court Systemincludes one national courtplusseparate court systems for eachof the 50 states and theDistrict of Columbia.
6 Question Is our dual court system effective Or, should we revert to a singular system?
7 The FEDERAL COURT STRUCTURE U.S. Magistrate CourtsU.S. District CourtsU.S. Courts of AppealsU.S. Supreme Court
8 U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGESThe position was created in 1968 and is housed within the judicial branch, however, they are not Article III judges.There jurisdiction includes both civil and criminal cases.They are similar to state trial court judges of limited jurisdiction – except, they do not try and sentence felony defendants, however, they can participate in all felony trial stages leading up to trial, i.e., preliminary hearings, bail, and issuing search warrants.They are selected by district court judges.They review but do not decide prisoner petitions.
9 U.S. DISTRICT COURTSThere are 94 U.S. District Courts in the U.S. with at least one in every state.They are courts of original jurisdiction for all major violations of federal criminal law.The President nominates district court judges and they are approved by the Senate – usually, they serve for life terms.They handle both civil and criminal cases plus prisoner petitions.There is one U.S. Attorney per district court who is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate (they serve at the pleasure of the President).District court judges are assisted by bankruptcy judges who are adjuncts of the court appointed by the court of appeals for 14 year terms.
11 on state and local criminal justice officials and agencies? DISCUSSION QUESTIONWhat is the impact offederal civil lawon state and local criminal justiceofficials and agencies?
12 U.S. COURTS OF APPEALSThe U.S. Courts of Appeals are Article III courts.U.S. Courts of Appeals are also considered as ‘courts of last resort’ which include 12 circuits.Courts of appeals judges are nominated by the president and approved by the Senate.Three-judge panels*Key term: En banc.
13 U.S. SUPREME COURTThe U.S. Supreme Court is an Article III court that selects which cases it will decide.Supreme Court justices are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.The U.S. Supreme Court is composed of nine justices: eight associate and one chief justice.Writ of certiorari and the rule of four.The legal issue must involve a federal question; either a violation of federal law or the U.S. Constitution.They handle approximately 80 cases per year and their decisions are geared to set policy for the entire nation.
14 Types of Specialized Courts Constitutional courts – Article III courts. Full-time judges that are appointed (lifetime). Examples include: district courts and courts of appeal.Legislative courts – Article I courts. Full-time judges that are appointed (specific term). Examples include: bankruptcy judges and magistrates.Types of Specialized CourtsTribal Courts (Article I)Tax Courts (Article I)Court of Federal Claims (Article I)Court of Veterans Appeal (Article I)Court of Int’l Trade (Article III)U.S. Court of Appeals of the Armed Services (Article I)Court of Appeals for the Federal Courts (Article III)
15 Discussion Question With regard to “Military Noncombatants,” Explain the presidential authority under theMilitary Trials and Enemy Combatants Act (2006)
16 THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES OF FEDERAL COURTS Chief Justice – supervisory authority of the federal judicial system. The Chief Justice serves on the Judicial Conference of the U.S. and the Federal Judicial Center as well as appoints key administrative personnel.Judicial Conference of the United States – Administrative policy making organization of the federal judicial system.Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts – Responsible for day-to-day administrative tasks of the federal judicial system, i.e., budgets, lobbying and liaison, and proposing changes to court rules.
17 THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES OF FEDERAL COURTS (cont’d) Federal Judicial Center – Responsible for research and training for the federal judiciary.Judicial Councils – The basic administrative unit of a federal judicial circuit. A judicial council administers and monitors caseload and judicial assignments.U.S. Sentencing Commission – The sentencing commission is an independent agency in the judicial branch. It established the federal sentencing guidelines (1987) and is responsible for research, evaluation, and development of sentencing issues.
18 When should state crimes QuestionWhen should state crimesbecomefederal violations?For example, hate crimes, stalking, violence against women, gun control
19 Question With rising federal case loads, should we increase the number of federal judges,or should we reduce federal jurisdiction?