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Presentation on theme: "THE COURT SYSTEMS Chapter 2."— Presentation transcript:


2 Chapter Issues Overview of the Saudi and American court system
How an injured party can seek relief in the courts Jurisdiction: Which court has the power and the authority to decide the case?

3 Organization of the Court Systems
Saudi court systems was created by King Abdul Aziz in 1932. Court systems have - Administrative tribunals Disputes on modern regulations General Sharia courts: Courts of Original Jurisdiction Where disputes are initially brought and tried Generally known as trial courts Summary Sharia Courts: Where lower court decisions are reviewed

4 The Sharia Court System
Courts of original jurisdiction Judges and lawyers form part of the ulema. Trial courts deal in issues of fact General courts and summary courts Deals with simple cases. Cases adjudicated by single judges 3 judge panels deal in issues of criminal cases Appellate courts - sit in Mecca and Riyadh and review decisions for compliance with Sharia. Committees – non sharia govt tribunals – forgery/bribery/commercial and labour law.

5 Judges Judges are called Qadis.
Passes judgements based on legal opinions from muftis, concerned members of ulema. Lifetime appointment Judiciary proper( body of Qadis) have about 700 Qadis. Job security guarantees that judges are independent and free from political pressure

6 Judges Judges Judges 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 methods Judges serve fixed terms

7 US Organization of the Court Systems
Both state and federal court systems have Lower courts: Courts of Original Jurisdiction Where disputes are initially brought and tried Generally known as trial courts Look at issues of fact Appellate Courts: Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction Where lower court decisions are reviewed Look at issues of law

8 The Federal Court System
Federal District Court Courts of original jurisdiction Use juries or judge as “trier of fact” Trial courts deal in issues of fact US Court of Appeals 12 courts Usual rule: There is the right to appeal to this court 3 judge panels deal in issues of law Specialized Federal Courts Limited jurisdiction I.e., Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit--takes appeals from US District Court in patent, trademark and copyright cases US Claims Court US Court of International Trade Administrative rules of US Patent & Trademark Office

9 Federal Judges Federal judges are nominated by the President
Confirmed by a majority vote in US Senate Lifetime appointment May 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

10 The Typical State Court System of US
State court of “Original Jurisdiction” Where case is first brought; deals in issues of fact Usually called District Court (but in NY, is called the “Supreme Court”) State court of Appellate Jurisdiction Deals with appeals and issues of law Usually called Court of Appeals Can have different names (District Court of Appeals in FL; Appellate Division in NY State Supreme Court Second appellate review dealing w/ issues of law Usually called Supreme Court (but in NY, is called “Court of Appeals”)

11 The Federal Court System The US Supreme Court
Highest court in the country Appellate review court Cases usually heard by 9 justices Reviews cases from US District Courts US Courts of Appeals Highest Courts of the States Review is through Writ of Certiorari If 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 law Court System Cour 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 US Cour de Cessation: no authority to create judgments Cour 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 arise The Commercial Court in London is a popular forum: Trials handled by one judge No jury Trials usually occur within 1 year of dispute Finished rather quickly Loser pays winner’s attorney’s fees English courts are respected; judgment more likely to be enforced in other countries Remedies have been innovative & relevant to commercial matters

14 Jurisdiction Jurisdiction: Right of a court to hear & decide the case
A number of courts may have jurisdiction over a given case Need jurisdiction over the subject matter Need jurisdiction over either persons or property If jurisdiction is lacking, judgment is null & void

15 Subject Matter Jurisdiction State Courts
A particular court resolves a particular subject matter: Wills & Trusts: Probate Court Divorces, Child Custody: Domestic Court Municipal Matters: Municipal Court Small Claims Court - Limited claims of usually $5000 or less, sometimes up to $7,500 will be heard If there is not a particular subject matter, case first goes to general trial court Courts of original jurisdiction--where case is first brought Courts of appellate jurisdiction--where lower court decisions are reviewed If there is no jury, judge decides the facts General right to appeal to at least one higher court

16 Subject Matter Jurisdiction Federal Courts
Federal court jurisdiction is derived from the US Constitution Federal courts may hear cases involving a federal questions Cases in which the US is a party to the suit Cases involving citizens of different states Diversity of citizenship jurisdiction Amount in Controversy is for more than $75,000 No $ amount for cases involving federal law

17 Personal Jurisdiction In Personam Jurisdiction
Over the person, usually through Summons through service of process or substituted service Residency Doing business in the state Submission to the jurisdiction Out of state defendants Jurisdiction is more difficult Serve them while in the state May not “trick” them to get into the state for service of process

18 Jurisdiction Over Out-of-State Business Defendants
Long-arm Statutes Aimed at non-resident businesses Protects states’ citizens from business defendants who do business in the state and then leave the state See Exhibit 2.5( leave from this slide onwards)

19 Cyberlaw: “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. does active business in every state by selling online, and is subject jurisdiction in those states No jurisdiction if contact with a forum is “only informational”, even if the web site is interactive No jurisdiction if web site only gives information about sales, allows customers to download forms, and provides address for inquiries Unclear: 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

20 Territorial Jurisdiction “Minimum Contacts”
Sales office “transacting business” within the state Landmark case--International Shoe Company v. Washington ( Supreme Court, 1945) Legal contact -- legal “nexus” Examples of “minimum contacts” within a state Sales representative(s) Selling product Advertising Placing product in specific markets

21 Blimka 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.

22 Blimka 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.

23 Exclusive 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 matters Examples: Divorce Adoption Matters controlled by state government Supremacy of federal law—state jurisdiction cannot infringe on federal jurisdiction Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over some matters Examples: Federal crimes Bankruptcy Patents Copyrights Federal questions Congress can specify by statute exclusive jurisdiction in federal courts

24 Applying Appropriate Law in State Court
Incidents of the case take place in more than one state Conflict of laws or choice of law rules apply Rules vary according to nature of dispute, i.e. Contract cases: Laws of state in which contract was made will be applied Tort cases: Laws of state where tort takes place General rule: Laws apply for state that has the most “significant interest” See Miller v. Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation

25 Miller 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.

26 Miller 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.

27 Miller 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.

28 Venue Doctrine 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 as Where actions of case take place Where witnesses are located Unfair burdens to parties Venue: Appropriate geographical location of the court that has jurisdiction In controversial or well-publicized cases, defendants will ask for change of venue

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