Court Systems, Jurisdiction, & Functions

Court Systems, Jurisdiction, & Functions - Court...

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Unformatted text preview: Court Systems, Court Jurisdiction, & Functions Jurisdiction, 1 State Court System – Trial Courts (T/F) General trial courts are the lowest level of courts in the state court system. 2 State Court System – Trial Courts (T/F) General trial courts are the lowest level of courts in the state court system. False – the lowest level in the state court system is a court of limited jurisdiction. Courts of Limited Jurisdiction Lowest level of court in state system May hear only cases if the topic of the case has been assigned to that court. Examples: probate court, family law court, municiple court General Trial Courts Second tier of courts in state system can hear just about any lawsuit unless the topic of the suit is assigned to a court of limited jurisdiction. 3 Courts of Appeal & Courts Supreme Courts Supreme Appellate courts usually answer only questions of law Was the law applied properly throughout the trial? Challenge trial court’s finding of facts only when finding was CLEARLY erroneous. Options: Affirm Reverse Remand (sent back down to trial court to gather more facts about the case) Vacate Any combination of the above 4 Federal Court System Specialized Trial Courts: Courts in Federal System that are assigned certain topics. Examples: Bankruptcy Courts, Tax Courts, and Intellectual Property courts US District Courts: Federal trial courts; hear all cases not assigned to Specialized Trial Courts. 5 Federal Courts of Appeal & US Federal Supreme Court Supreme Courts of Appeal 13 US Courts of appeal Supreme Court Most decisions from courts of Appeal are final. 11 circuits, 1 D.C. court of appeal, 1 federal court of appeal Constitution authorizes ______ Supreme Court. 6 Federal Courts of Appeal & US Federal Supreme Court Supreme Courts of Appeal Supreme Court 13 US Courts of appeal Most decisions from courts of Appeal are final. Constitution authorizes one Supreme Court. 7 Going before the Supreme Court Writ of certiorari must be granted to go before the Supreme Court. Writ of Cert granted when 4 judges agree that: Important constitutional issue raised, OR Conflict in law amongst states 8 Appealing from State to US Appealing Supreme Court Supreme Will happen only when a question of federal law is involved & a writ of cert is granted. 9 Jurisdiction Jurisdiction What is Jurisdiction? 10 Jurisdiction Jurisdiction What is Jurisdiction? A court’s authority to hear a case Major Types: Subject Matter Personal In Rem 11 Subject Matter Jurisdiction Courts can only hear cases dealing with issues it is authorized to hear. T/F ­ If Hanna wants to get a divorce from her husband, the ONLY court she can bring suit is in a state family law court. 12 Subject Matter Jurisdiction Courts can only hear cases dealing with issues it is authorized to hear. T/F ­ If Hanna wants to get a divorce from her husband, the ONLY court she can bring suit is in a state family law court. TRUE 13 Federal Subject Matter Jurisdiction General Rule: federal courts can only hear cases designated to them by the Constitution Criminal Cases: federal criminal statute must have been violated. Civil Cases Topic assigned exclusively to federal courts Question of federal law Diversity requirements met Parties from different jurisdictions (different states) Amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 14 Jack entered into a contract with Jim where Jack was to lend $80,000 to Jim, who was to repay him over the next 10 years. Jack is from Texas, which is where the K was formed. Jim is from Oklahoma. After 3 years, Jim stopped paying on the loan. If Jack wants to sue, where can he sue? Subject Matter Jurisdiction Subject State or Federal Court? State A. State Trial Court B. Federal District Court C. Either A or B Concurrent Jurisdiction: arises when a case can be heard before either a State or Federal court. 15 Jack entered into a contract with Jim where Jack was to lend $80,000 to Jim, who was to repay him over the next 10 years. Jack is from Texas, which is where the K was formed. Jim is from Oklahoma. After 3 years, Jim stopped paying on the loan. If Jack wants to sue, where can he sue? Subject Matter Jurisdiction Subject State or Federal Court? State A. State Trial Court B. Federal District Court C. Either A or B (Concurrent jurisdiction exists, because this is an issue that is appropriate for state court and diversity requirements for Federal jurisdiction are met.) Concurrent Jurisdiction: arises when a case can be heard before either a State or Federal court. 16 Personal Jurisdiction • Susan sells Avon and is from Mississippi. Jim is a professional ice skater from Texas. One day, while driving through Oklahoma City, Jim stopped at the local Dairy Queen to get a Blizzard. While waiting in line Susan, who was also traveling through town, dropped her incredibly heavy purse on Jim’s foot, breaking two of his toes. Jim was forced miss 6 months of training, and lost several of his endorsement deals. If Jim sues Susan, can Jim sue in Texas? Can Jim sue in Oklahoma? How about Mississippi? 17 Personal Jurisdiction Personal Jurisdiction: Court’s authority to take action over an individual or entity. General Rule: If court does not have personal jurisdiction (in addition to subject matter jurisdiction), it cannot execute judgment. Grounds for Personal Jurisdiction Defendant is domiciled or resides in that state Defendant has “minimum contacts” Defendant consents 18 Summons & Corporate Defendants Summons: Document delivered to party being sued, notifying party that a suit has been filed and that a court is attempting to exercise jurisdiction over them. Corporations ­ Who can be served: Registered Agent – each state requires that if your business has a “presence” in the state, that you have a person who lives in that state that can receive lawsuit papers on behalf of the company Officer of the company located within the state 19 Long Arm Statutes Long (& minimum contacts) (& • Allow a state to exercise jurisdiction over non­ resident defendants if the defendant has “minimum contacts” with that state Minimum Contacts: usually exist where: • • a party has conducted any sort of business within that state The dispute arises out of the party’s in­state activities. 20 • Corporations and Minimum Corporations Contacts Contacts • Rule of Thumb: Corporations almost always meet minimum contacts test if they conduct any business within a state International Shoe v. Washington • • Int’l Shoe had minimum contacts with WA b/c it had sales reps in the state who sold product for the company. 21 Corporations and Minimum Corporations Contacts Contacts • Rule of Thumb: Corporations almost always meet minimum contacts test if they conduct business within a state International Shoe v. Washington • • Int’l Shoe had minimum contacts with WA b/c it had sales reps in the state who sold product for the company. • World­wide Volkswagen v. Woodson • Local dealer that had no contacts with forum state and made no effort to obtain business in a state does not have minimum contacts with the state 22 Corporations and Minimum Contacts Contacts 23 Corporations and Minimum Corporations Contacts Contacts • Rule of Thumb: Corporations almost always meet minimum contacts test if they conduct business within a state International Shoe v. Washington • • Int’l Shoe had minimum contacts with WA b/c it had sales reps in the state who sold product for the company. Local dealer that had no contacts with forum state and made no effort to obtain business in a state does not have minimum contacts with the state Using direct­mail company based in state to target out­of­state customers is not enough to establish specific jurisdiction. • World­wide Volkswagen v. Woodson • • Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor Co. • 24 Bringing Suit based on Minimum Contacts Minimum Must have Specific Personal Jurisdiction Specific Personal Jurisdiction: When you sue based on a party’s minimum contacts, you may only sue that person/party for activities that actually were part of the person’s minimum contacts with the forum state. 25 Practice Question #1 • Susan sells Avon and is from Mississippi. Jim is a professional ice skater from Texas. One day, while driving through Oklahoma City, Jim stopped at the local Dairy Queen to get a Blizzard. While waiting in line Susan, who was also traveling through town, drops her incredibly heavy purse on Jim’s foot, breaking two of his toes. Jim was forced miss 6 months of training, and lost several of his endorsement deals. If Jim sues Susan, can Jim sue in: • • • • • A. Texas B. Mississippi C. Oklahoma D. All of the Above E. B and C 26 Practice Question #1 • Susan sells Avon and is from Mississippi. Jim is a professional ice skater from Texas. One day, while driving through Oklahoma City, Jim stopped at the local Dairy Queen to get a Blizzard. While waiting in line Susan, who was also traveling through town, drops her incredibly heavy purse on Jim’s foot, breaking two of his toes. Jim was forced miss 6 months of training, and lost several of his endorsement deals. If Jim sues Susan, can Jim sue in: • • • • • A. Texas (no, Susan was not in Texas and is not from Texas) B. Mississippi (yes, this is where Susan lives) C. Oklahoma (yes, this is where the accident occurred (minimum contacts)) D. All of the Above E. B and C 27 Practice Question #2 Albert is one of 13 salesmen who work in Arizona for Billy Bob’s Balloons. Billy Bob’s is a Delaware corporation with its headquarters located in Maine. Billy Bob’s has no offices in Arizona and flies the Arizona salesmen to Maine every quarter for a training meeting. Billy Bob’s refuses to pay tax to Arizona for any sales it makes within the state borders and argues that it doesn’t actually have a franchise located in Arizona. A court would likely hold that: a. Billy Bob’s does not have to pay the tax because it does not have minimum contacts with Arizona b. Billy Bob’s does not have to pay the tax because it does not have an office in Arizona c. Billy Bob’s must pay the tax because Arizona has general jurisdiction over it d. Billy Bob’s must pay because it has minimum contacts with Arizona. 28 Practice Question #2 Albert is one of 13 salesmen who work in Arizona for Billy Bob’s Balloons. Billy Bob’s is a Delaware corporation with its headquarters located in Maine. Billy Bob’s has no offices in Arizona and flies the Arizona salesmen to Maine every quarter for a training meeting. Billy Bob’s refuses to pay tax to Arizona for any sales it makes within the state borders and argues that it doesn’t actually have a franchise located in Arizona. A court would likely hold that: a. Billy Bob’s does not have to pay the tax because it does not have minimum contacts with Arizona b. Billy Bob’s does not have to pay the tax because it does not have a presence in Arizona c. Billy Bob’s must pay the tax because Arizona has general jurisdiction over it d. Billy Bob’s must pay because it has minimum contacts with Arizona. 29 Practice Question #3 Billy Bob’s also has salespeople located in Nevada. Martha purchased a defective balloon in Nevada from one of Billy Bob’s Nevada salesmen. Shortly after she took it home, the balloon popped in her face and caused severe burns. She can sue in which of the following states? a. Nevada b. Maine c. Both A and B d. Neither A or B 30 Practice Question #3 Billy Bob’s also has salespeople located in Nevada. Martha purchased a defective balloon in Nevada from one of Billy Bob’s Nevada salesmen. Shortly after she took it home, the balloon popped in her face and caused severe burns. She can sue in which of the following states? a. Nevada b. Maine c. Both A and B d. Neither A or B 31 Practice Question #4 True or False – if Martha sues in Arizona, a court will have jurisdiction b/c Billy Bob’s Balloons has minimum contacts with Arizona. 32 Practice Question #4 True or False – if Martha sues in Arizona, a court will have jurisdiction b/c Billy Bob’s Balloons has minimum contacts with Arizona. False – even though Billy Bob’s has minimum contacts with AZ, the suit in AZ must be related to the company’s business activities in AZ (this is specific jurisdiction). In this case, Martha is from NV and purchased the balloon in NV, so AZ does not have jurisdiction over her case. 33 In Rem Jurisdiction T/F ­ Janice, from Georgia, owns a hotel in Florida. Janice enters into a contract with Herbert, from North Carolina, to sell her hotel to him. If Herbert breaches the contract, Janice can bring suit in NC or FL. In Rem = over the property General Rule: If the dispute relates to property, the state in which the property is located has jurisdiction. 34 In Rem Jurisdiction T/F ­ Janice, from Georgia, owns a hotel in Florida. Janice enters into a contract with Herbert, from North Carolina, to sell her hotel to him. If Herbert breaches the contract, Janice can bring suit in NC or FL. False ­ Janice should bring suit in FL, b/c that is where the property is located. In Rem = over the property General Rule: If the dispute relates to property the state in which the property is located has jurisdiction. 35 Venue Henry is from Dallas and was driving though Austin, when Belle, from San Marcos (Hays county) hit his car. If Henry sues Belle, where is venue proper? A. Dallas County B. Travis County C. Hays County D. B & C E. All of the above Venue: Most appropriate county, based on geography, to hear case Indicators of proper venue: Location of incident Location of property Defendant’s residence 36 Venue Henry is from Dallas and was driving though Austin, when Belle, from San Marcos (Hays county) hit his car. If Henry sues Belle, where is venue proper? A. Dallas County B. Travis County C. Hays County D. B & C E. All of the above Venue: Most appropriate place (county), based on geography, to hear case Indicators of proper venue: Location of incident Location of property Defendant’s residence 37 Forum Non Conveniens Doctrine that states that despite all of the jurisdiction requirements, suit should be held in the most convenient location possible. Used on rare occasions 38 ...
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This note was uploaded on 10/27/2009 for the course LEB 03605 taught by Professor Peterson during the Spring '09 term at University of Texas.

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