CHAPTER 18 The Federal Court System
Section 2 The Inferior Courts
Describe the structure and jurisdiction of the federal district courts. • A. Federal Judicial Districts • 1) Each State forms at least one judicial district. • 2) There are 94 federal judicial districts. • 3) Assigned territory is based on state boundaries. • B. District Court Jurisdiction • 1) Criminal Cases - • A defendant is tried for committing some action that Congress has declared by law to be a federal crime. • 2) Civil Cases- • Involves some non-criminal matter.
II. Describe the structure and jurisdiction of the federal courts of appeals. • A. The Court of Appeals – “Circuit Courts” • B. Docket – list of cases to be heard. • C. Created to relieve the Supreme Court of the burden of hearing most appeals. • D. Appellate Court Jurisdiction – only has appellate jurisdiction.
III. Describe the structure and jurisdiction of the two other constitutional courts. • A. The Court of International Trade • 1) Hears civil cases relating to trade and tariffs. • B. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit • 1) Created in 1982 • 2) Hears appeals in federal cases from across the country. • 3) Has nationwide jurisdiction.
Section 2 The End of Section 2
Section 4 The Special Courts
Explain how a citizen may sue the government in the Court of Federal Claims. • A. Redress • 1) Satisfaction of a claim (payment $$$) • B. The United States Government can be sued only if it consents to be sued.
II. Examine the roles of the territorial courts and of the District of Columbia courts. • A. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Marians. • B. Territorial courts are comparable to local courts. • C. District of Columbia • 1) Has a District Court and a Court of Appeals
III. Contrast the functions of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. • A. Court Martial • A court consisting of military officers who try cases of violations of military law by members of the armed services. • B. Civilian Tribunal • A court operating as part of the judicial branch, entirely separate from the military. • C. The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims • Hears cases in which individuals claim that the Veterans Affairs (VA) has denied or otherwise mishandled valid claims for veterans’ benefits.
IV. Explain what types of cases are brought to the Tax Court. • A. The Tax Court only hears civil tax cases. • B. Cases are generated by the IRS.