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T HE C OURT S YSTEM A Dual Court System Chapter 2.1.

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Presentation on theme: "T HE C OURT S YSTEM A Dual Court System Chapter 2.1."— Presentation transcript:

1 T HE C OURT S YSTEM A Dual Court System Chapter 2.1

2 T HE FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM The US system has 2 major parts Federal system – hear cases involving federal matters and matters involving diversity of citizenship State system – have their own rules Jurisdiction – is the power and authority given to a court to hear a case and to make a judgment Federal Courts are arranged in 3 steps: US District Courts US Court of Appeals Supreme Court of the United States

3 D ISTRICT COURTS Have original jurisdiction over most federal court cases This means that the case is being heard for the 1 st time Most federal cases begin in one of the district courts Both civil and criminal cases are heard

4 C OURT OF APPEALS A.k.a. ‘appellate courts’ These are ‘intermediate courts’ which are courts between lower courts and the highest courts Hear appeals and reviews cases from lower courts They have ‘appellate jurisdiction’ – any party to a suit decided in federal court may appeal to the federal court of appeals in the circuit where the case was tried The US is divided into 13 judicial circuits

5 S PECIAL U. S. COURTS & U. S. S UPREME C OURT Special U.S. Courts Congress established several courts Jurisdiction over suits brought by citizens against federal government Between taxpayers and the IRS U.S. Supreme Court Highest court in the land Original jurisdiction over Involving ambassadors Consuls Public ministers Has 9 justices – must have at least 4 votes to decide cases

6 S TATE COURT SYSTEMS Local Trial Courts have ‘limited jurisdiction’ Mostly misdemeanors and civil actions involving small amounts of money Justice of Peace courts Traffic courts Municipal courts General Jurisdiction – each county has at least one general trial court

7 S PECIAL COURTS Handle specialized cases Probate courts – property of deceased persons Mayor’s courts – involving traffic violations Domestic relations courts (family) – divorce, annulment, alimony and child support

8 J UVENILE COURTS ‘Special jurisdiction’ over certain types of children up to a certain age Hearings are often held in a more informal setting Delinquent child – minor under 18 (usually 16- 18) who has committed an adult crime Unruly child – generally a minor who has done something inappropriate that is not considered an adult crime (violating curfew, using tobacco) Neglected or abused child – homeless, destitute, or without adequate parental care

9 I NTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURTS Most cases, hear appeals from courts of general jurisdiction Can be made in state court if parties believe they did not have a fair trial in a lower court Hear appeals ONLY on questions of law NOT on questions of fact No witnesses-judges hear arguments from attorney’s and look at documents of the case

10 S UPREME COURTS Highest court in most states Typically decides matters of law appealed from lower courts They do not retry cases or re-determine facts They decide whether an error was made in the lower courts Usually, this court chooses the cases it hears

11 POP QUIZ! IDENTIFY the correct court in which the case will likely be tried: 1. Bankruptcy 2. Dispute between U.S. taxpayer and the IRS 3. Violation of curfew by a teen ANSWERS 1. U.S. District Court 2. Special U.S. Court 3. State Juvenile Court

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