A: Types of Courts ◦ 1. Trial courts hear evidence and arguments of the parties in a case. Known as adversarial courts system. B: District Courts : 1. In district courts the judge who hears the case decides the verdict. There is no jury. 2. cases can involve family law, traffic violations, mental hospital commitments, etc. 3. civil cases less than 10,000 4. misdemeanors or minor crimes such as trespassing, vandalism, bounced checks.
1. Superior Courts- handle civil cases involving more than $10,000 and felonies. Many involve jury trials. Capital crimes like murder, armed robbery, rape, drug trafficking, etc. 2. Jury Trial decides the verdict. In capital cases they also decide the sentence.
1. Magistrates issue search warrants and arrest warrants. The District Attorney (DA) represents the state in all criminal cases in district and superior courts. The district public defender is a full-time state employee whose responsibility is to represent low-income persons who are accused of a crime. Superior and District Court Judges hear cases and deliver sentences.
A: The North Carolina Court of Appeals ◦ 1. hears most cases appealed from the state’s trial courts. B: The North Carolina Supreme Court 1. reviews cases that a lower court has already decided. 2. interprets the state constitution 3. voters elect the chief justice and the six associate justices. 4. highest court in the state C: Remand, reverse, or uphold a case.
A: Judiciary Act of 1789 established federal district courts. B: IN 1891, Congress created federal appeals courts and circuits, (districts they serve) C: Federal Court Jurisdiction 1. Jurisdiction- the authority to hear and decide a case. For example: the following below. 2. The Constitutional violation of someone’s right. 3. Federal laws (federal crimes such kidnapping, tax evasion, counterfeiting, bank robbery, etc. )
4. Disputes between states 5. Disputes between citizens of different states 6. The Federal Govt. v a private business or enterprise. Vice versa. Individuals can sue a govt. entity. 7. Foreign Govts/ and Treaties 8. Admiralty and Maritime Laws: crimes and accidents outside territorial waters. 9. US Diplomats: representing diplomats who are accused of crimes in a foreign country.
Exclusive Jurisdiction: means only Federal courts can hear and decide a case. In a dual system-Federal courts hear Federal crimes and State courts hear state crimes. Concurrent Jurisdiction: Either court can hear and decide the case. Examples are disputes between citizens in different states over $50,000. A person can sue in either state or federal court.
I: US District Courts: Trials and lawsuits are heard. ◦ Juries ◦ Witnesses ◦ Juries hear evidence and pass verdict ◦ Judge passes sentence ◦ All federal felonies start here ◦ Original Jurisdiction: All Federal court cases begin at the District Court level. **************
1: US Court of Appeals: Reviews decisions from the lower court (District Court) Referred to as appellate jurisdiction (authority of a court to hear a case appealed from a lower court) Lawyers appeal when they feel their case was wrongly tried, new evidence may impact the case, or if there was wrongful ethical violations performed by law officials. 12 United States Court of Appeals. 13 th appeals court has nationwide jurisdiction to hear special cases such as patent disputes and international trade. 3 Judge panel hears the cases presented
Appeals court do not hold trials. They hear cases and decide a case in 3 ways. ◦ 1. By upholding a decision ◦ 2. By reversing a decision ◦ 3. Remanding: sending the case back to the lower court to be tried again. Opinion: detailed explanation of the legal thinking behind the decision. Sets the precedent for cases that follow. Precedent: guidelines to other judges that offers a model on which to base further cases that are similar in the future.
Take a couple of minutes and read pp 246- 247 and Answer the following questions into your notes. How are Federal Judges selected? What part of the Constitution says that? What is tenure? Why do federal judges serve for life? What are magistrates? What are US Attorneys? What do US Marshals do?
Look at the map in your textbook on p 241 and answer the following questions. 1. Which circuit covers the largest geographic area? 2. District 3 is smaller than District 10. Why do you think this is so? Build a house with the three levels of Federal Court.