s-27 - Chapter 2 Court Organization [20 51] 1. Federal...

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Chapter 2 – Court Organization [20 – 51] 1. Federal court system is divided into circuits – each w/ a court of appeals I) General Principles of Court Organization [21] A) Federal and State Court Systems 1) Separation of Court Systems (a) Cases usually stay w/ in single system [case brought to federal court almost always remains in federal courts] (b) Laws that courts carry out differ from 1 system to another 2) Federal & State Court Jurisdiction (a) Jurisdiction : a court’s power to hear cases (i) Central to the organization of court systems (ii)Rules for jurisdiction [set by state & federal constitutions] determine what kinds of cases each court can hear (iii) Based on: Subject matter [i.e. criminal v civil] The parties [i.e. whether federal gov’t is a party] geography (iv) Rules of Federal Jurisdiction 1. Federal Question Jurisdiction : based on subject matter of cases, federal courts are entitled to hear all civil and criminal cases based on U.S. 2. Federal Party Jurisdiction : cases in which the federal gov’t is a party. Hear cases brought by or against the federal gov’t, a federal agency, or a federal officer 3. Diversity Jurisdiction : based on geography. Hear cases in which there’s a diversity of citizenship btwn the parties [if citizens of diff. states, or 1 is from foreign nation], as long as suit >$75,000 - plaintiff has option of filing a case in either federal or state court, if chooses state court, defendant has option of having case removed to federal court - illustrate politics of jurisdiction (v)Jurisdiction of federal courts is concurrent [shared by 2 or more courts] w/ that of state courts i.e.: civil cases brought by the federal gov’t can be heard in state or federal courts (vi) “forum shopping”: choice between federal and state courts that allows lawyers to the court system whose judges seem more likely to favor their clients B) General Patterns of Court Organization 1) Court Structure (a) Jurisdiction of a court system must be divided among courts w/ in that system (b) Jurisdiction always divided along 2 lines – vertical and horizontal (i) Vertically : primarily trial courts and appellate courts (ii)Horizontally : jurisdiction divided among different sets of courts at the same level
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Jurisdiction occurs primarily @ the trial level (c) Venue : related to horizontal jurisdiction – concerns the place & court in which a case may be brought (i) Trial level : multiple courts of same type that sit in diff. places [i. .e: 94 federal district courts throughout U.S.] 2) Court Administration (a) The operation of individual courts and court systems (b) power & responsibility for court administration are divided between courts & other branches of gov’t (c) conflicts over court administration often arise from disagreements about control II) The Federal Courts [25] 1) District courts serve as the primary trial courts of the system
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s-27 - Chapter 2 Court Organization [20 51] 1. Federal...

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