2There are two major court systems in the U.S.: The federal court systemThe court systems of the 50 states and the District of ColumbiaEach of these systems has jurisdiction to hear different types of lawsuits.
3The State Court Systems Limited-Jurisdiction Trial CourtsGeneral-Jurisdiction Trial CourtsSupremeCourtIntermediate Appellate Courts3
4The State Court Systems (continued) Limited – Jurisdiction Trial CourtsHear matters of a specialized or limited natureTraffic courtsJuvenile courtsJustice-of-the-peace courtsProbate courtsFamily law courtsSmall claims courtsCourts that hear misdemeanor criminal law cases and civil lawsuits under a certain dollar amount
5The State Court Systems (continued) General – Jurisdiction Trial CourtsHear cases of a general nature that are not within the jurisdiction of limited-jurisdiction courtsTestimony and evidence at trial are recorded and stored for future reference
6The State Court Systems (continued) Intermediate Appellate CourtsA court that hears appeals from trial courtsReviews the trial court record to determine if there have been any errors at trial that would require reversal or modification of the decision
7The State Court Systems (continued) Highest State CourtThe highest court in a state court systemHears appeals from intermediate state courts and certain trial courtsNo new evidence or testimony is heardDecisions of state supreme courts are final, unless a question of law is involved that is appealable to the U.S. Supreme Court.
8A Typical State Court System Appeal toState Supreme CourtU.S. Supreme CourtState Appeals CourtsState Trial Courts of General JurisdictionDomestic Relations DivisionJuvenile DivisionCivil DivisionCriminal DivisionProbate DivisionSmall Claims CourtsJustice of the Peace CourtsMunicipal Courts
9The Federal Court System U.S. District CourtsSpecial Federal CourtsU.S. Courts of AppealsU.S. Supreme Court3
10The Federal Court System (continued) U.S. Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court was created by Article III of the U.S. ConstitutionThe Supreme Court is the highest court in the land and is located in Washington, D.C.
11The Federal Court System (continued) Special Federal CourtsFederal courts that hear matters of specialized or limited jurisdictionThey include:U.S. Tax CourtU.S. Claims CourtU.S. Court of International TradeU.S. Bankruptcy Court
12The Federal Court System (continued) U.S. District CourtsThe federal court system’s trial courts of general jurisdictionThey are empowered to:Impanel juriesReceive evidenceHear testimonyDecide casesMost federal cases originate in federal district court
13The Federal Court System (continued) U.S. Courts of AppealsThe federal court system’s intermediate appellate courtsThese courts hear appeals from the district courts located in their circuit
14The Federal Court System (continued) U.S. Courts of Appeals (continued)Review the record of lower courts or administrative agency proceedingsDetermine if there has been any error that would warrant reversal or modification of the lower court decision
15The Federal Court System (continued) U.S. Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court hears appeals from:federal circuit courts of appealsfederal district courts, under certain circumstancesspecial federal courtsthe highest state courts.No new evidence or testimony is heard
16The Federal Court System (continued) U.S. Supreme Court (continued)The lower court record is reviewed to determine whether there has been an error that warrants a reversal or modification of the decisionThe Supreme Court’s decision is final
17The Federal Court System (continued) U.S. Supreme Court (continued)The Supreme Court can issue the following types of decisions:Unanimous decisionMajority decisionPlurality decisionTie decisionJustices may issue a concurring or dissenting opinion
18The Federal Court System (continued) Petition for CertioraiA petition asking the Supreme Court to hear case.Writ of CertioraiAn official notice that the Supreme Court will review a case.
19The Federal Court System (continued) U.S. Supreme CourtU.S. Court of Appealsfor the Federal CircuitU.S. Court of Appeals (11 Territorial Circuits & D.C. Circuit)Many Federal Adminis-trative AgenciesU.S. District Courts (96 DistrictsU.S.TaxCourtU.S.ClaimsCourtU.S. Court of International TradeU.S. Patent and Trademark OfficeU.S.BankruptcyCourts
20Jurisdiction of State Courts State courts hear any cases that federal courts do not have jurisdiction to hearMatters involving state lawReal estateBusiness lawSales and lease agreementsNegotiable instruments
21Jurisdiction of Federal and State Courts Exclusive Federal JurisdictionExclusive State JurisdictionAdmiraltyAntitrustBankruptcyCopyrightFederal CrimesPatentsSuits against the U.S.Other specified federal statutesConcurrent JurisdictionMatters not subject to federal jurisdictionFederal questionsDiversity of citizenship cases
22Personal Jurisdiction of Courts Standing to SueJurisdictionVenue
23Standing to SuePlaintiff must have a stake in the outcome of case
24In Personam Jurisdiction Personal jurisdiction is obtained by:Plaintiffby virtue of filing the suitDefendantby serving summons within the stateby mailing summonsby publicationParty disputing jurisdiction may make a special appearance
25In Rem and Quasi In Rem Jurisdiction Court has jurisdiction over the property of the lawsuitWithin the state bordersQuasi in rem:Attachment jurisdictionAttach property located in another state
26Long-Arm StatuteState courts obtain jurisdiction over persons or businesses located in another stateAllows summons to be served in other statesMust have minimum contact with stateMust uphold notions of fair play and substantial justice