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The Judicial Branch Understanding the Law and our Court System.

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Presentation on theme: "The Judicial Branch Understanding the Law and our Court System."— Presentation transcript:

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2 The Judicial Branch Understanding the Law and our Court System

3 Legal Vocabulary Contract : A set of voluntary promises, enforceable by the law, between two or more parties. Contract : A set of voluntary promises, enforceable by the law, between two or more parties. Warranty: a. a stipulation, explicit or implied, in assurance of some particular in connection with a contract, as of sale: an express warranty of the quality of goods. b. Also called covenant of warranty. a covenant in a deed to land by which the party conveying assures the grantee that he or she will enjoy the premises free from interference by any person claiming under a superior title. Compare quitclaim deed, warranty deed.quitclaim deed warranty deed c. (in the law of insurance) a statement or promise, made by the party insured, and included as an essential part of the contract, falsity or nonfulfillment of which renders the policy void. d. a judicial document, as a warrant or writ.

4 Personal Property: Moveable belongings such as clothes and jewelry, as well as intangible items like stocks, bonds, copyrights, and patents. Personal Property: Moveable belongings such as clothes and jewelry, as well as intangible items like stocks, bonds, copyrights, and patents. Real Property: land and whatever is attached to or growing on it.

5 Petty Offense: A minor crime, usually punished by a ticket rather than being arrested. Petty Offense: A minor crime, usually punished by a ticket rather than being arrested. Misdemeanor: A minor crime that is usually punished by a fine or jail sentence of less than one year. Misdemeanor: A minor crime that is usually punished by a fine or jail sentence of less than one year. Felony: A major crime! an offense, as murder or burglary, of graver character than those called misdemeanors, esp. those commonly punished in the U.S. by imprisonment for more than a year

6 Grand Jury: Group that hears charges against a suspect and decides whether there is sufficient evidence to bring the person to trial. Grand Jury: Group that hears charges against a suspect and decides whether there is sufficient evidence to bring the person to trial. Trial Jury/Petit Jury: A jury, usually 6 to 12 people, that sits at civil and criminal trials. They weigh evidence presented at the trial and render a verdict. Hung Jury: A jury that is unable to reach a decision.

7 Disclaimer: a statement, document, or assertion that disclaims responsibility, affiliation, etc.; disavowal; denial. Disclaimer: a statement, document, or assertion that disclaims responsibility, affiliation, etc.; disavowal; denial. Plea Bargain: The process in which a defendant pleads guilty to a lesser crime than the one with which the defendant was originally charged.

8 Verdict: Decision made by a Judge or Jury. Verdict: Decision made by a Judge or Jury. Sentence: The punishment to be imposed on an offender after a guilty verdict.

9 Criminal Case: One which the state brings charges against a citizen for violating the law. Criminal Case: One which the state brings charges against a citizen for violating the law. Civil Case: One usually involving a dispute between 2 or more private individuals or organizations.

10 Voir Dire: An oath administered to a proposed witness or juror by which he or she is sworn to speak the truth in an examination to ascertain his or her competence. Voir Dire: An oath administered to a proposed witness or juror by which he or she is sworn to speak the truth in an examination to ascertain his or her competence. Complaint: A legal document filed with the court that has jurisdiction over the problem. Injunction: An order that will stop a particular action or enforce a rule or regulation.

11 Summons: An official notice of a lawsuit that includes the date, time, and place of the initial court appearance. Summons: An official notice of a lawsuit that includes the date, time, and place of the initial court appearance. Booked: to sentence (an offender, lawbreaker, etc.) to the maximum penalties for all charges against that person. Booked: to sentence (an offender, lawbreaker, etc.) to the maximum penalties for all charges against that person. Indictment: A formal charge by a grand jury. Arbitrator: A person chosen to decide a dispute or settle differences, esp. one formally empowered to examine the facts and decide the issue.

12 Negligence: The failure to exercise that degree of care that, in the circumstances, the law requires for the protection of other persons or those interests of other persons that may be injuriously affected by the want of such care. Negligence: The failure to exercise that degree of care that, in the circumstances, the law requires for the protection of other persons or those interests of other persons that may be injuriously affected by the want of such care. Mediation: A process in which each side is given the opportunity to explain its side of the dispute and must listen to the other side. Intent to Act: The state of a person's mind that directs his or her actions toward a specific object.

13 Plaintiff: The person who brings charges in court. Plaintiff: The person who brings charges in court. Defendant: The person against whom a civil or criminal suit is brought in court. Defendant: The person against whom a civil or criminal suit is brought in court. Criminal: 1. of the nature of or involving crime. 2. guilty of crime. 3. of or pertaining to crime or its punishment: a criminal proceeding.

14 Damages: The estimated money equivalent for detriment or injury sustained. Damages: The estimated money equivalent for detriment or injury sustained. Arraignment: The procedure during which the judge reads the formal charge against the defendant and the defendant pleads guilty or not guilty.

15 I. The Basics of our Court System Judicial Branch: ARTICLE III COURTS - These are federal courts established by, or under Article III of the U.S. Constitution which states: 'The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.' Judicial Branch: ARTICLE III COURTS - These are federal courts established by, or under Article III of the U.S. Constitution which states: 'The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.'

16 Dual Court System State Courts and Federal Courts 50 State Court Systems 50 State Court Systems State Supreme Courts State Supreme Courts Intermediate Appeals Courts Intermediate Appeals Courts State Trial Courts State Trial Courts Municipal Courts and other Courts of Limited Jurisdiction Municipal Courts and other Courts of Limited Jurisdiction

17 Federal Court System Federal Court System Constitutional Courts Constitutional Courts Regular Courts Regular Courts U.S. Supreme Court U.S. Supreme Court Inferior Courts Inferior Courts 13 US Courts of Appeal 13 US Courts of Appeal 1 US. Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit 1 US. Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit 94 US District Courts 94 US District Courts Special Courts Special Courts US Court of International Trade US Court of International Trade Legislative Courts Legislative Courts · US Territorial Courts in Guam, US Virgin Islands, US Mariana Islands · US Territorial Courts in Guam, US Virgin Islands, US Mariana Islands · U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces · U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed ForcesU.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed ForcesU.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces · U.S. Court of Federal Claims · U.S. Court of Federal ClaimsU.S. Court of Federal ClaimsU.S. Court of Federal Claims · U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals · U.S. Court of Veterans AppealsU.S. Court of Veterans AppealsU.S. Court of Veterans Appeals · U.S. Tax Court · U.S. Tax CourtU.S. Tax CourtU.S. Tax Court

18 Jurisdiction: The right, power, or authority to administer justice by hearing and determining controversies. Also: the extent or range of judicial, law enforcement, or other authority and the territory over which authority is exercised. Jurisdiction: The right, power, or authority to administer justice by hearing and determining controversies. Also: the extent or range of judicial, law enforcement, or other authority and the territory over which authority is exercised.

19 Federal Court Jurisdiction: In general, federal courts may decide cases that involve: In general, federal courts may decide cases that involve: The United States government The United States government The United States Constitution or federal laws The United States Constitution or federal laws Controversies between states or between the United States and foreign governments. Controversies between states or between the United States and foreign governments. A case that raises such a "federal question" may be filed in federal court. Examples of such cases might include a claim by an individual for entitlement to money under a federal government program such as Social Security, a claim by the government that someone has violated federal laws, or a challenge to actions taken by a federal agency. A case that raises such a "federal question" may be filed in federal court. Examples of such cases might include a claim by an individual for entitlement to money under a federal government program such as Social Security, a claim by the government that someone has violated federal laws, or a challenge to actions taken by a federal agency.

20 Other Federal Cases May Involve… A case also may be filed in federal court based on the "diversity of citizenship" of the litigants, such as between citizens of different states, or between United States citizens and those of another country. To ensure fairness to the out-of-state litigant, the Constitution provides that such cases may be heard in a federal court. An important limit to diversity jurisdiction is that only cases involving more than $75,000 in potential damages may be filed in a federal court. Claims below that amount may only be pursued in state court. Moreover, any diversity jurisdiction case regardless of the amount of money involved may be brought in a state court rather than a federal court. A case also may be filed in federal court based on the "diversity of citizenship" of the litigants, such as between citizens of different states, or between United States citizens and those of another country. To ensure fairness to the out-of-state litigant, the Constitution provides that such cases may be heard in a federal court. An important limit to diversity jurisdiction is that only cases involving more than $75,000 in potential damages may be filed in a federal court. Claims below that amount may only be pursued in state court. Moreover, any diversity jurisdiction case regardless of the amount of money involved may be brought in a state court rather than a federal court.

21 The constitutionality of a law The constitutionality of a law Cases involving the laws and treaties of the U.S. Cases involving the laws and treaties of the U.S. Ambassadors and public ministers Ambassadors and public ministers Disputes between two or more states Disputes between two or more states Admiralty law Admiralty law Bankruptcy cases. Bankruptcy cases.

22 Most Cases are solved more Locally… Federal courts are located in every state. The great majority of legal disputes in American courts are addressed in the separate state court systems. For example, state courts have jurisdiction over virtually all divorce and child custody matters, probate and inheritance issues, real estate questions, and juvenile matters, and they handle most criminal cases, contract disputes, traffic violations, and personal injury cases. Federal courts are located in every state. The great majority of legal disputes in American courts are addressed in the separate state court systems. For example, state courts have jurisdiction over virtually all divorce and child custody matters, probate and inheritance issues, real estate questions, and juvenile matters, and they handle most criminal cases, contract disputes, traffic violations, and personal injury cases.

23 Federal Courts Have Jurisdiction over certain people…. Ambassadors and other representatives of foreign governments Ambassadors and other representatives of foreign governments Citizens of different states Citizens of different states A state and a citizen of a different state A state and a citizen of a different state Citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states Citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states A state or its citizens and a foreign country or its citizens A state or its citizens and a foreign country or its citizens

24 Types of Jurisdiction… Concurrent Jurisdiction: Authority shared by both federal and state courts Concurrent Jurisdiction: Authority shared by both federal and state courts Example: Case between citizens involving more than $75,000. The citizens have a choice unless one insists on Federal court. Example: Case between citizens involving more than $75,000. The citizens have a choice unless one insists on Federal court. Original Jurisdiction: The authority of trial court to be the first to hear a case. Appellate Jurisdiction: Authority held by a court to hear a case that is appealed from a lower court.

25 II. Federal Courts Article III of the U.S. Constitution est. Federal Courts. Article III of the U.S. Constitution est. Federal Courts. Courts that “interpret” a countries Constitution are known as Const. Courts. Courts that “interpret” a countries Constitution are known as Const. Courts. **Many consider the U.S. Supreme court to be the worlds oldest Const. Court.

26 The United States District Courts are the trial courts of the federal court system. The United States District Courts are the trial courts of the federal court system. There are 94 federal judicial districts, including at least one district in each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Three territories of the United States -- the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands -- have district courts that hear federal cases, including bankruptcy cases. There are 94 federal judicial districts, including at least one district in each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Three territories of the United States -- the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands -- have district courts that hear federal cases, including bankruptcy cases.

27 District Court Jurisdiction…. Within limits set by Congress and the Constitution, the district courts have jurisdiction to hear nearly all categories of federal cases, including both civil and criminal matters. Within limits set by Congress and the Constitution, the district courts have jurisdiction to hear nearly all categories of federal cases, including both civil and criminal matters. Bankruptcy Courts are separate. The Federal Govt. holds sole jurisdiction over Bankruptcy; cannot be tried in state court. Bankruptcy Courts are separate. The Federal Govt. holds sole jurisdiction over Bankruptcy; cannot be tried in state court.

28 Two special Trial Courts have Nationwide Jurisdiction: 1) The Court of International Trade addresses cases involving international trade and customs issues. 1) The Court of International Trade addresses cases involving international trade and customs issues. 2) The United States Court of Federal Claims has jurisdiction over most claims for money damages against the United States, disputes over federal contracts, unlawful "takings" of private property by the federal government, and a variety of other claims against the United States.

29 Officers of Federal District Courts US Attorney: United States Attorneys conduct most of the trial work in which the United States is a party. US Attorney: United States Attorneys conduct most of the trial work in which the United States is a party. There are 93 United States Attorneys stationed throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. There are 93 United States Attorneys stationed throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. United States Attorneys are appointed by, and serve at the discretion of, the President of the United States, with advice and consent of the United States Senate. United States Attorneys are appointed by, and serve at the discretion of, the President of the United States, with advice and consent of the United States Senate. 1) The prosecution of criminal cases brought by the Federal government 2) The prosecution and defense of civil cases in which the United States is a party 3) The collection of debts owed the Federal government which are administratively uncollectible.

30 Magistrate: A federal judge who serves in a United States district court. Magistrate judges are assigned duties by the district judges in the district in which they serve. Magistrate: A federal judge who serves in a United States district court. Magistrate judges are assigned duties by the district judges in the district in which they serve. United States district court United States district court Full-time magistrate judges serve for renewable terms of eight years. Some federal district courts have part-time magistrate judges, who serve for renewable terms of four years.

31 US Marshal: Marshals are given extensive authority to support the federal courts within their judicial districts and to carry out all lawful orders issued by judges, Congress, or the president. US Marshal: Marshals are given extensive authority to support the federal courts within their judicial districts and to carry out all lawful orders issued by judges, Congress, or the president. Jobs: Protecting Federal Judges Transporting Prisoners Managing Prisoners Protecting Witnesses Serving Court Documents

32 Federal District Courts in Ohio: 4 Federal District Courts in Ohio: 4 Northern District Court of Ohio Northern District Court of Ohio Southern District Court of Ohio Southern District Court of Ohio Northern District of Ohio Bankruptcy Court Northern District of Ohio Bankruptcy Court Southern District of Ohio Bankruptcy Southern District of Ohio Bankruptcy Federal Circuit Court of Appeals: 13 They have Appellate Jurisdiction *Appeals Decisions with 3 Different Choices: 1) Uphold original decision 2) Reverse the lower courts decision 3) Send a case back to the lower court to be tried again.

33 Legislative Court So-called because they are created by Congress in pursuance of its general legislative powers, have comprised a significant part of the federal judiciary. So-called because they are created by Congress in pursuance of its general legislative powers, have comprised a significant part of the federal judiciary. US Claims Courts: Handles claims against the US for $$$ Damages.

34 US Tax Courts : US Tax Courts : Trail court it hears cases relating to federal tax disputes. Trail court it hears cases relating to federal tax disputes.

35 Federal Judges Hired through Appointment (Senate Approval) Hired through Appointment (Senate Approval) Terms lasts “During Good Behavior” (Life) Terms lasts “During Good Behavior” (Life) No particular qualifications! No particular qualifications!

36 III. The Supreme Court Basics Jurisdiction: Original & Appellate Jurisdiction: Original & Appellate Original Jurisdiction: Original Jurisdiction: 1) Cases involving Representatives of Foreign Governments 1) Cases involving Representatives of Foreign Governments Certain Cases in which a state is a party Certain Cases in which a state is a party

37 Most cases heard in the Supreme Court fall under “Appellate” Jurisdiction. Most cases heard in the Supreme Court fall under “Appellate” Jurisdiction. There are “9” Supreme Court Justices There are “9” Supreme Court Justices Justices are appointed by the President and approved by the Senate. Justices are appointed by the President and approved by the Senate. They serve for Life on “Good Behavior” They serve for Life on “Good Behavior” Justices can be removed through the impeachment process. Justices can be removed through the impeachment process.


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