2Chapter Issues Overview of the Saudi and American court system How an injured party can seek relief in the courtsJurisdiction: Which court has the power and the authority to decide the case?
3Organization of the Court Systems Saudi court systems was created by King Abdul Aziz in 1932.Court systems have- Administrative tribunalsDisputes on modern regulationsGeneral Sharia courts: Courts of Original JurisdictionWhere disputes are initially brought and triedGenerally known as trial courtsSummary Sharia Courts:Where lower court decisions are reviewed
4The Sharia Court System Courts of original jurisdictionJudges and lawyers form part of the ulema.Trial courts deal in issues of factGeneral courts and summary courtsDeals with simple cases.Cases adjudicated by single judges3 judge panels deal in issues of criminal casesAppellate courts- sit in Mecca and Riyadh and review decisions for compliance with Sharia.Committees – non sharia govt tribunals – forgery/bribery/commercial and labour law.
5Judges Judges are called Qadis. Passes judgements based on legal opinions from muftis, concerned members of ulema.Lifetime appointmentJudiciary proper( body of Qadis) have about 700 Qadis.Job security guarantees that judges are independent and free from political pressure
6JudgesJudgesJudges hold a post-graduate qualification from an Islamic university recognized by the Saudi government generally the Institute of Higher Judiciary in Riyadh.Judges chosen by variety of methodsJudges serve fixed terms
7US Organization of the Court Systems Both state and federal court systems haveLower courts: Courts of Original JurisdictionWhere disputes are initially brought and triedGenerally known as trial courtsLook at issues of factAppellate Courts: Courts of Appellate JurisdictionWhere lower court decisions are reviewedLook at issues of law
8The Federal Court System Federal District CourtCourts of original jurisdictionUse juries or judge as “trier of fact”Trial courts deal in issues of factUS Court of Appeals12 courtsUsual rule: There is the right to appeal to this court3 judge panels deal in issues of lawSpecialized Federal CourtsLimited jurisdictionI.e., Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit--takes appeals fromUS District Court in patent, trademark and copyright casesUS Claims CourtUS Court of International TradeAdministrative rules of US Patent & Trademark Office
9Federal Judges Federal judges are nominated by the President Confirmed by a majority vote in US SenateLifetime appointmentMay be removed from office only if Congress impeaches them (intricate impeachment process and rarely happens)Job security guarantees that judges are independent and free from political pressure
10The Typical State Court System of US State court of “Original Jurisdiction”Where case is first brought; deals in issues of factUsually called District Court (but in NY, is called the “Supreme Court”)State court of Appellate JurisdictionDeals with appeals and issues of lawUsually called Court of AppealsCan have different names (District Court of Appeals in FL; Appellate Division in NYState Supreme CourtSecond appellate review dealing w/ issues of lawUsually called Supreme Court (but in NY, is called “Court of Appeals”)
11The Federal Court System The US Supreme Court Highest court in the countryAppellate review courtCases usually heard by 9 justicesReviews cases fromUS District CourtsUS Courts of AppealsHighest Courts of the StatesReview is through Writ of CertiorariIf writ not granted, lower court decision is final
12“The French Court System” (International Perspective) France is a civil law country (typical of Europe)Written (code) law used rather than judge-made lawCourt SystemCour de Cessation (Supreme Court)Cour d’appel (Court of Appeals)Tribunal d’Instance (Court of general jurisdiction)Appellate process in France is very different from USCour de Cessation: no authority to create judgmentsCour de Cessation: rejects an appeal or invalidates the decision & returns case to Cour d’appel for reconsideration
13“London’s Commercial Court” In international contracts, parties can state how future disputes will be resolved either in the contract or when disputes ariseThe Commercial Court in London is a popular forum:Trials handled by one judgeNo juryTrials usually occur within 1 year of disputeFinished rather quicklyLoser pays winner’s attorney’s feesEnglish courts are respected; judgment more likely to be enforced in other countriesRemedies have been innovative & relevant to commercial matters
14Jurisdiction Jurisdiction: Right of a court to hear & decide the case A number of courts may have jurisdiction over a given caseNeed jurisdiction over the subject matterNeed jurisdiction over either persons or propertyIf jurisdiction is lacking, judgment is null & void
15Subject Matter Jurisdiction State Courts A particular court resolves a particular subject matter:Wills & Trusts: Probate CourtDivorces, Child Custody: Domestic CourtMunicipal Matters: Municipal CourtSmall Claims Court - Limited claims of usually $5000 or less, sometimes up to $7,500 will be heardIf there is not a particular subject matter, case first goes to general trial courtCourts of original jurisdiction--where case is first broughtCourts of appellate jurisdiction--where lower court decisions are reviewedIf there is no jury, judge decides the factsGeneral right to appeal to at least one higher court
16Subject Matter Jurisdiction Federal Courts Federal court jurisdiction is derived from the US ConstitutionFederal courts may hear cases involving a federal questionsCases in which the US is a party to the suitCases involving citizens of different statesDiversity of citizenship jurisdictionAmount in Controversy is for more than $75,000No $ amount for cases involving federal law
17Personal Jurisdiction In Personam Jurisdiction Over the person, usually throughSummons through service of process or substituted serviceResidencyDoing business in the stateSubmission to the jurisdictionOut of state defendantsJurisdiction is more difficultServe them while in the stateMay not “trick” them to get into the state for service of process
18Jurisdiction Over Out-of-State Business Defendants Long-arm StatutesAimed at non-resident businessesProtects states’ citizens from business defendants who do business in the state and then leave the stateSee Exhibit 2.5( leave from this slide onwards)
19Cyberlaw: “The Long Arm of the Internet” When does a web site advertiser in nationwide sales become subject to another state’s jurisdiction?Generally personal jurisdiction occurs when defendant is engaged in business in a state.i.e. Amazon.com does active business in every state by selling online, and is subject jurisdiction in those statesNo jurisdiction if contact with a forum is “only informational”, even if the web site is interactiveNo jurisdiction if web site only gives information about sales, allows customers to download forms, and provides address for inquiriesUnclear: How much activity must occur with residents in a state for the web seller to be subject to jurisdiction in the buyer’s state?Ex: One low cost item is not “active business”, esp. if buyer initiates the contact.Ex: One spam sent out of state – no jurisdiction
20Territorial Jurisdiction “Minimum Contacts” Sales office “transacting business” within the stateLandmark case--International Shoe Company v. Washington ( Supreme Court, 1945)Legal contact -- legal “nexus”Examples of “minimum contacts” within a stateSales representative(s)Selling productAdvertisingPlacing product in specific markets
21Blimka v. My Web Wholesaler, LLC My Web Wholesalers (of Maine) does business on the Internet.Blimka (of Idaho) surfed the net, found My Web and called DePalma, a My Web manager.Ordered 26,500 pairs of jeans for $20,935 and wired money.Shipment of 16,000 jeans arrived. Blimka called My Web to complain about quality. No satisfaction.Blimka sued My Web and DePalma for fraud in Idaho court. Process was served on them in Maine.No response by defendants; court issued a judgment against both defendants, saying it had jurisdiction. They appealed.
22Blimka v. My Web Wholesaler, LLC HELD: Affirmed. Idaho court has jurisdiction.Defendants’ actions of fraud invoked the use of the Idaho long-arm statute.Defendants’ purposeful false misrepresentation directed into Idaho created minimum contacts with Idaho that does not offend 14th Amendment “traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice”.Blimka awarded attorney fees and costs.
23Exclusive Jurisdiction (Over certain cases Exclusive Jurisdiction (Over certain cases. In other disputes jurisdiction may be either in federal or state court systems.)State courts have exclusive jurisdiction over some mattersExamples:DivorceAdoptionMatters controlled by state governmentSupremacy of federal law—state jurisdiction cannot infringe on federal jurisdictionFederal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over some mattersExamples:Federal crimesBankruptcyPatentsCopyrightsFederal questionsCongress can specify by statute exclusive jurisdiction in federal courts
24Applying Appropriate Law in State Court Incidents of the case take place in more than one stateConflict of laws or choice of law rules applyRules vary according to nature of dispute, i.e.Contract cases: Laws of state in which contract was made will be appliedTort cases: Laws of state where tort takes placeGeneral rule: Laws apply for state that has the most “significant interest”See Miller v. Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation
25Miller v. Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation Pilgrim’s Pride (PP) hired Simmons Mill to build a bin on a feed mill at PP facility in Arkansas. No written agreement.Applewhite, a Simmons employee, killed when a roof he was working on at the PP facility collapsed under him.Simmons, a Texas company, fulfilled obligations to Applewhite’s heirs under Texas workers’ compensation laws.Heirs of Applewhite (Miller), sued PP, claiming negligence by PP caused Applewhite’s death.PP provided out-of-court settlement for Miller to end the claim.PP then sued Simmons in federal district court of Arkansas to seek indemnification for money PP paid to Miller.Simmons asked court to dismiss the PP lawsuit.
26Miller v. Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. District court held that Texas law should govern PP’s claim, and that Texas law prohibits indemnification unless a written agreement required one party to indemnify another. This was not the case here.District Court applied the five-factor balancing test (Leflar’s approach) adopted by Arkansas Supreme Court in determining which law would apply in this case.District Court dismissed PP’s claim. PP appealed saying Arkansas law, not Texas law, should govern.
27Miller v. Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. HELD: Arkansas has not discarded the lex loci delicti (the law of the place of the wrong) rule.However, must look at lex loci delicti with the Leflar 5-factors test:Predictability of result (does not weigh heavily in this case)Maintenance of interstate and international order (not at issue here)Simplification of the judicial task (not at issue here)Advancement of the forum’s governmental interest (This is important to protect a state’s interest of its residents .)--Applewhite was a resident of Texas and compensated under Texas compensation law.--If Applewhite had been an Arkansas resident, then Arkansas law might apply to the workers compensation scheme. But he wasn’t. There is no state interest in applying Arkansas law to the Texas workers compensation scheme.5. Application of the better rule of law (aimed at avoiding application of unfair or archaic laws; this does not occur if Texas law applies.)Affirmed. Texas law should govern the case.
28VenueDoctrine of forum non conveniens - a special venue doctrine: Either party may request a change of venue to a more convenient court that could hear the case. Court will consider such issues asWhere actions of case take placeWhere witnesses are locatedUnfair burdens to partiesVenue: Appropriate geographical location of the court that has jurisdictionIn controversial or well-publicized cases, defendants will ask for change of venue