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CHAPTER SUMMARY THE COURT SYSTEM Federal Courts District Courts trial courts of general jurisdiction that can hear and decide most legal controversies in the Federal system Courts of Appeals hear appeals from the district courts and review orders of certain administrative agencies The Supreme Court the nation’s highest court, whose principal function is to review decisions of the Federal Courts of Appeals and the highest State courts Special Courts have jurisdiction over cases in a particular area of Federal law and include the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit State Courts Inferior Trial Courts hear minor criminal cases, such as traffic offenses, and civil cases involving small amounts of money; conduct preliminary hearings in more serious criminal cases Trial Courts have general jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases Mann CH 03- 1
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Special Courts trial courts, such as probate courts and family courts, having jurisdiction over a particular area of State law Appellate Courts include one or two levels; the highest court’s decisions are final except in those cases reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court JURISDICTION Subject Matter Jurisdiction Definition authority of a court to decide a particular kind of case Federal Jurisdiction Exclusive Federal Jurisdiction
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