BUS415CHAPT3Notes - Chapter 3 Notes Limited-Jurisdiction...

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Chapter 3 Notes: Limited-Jurisdiction Trial Courts State limited-jurisdiction trial courts, which are sometimes referred to as inferior trial courts, hear matters of a specialized or limited nature. Examples Traffic courts, juvenile courts, justice-of-the-peace courts, probate courts, family law courts, courts that hear misdemeanor criminal law cases, and courts that hear civil cases involving lawsuits under a certain dollar amount are limited-jurisdiction courts in many states. General-Jurisdiction Trial Courts Every state has a general-jurisdiction trial court. These courts are often referred to as courts of record because the testimony and evidence at trial are recorded and stored for future reference. These courts hear cases that are not within the jurisdiction of limitedjurisdiction trial courts, such as felonies, civil cases over a certain dollar amount, and so on. Some states divide their general-jurisdiction courts into two divisions, one for criminal cases and another for civil cases. Intermediate Appellate Courts In many states, intermediate appellate courts (also called appellate courts or courts of appeals) hear appeals from trial courts. They review the trial court record to determine whether there have been any errors at trial that would require reversal or modification of the trial court’s decision. Thus, an appellate court reviews either pertinent parts or the whole trial court record from the lower court. No new evidence or testimony is permitted. The parties usually file legal briefs with the appellate court, stating the law and facts that support their positions. Appellate courts usually grant a brief oral hearing to the parties. Appellate court decisions are appealable to the state’s highest court. In sparsely populated states that do not have an intermediate appellate court, trial court decisions can be
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appealed directly to the state’s highest court. Highest State Court Each state has a highest state court in its court system. Most states call this highest court the state supreme court. Some states use other names for their highest courts. The function of a state’s highest court is to hear appeals from intermediate appellate state courts and certain trial courts. No new evidence or testimony is heard. The parties usually submit pertinent
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BUS415CHAPT3Notes - Chapter 3 Notes Limited-Jurisdiction...

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