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“Equal Justice Under Law”. Jurisdictions of the Federal Courts. The Judicial Branch. Definition The territory over which authority is exercised Example sentence: He has jurisdiction over all American soldiers in the area. Jurisdiction.

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jurisdictions of the federal courts

“Equal Justice Under Law”

Jurisdictions of the Federal Courts

The Judicial Branch



  • The territory over which authority is exercised
  • Example sentence: He has jurisdiction over all American soldiers in the area
main goals of judicial branch

1. The main purpose of the judicial branch is to interpret the Constitution

2. The courts that make up the judicial branch try to ensure that our nation’s laws are justly enforced

Main Goals of Judicial branch
role of the courts

Courts use law to settle civil disputes and to decide the guilt or innocence of people accused of a crime

The court looks at information from both sides in a case then applies the law and makes a decision in favor of one or the other.

Each person is innocent until proven guilty

Role of the courts
types of jurisdiction

Exclusive jurisdiction: means that only federal courts may hear and decide cases

Concurrent jurisdiction: means that either state or federal courts can hear cases

Types of Jurisdiction
federal court jurisdiction

Federal courts only hear cases that deal with the following:

  • The Constitution
  • Federal Laws
  • Disputes between states
  • Citizens from Different States
  • The Federal Government
  • Foreign Governments and Treaties
  • Admiralty and Maritime Laws
  • U.S. Diplomats
Federal Court Jurisdiction
the constitution

If a person believes that their Constitutional rights have been violated

Example: If a business discriminated against you because of your religion

The Constitution
federal laws

If a person breaks a federal law, their case is heard in federal court

Example: Kidnapping, tax evasion, and counterfeiting

Federal courts also hear civil cases that involve federal law

Federal Laws
disputes between states

Disagreements between state governments are resolved in federal courts

Example: If Wisconsin and Illinois had a dispute over water in Lake Michigan, it is a federal case

Disputes Between States
citizens from different states

Lawsuits between citizens of different states also come under federal courts

Example: Ms. Jones of Maine may bring a suit in a federal court against Mr. Smith of Iowa for not fulfilling part of a business agreement

Citizens from Different States
the federal government

The US government could take a company to court for failing to live up to a contract to deliver supplies to a government department

Individuals can also take the government to court

Example: If a United States Army van struck your car or the Department of Interior failed to pay your company for equipment, you could sue the government in federal court

The Federal Government
foreign governments and treaties

In any dispute between a foreign government and the United States government, an American company, or an American citizen, the case will be heard in a federal court

Example: If Mexico wanted to sue a rancher in Texas, the case would go to federal court

Foreign Governments and Treaties
admiralty and maritime laws

These laws deal with crimes and incidents outside US territorial waters

Example: If there was a disagreement over the rights of property recovered from a shipwreck, it would go to federal court

Example: If a Somali pirate was captured in international waters, it goes to federal court

Admiralty and Maritime Laws
us diplomats

If a crime is committed or a law broken on American soil in another country, the case goes to federal court

Example: If an American diplomat working in the US embassy in France is accused of breaking an American law, it would go to a federal court

US. Diplomats