Chapter 4 Court Organization and Structure There is a dual court system in the

Chapter 4 court organization and structure there is a

This preview shows page 9 - 11 out of 11 pages.

Chapter 4 Court Organization and Structure There is a dual court system in the U.S., a national system, a Federal Court and a separate court system in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. o State and Federal Courts sometimes have concurrent jurisdiction, meaning they share some judicial powers over certain types of cases (i.e. drug trafficking, bank robbery) Federal Courts o U.S. District Courts- trial courts or court or original jurisdiction for federal system o There are 94 Districts- including some U.S> territories. Larger states like California or Texas have as many as 4 Districts. With one exception (Wyoming) no District crosses state lines. Nebraska has one district. o Magistrate Judges: handle preliminary matters for the District Court and issue Warrants. Their decisions are deemed to be decisions of the District Court U.S. Court of Appeals o There are 13 COA- 11 for the 50 States, 1 for the District of Columbia, 1 for the federal circuit. The circuits are geographically divided. Nebraska is in the 8 th Circuit with Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, N. Dakota, S. Dakota. Based in St. Louis, the panel is composed of active judges and senior judges, who are retired but still handle cases. Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS)- court of last resort o This is the final step in the federal appellate process and for cases involving the interpretation of a federal statute of the U.S. Constitution. Their docket consistent almost entirely of appeals from the federal COA and state supreme courts. SCOTUS has discretion to determine which cases it will hear and which it will refuse. Each year about 9,000 cases petition SCOTUS to hear their case, but fewer than 100 are selected to be heard. State Courts o A typical state court system includes lower courts, major trial courts, intermediate appellate court Courts of Limited Jurisdiction- 1 st level of state courts These courts handle a variety of matters including: minor criminal cases, traffic offenses, violations of municipal ordinances, juvenile delinquency, civil disputes under a certain $ value, probate, guardianship/conservatorship appointment, small claims matters
Image of page 9

Subscribe to view the full document.

Proceedings in these courts are traditionally more informal in nature than at the trial or appellate level. Despite the sometimes informal nature, these courts ae very important for several reasons including: o For many citizens it’s the only experience that most will ever have with the court system o Process a tremendous amount of cases o Handle important parts of pretrial process in criminal matters (i.e. arraignment, preliminary hearings) Courts of General Jurisdiction- trial courts for civil/criminal matters o These courts handle matter not exclusively designated for the courts of limited jurisdiction. These courts will also handle a variety of matters including: felony criminal matters, civil disputes over a certain $ value, domestic relations matters (i.e. dissolution, paternity, child custody), appeals from courts of limited jurisdiction Appellate Courts- state of Court of Appeals o Like the federal appellate courts, the state COA hear both civil and criminal matters from the trial courts. Defendants who are convicted and sentenced at the lower court are entitled to have the COA review their case. These courts are not trial courts. Instead, verbatim transcripts of the proceedings at the lower
Image of page 10
Image of page 11
  • Spring '14
  • criminal law, Supreme Court of the United States, Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Trial court

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Ask Expert Tutors You can ask 0 bonus questions You can ask 0 questions (0 expire soon) You can ask 0 questions (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes