2 Origins of Federal Court System Article III of ConstitutionGave power to judge criminal and civil matters of federal courtsFounding fathers originally did not want a Supreme CourtWhy?Under George WashingtonPassed Federal Judiciary Act (created U.S. Supreme Court and 13 district courts1891- Congress passed Judiciary ActCreated Court of Appeals and specialized courts
3 Jurisdiction of Federal Courts 3 Levels of courts with general jurisdiction:Federal district courtsFederal Court of AppealsU.S. Supreme CourtsGeneral and Specialized jurisdictionGeneral- hears almost any caseSpecialized- hears only specific cases. i.e- tax court, international trade, claims court, bankruptcy, military, etc.)
4 Federal District Courts (lowest level of federal courts with general jurisdiction) Function is to serve as Trial courts (Which are?) of the Federal systemOriginal jurisdiction over:Federal questions or cases that arise under U.S. Constitution, U.S law, and U.S. treatiesLawsuits between citizens of different states, U.S. citizens and a foreign nation, or a U.S. citizen and a citizen of foreign nation.These parties have diversity of citizenshipMust have more than $75,000 in dispute before a federal court to hear diversity of citizenship cases
5 What’s your Verdict? (pg. 52) What arguments could you make for holding this dispute in a federal court?What about for a state court?
6 Court of AppealsAppellate jurisdiction over district courts, certain specialized courts, & many admin. agenciesPowers practiced when result of lower court is appealed by one or more parties of caseWhat are appellate courts?What about appellate courts?13 federal courts of appeal12 circuit by geographic area13th is federal circuit (patent cases appealed out of district courts
8 U.S. Supreme Court Has original and appellate jurisdiction Original Jurisdiction is “over affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls”MOST IMPORTANT FUNCTION of USSC:Exercise of appellate jurisdictionCases on appeal from U.S. court of appeals or from highest state courtsJurisdiction over state supreme courts limited to those where federal question have been brought out at trial court level
9 U.S. Supreme Court (cont.) Writ of CertiorariShare with partner what it is FIRST, then discuss as classWrit allows lower court to turn over record of case to Supreme Court for reviewMust petition the court to request CertiorariIf U.S. Supreme Court denies the Certiorari, does not mean they agree with lower’s court decision, just means they are choosing more important cases
11 Federal Court System U.S. District Courts U.S. SUPREME COURT 13 United States Courts of Appeals(12 Circuit courts)(1 court of Appeals for Federal Circuit)Many Federal AgenciesU.S. District CourtsState Supreme CourtsSpecialized Federal Courts
13 State Courts Resembles Federal System 3 tiers: State legislature makes laws, therefore state executive branch enforces law in state courts3 tiers:Trial Courts (Bottom)= geographically based on general or specialized jurisdictionAppellate Courts (Middle)State Supreme Court (Top)
14 State Trial CourtsMostly known as circuit courts (also superior courts, district courts, or common pleas)General jurisdiction over criminal and civil mattersCourts of record for stateKeeps exact account of what goes on at trialRecords are vital for appealsWhat could be included on these records?Transcript of what was said, submitted evidence, statements, determination of court officials, judgment of court
15 State Court of Appeals Appeal from a court reviewed by panel of judges Typically 3 judges from the stateState appellate panel evaluates records and briefs from both parties and also oral argumentsNo new evidence at this levelJudges check on correct lawIf correct, result is upheldIf appealed, judges decides lower court used incorrect law and may apply new result themselves or send back to lower court
16 State Supreme Courts Legal issues limited to one trial + 1 appeal States with intermediate court appeals only legal issues of vital importance can be taken to state supreme courtsState supreme court3 Justices (judges who sit on state supreme court) review cases same as lower appellate courtsIssue final decisionOnly go to U.S.S.C if federal question of law or U.S. Constitution issues arise
17 Could the state supreme court ever really have the last word on any issue or is it just a step in the appellate court ladder to the U.S. Supreme Court?
18 AnswerState supreme courts have the last word in cases where no federal issues have been raised.Even where there are federal issues, due to workload, U.S. Supreme Court grants appeals only to extremely small number of most important cases.Most handled by upholding state supreme court decision
20 Associate Circuit Court Also called County CourtsHear minor criminal cases, state traffic offenses, and lawsuits with very small amounts (less than $25,000)Not courts of record, however take burden off high courts even though these trials can be taken to state trial
21 City/Municipal Courts Administer OrdinancesTraffic and criminal divisionLess serious violations brought here but result can be appealed and taken to state trial courtsOrdinances not considered criminal lawsOnly state and federal govts can make an act criminal
22 Small Claims Court Small amounts (less than $2,500) Attorneys usually not requiredJudge hears without juryDecisions can still be taken to state trial court
23 Juvenile Courts Juveniles considered ages 13-18 years Refer to pg. 58 Society feels juveniles should not be held as responsibleDo you agree?Juveniles entitled to full constitutional rights, included having an attorneyEmphasis if found guilty usually on rehab, not punishmentCourts ensure juvenile court information not available to publicFail rehab could have juvenile tried as adultTypically only for very serious offenses
24 What’s Your Verdict?Pg. 57Will he be treated differently under juvenile court than under regular trial court?
25 Probate CourtsDeath= property and other interests divided according to will and lawsProbate courts administer these wills and estates
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