The court system
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CHAPTER 4. The Court System. Dispute Resolution and the Courts Federal Court System State Court Systems. CAN DISPUTES BE RESOLVED PRIVATELY?. Mediation Arbitration. MEDIATION. Mediator tries to develop a solution acceptable to both sides of the dispute.

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The court system

CHAPTER 4

The Court System

Dispute Resolution and the Courts

Federal Court System

State Court Systems


Can disputes be resolved privately

CAN DISPUTES BE RESOLVED PRIVATELY?

  • Mediation

  • Arbitration


Mediation

MEDIATION

  • Mediator tries to develop a solution acceptable to both sides of the dispute.

  • The actions of a mediator are advisory—not binding.


Arbitration

ARBITRATION

  • An arbitrator usually holds an informal hearing to determine what happened.

  • The arbitrator’s decision is binding on both parties.

  • The decision can be enforced by court order if necessary.


Different levels of courts

DIFFERENT LEVELS OF COURTS

  • Trial courts

  • Appellate courts


Trial courts

TRIAL COURTS

  • A trial court is the first court to hear a dispute.

  • A trial court has original jurisdiction over a case.


Appellate courts

APPELLATE COURTS

  • An appellate court reviews decisions of lower courts when a party claims an error was made during the previous proceeding.

  • Appellate courts are concerned with errors of law rather than questions of fact

    • Do not hear witnesses

    • Examine transcripts of trial

    • Review appellate briefs


Possible appellate court decisions

POSSIBLE APPELLATE COURT DECISIONS

  • Affirm (uphold) the decision of the lower court

  • Reverse (overturn) the decision of the lower court

  • Amend (change) the decision of the lower court

  • Remand the case—send it back to the trial court for corrective action or possibly a new trial.


Federal court system

Federal Court System

Identify the source of power of the federal courts

Name the various levels of federal courts and describe their jurisdictions


Origins of our federal court system

ORIGINS OF OUR FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM

  • Federal courts received their power from the Constitution.

  • The Constitution granted Congress the power to establish courts inferior to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Jurisdiction of the federal courts

JURISDICTION OF THE FEDERAL COURTS

  • 3 Levels of Federal Courts

    • Federal District Courts

    • Federal Courts of Appeals

    • United States Supreme Court


Federal district courts

Federal District Courts

  • Lowest level of federal court with general jurisdiction (1st court to hear a dispute)

  • Trial court of the federal system

  • Jurisdiction over:

    • Federal questions or cases that arise under the Constitution, US laws or treaties

    • Lawsuits b/w citizens of different states or US citizen and a foreign nation

    • >$75,000 in dispute


Federal court of appeals

Federal Court of Appeals

  • Appellate court for Federal District Courts

    • No new evidence or witnesses

    • Review transcripts & oral arguments

  • 13 Federal Courts of Appeal

    • 12 assigned to a geographic area

    • 1 Federal Circuit

      • Patent cases

      • Special jurisdiction (Int’l Trade Commission)


Us supreme court ussc

US Supreme Court (USSC)

  • Some original jurisdiction

    • Cases affecting ambassadors

  • Mostly appellate jurisdiction

  • Decisions of USSC re: Constitution are final


Federal court system1

United States Supreme Court

13 United States Courts of Appeals

(12 Circuit Courts)

(1 Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit)

State Supreme Courts

United States District Courts

Specialized Federal Courts

Many Federal Agencies

FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM


State court systems

State Court Systems

Compare the structure of a typical state court with the structure of the federal courts

Identify state courts of specialized jurisdiction

Discuss the jurisdiction of the various typical state courts


Structure of state court systems

STRUCTURE OFSTATE COURT SYSTEMS

  • Courts of Limited Jurisdiction

  • State Trial Courts

  • State Courts of Appeals

  • State Supreme Courts


Courts of limited jurisdiction

Courts of Limited Jurisdiction

  • Lessens burden on Trial Court

  • Specialized or relatively minor jurisdiction

  • Can be appealed to the circuit court


Juvenile court

Juvenile Court

  • Emphasis on rehabilitation, not punishment

  • Records do not become public knowledge

  • Rehabilitation fails, can be tried as an adult


Municipal courts

Municipal Courts

  • Courts that administer ordinances

    • Traffic division

      • Traffic and misdemeanor fine schedule

    • Criminal division


Probate court

Probate Court

  • Wills and estates

    • Mr. Deeds


Small claims court

Small Claims Court

  • Attorneys generally are not required

  • <$5,000

  • Judge Judy

    • Judge Judy Sheindlin, a former judge from New York, tackles real-life small claims caseswith her no nonsense attitude in which damages of no more than $5,000 can be awarded. Also by her side is bailiff Petri Hawkins-Byrd who keeps order in the court. Then after a case is closed, the defendant and plaintiff briefly confront each other outside the courtroom.


A typical state court system

Supreme Court

Intermediate Appeals Court

(In Populous States)

Trial Court

(Of Original General Jurisdiction)

Family Court

Juvenile Court

Municipal Court

Probate Court

Criminal Court

Justice’s Court

(The Court of a Justice of the Peace)

Small Claims Court

A TYPICAL STATE COURT SYSTEM


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