Levels of the U.S. Court System Flashcards

Levels of the U.S. Court System Flashcards
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Appellate Jurisdiction

The ability to hear a case for the purpose of reviewing proper application of the Constitution in lower courts

The most common type of jurisdiction used in cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court

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Original Jurisdiction
The authority of a court to be the first to hear a case based on the subject of the case being heard
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Court Jurisdiction
The ability of a specific court, such as a trial court or the U.S. Supreme Court, to hear a case
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Number of Federal Courts

U.S. District Court: 94 total; one or more in every state

U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals: 13

U.S. Supreme Court: 1

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U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

The federal court that deals with appeals regarding proper application of the law from the U.S. District Court

Reviews civil or criminal cases

Uses 3 judges per case out of 179 possible judges

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U.S. District Court

The first federal court that hears cases involving civil (constitutional rights violations) or criminal (the U.S. is the plaintiff or defendant) actions

Cannot hear appeals

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Presenting a Case to the Supreme Court

Writ of certiorari (request) presented and reviewed by a panel of justices

Justices decide to hear case

Lower court documents and arguments from both parties presented to justices

Justices vote

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Supreme Court

A state or U.S.'s highest court that handles important state or country matters

Can handle appellate court appeals involving law interpretation or rights guaranteed by the Constitution

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Appellate Court

The court used to appeal a ruling through the review of case evidence and outcomes

Plaintiff called the appellant

Defendant called the appellee

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Trial Court

The first court a case will go through for either criminal or civil actions

Criminal: for a person accused of a crime to be found innocent or guilty

Civil: for a plaintiff suing a defendant

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20 cards in set

Flashcard Content Overview

The United States court system is divided into local, state, and federal levels, and each level contains its own division of courts. This system determines the kinds of cases each court can hear, and has a system of checks in place to ensure that the laws of the region and the nation are being appropriately interpreted. Use these flashcards to help you review the types of courts found in the United States.

Front
Back
Trial Court

The first court a case will go through for either criminal or civil actions

Criminal: for a person accused of a crime to be found innocent or guilty

Civil: for a plaintiff suing a defendant

Appellate Court

The court used to appeal a ruling through the review of case evidence and outcomes

Plaintiff called the appellant

Defendant called the appellee

Supreme Court

A state or U.S.'s highest court that handles important state or country matters

Can handle appellate court appeals involving law interpretation or rights guaranteed by the Constitution

Presenting a Case to the Supreme Court

Writ of certiorari (request) presented and reviewed by a panel of justices

Justices decide to hear case

Lower court documents and arguments from both parties presented to justices

Justices vote

U.S. District Court

The first federal court that hears cases involving civil (constitutional rights violations) or criminal (the U.S. is the plaintiff or defendant) actions

Cannot hear appeals

U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

The federal court that deals with appeals regarding proper application of the law from the U.S. District Court

Reviews civil or criminal cases

Uses 3 judges per case out of 179 possible judges

Number of Federal Courts

U.S. District Court: 94 total; one or more in every state

U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals: 13

U.S. Supreme Court: 1

Court Jurisdiction
The ability of a specific court, such as a trial court or the U.S. Supreme Court, to hear a case
Original Jurisdiction
The authority of a court to be the first to hear a case based on the subject of the case being heard
Appellate Jurisdiction

The ability to hear a case for the purpose of reviewing proper application of the Constitution in lower courts

The most common type of jurisdiction used in cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court

Cases Heard by State Courts
Criminal cases, family disputes, probate law, contract proceedings, estate law, and tort issues
Superior Court

The court in which most state cases are heard

Responsible for hearing cases involving serious issues in the state

Includes special courts, such as family and juvenile courts

Differences between State Court Systems

States differ on the criteria for jurisdiction of their courts

Example: conditions for divorce and the court responsible for a divorce hearing varies by state

Intermediate Court of Appeals

Reviews cases from lower courts based only on the application of the law

No new evidence can be submitted

Subject Matter Jurisdiction

The authority of a court to hear a case based on the subject of the case

In the state court system, determines the specific court, such as small claims or family courts, that will hear the case

Concurrent Jurisdiction
Occurs when both a state and federal court have the authority to hear a civil case due to it falling under diversity jurisdiction
Diversity Jurisdiction
A type of subject matter jurisdiction that covers claims made involving over $75,000 and two parties from different states
Federal Question Jurisdiction
A type of subject matter jurisdiction that covers claims made involving violations of either U.S. law or rights guaranteed by the Constitution
Cases in which the U.S. Supreme Court has Original Jurisdiction

Bankruptcy

International trade disputes

Habeas corpus

Disputes between two states, individuals of two different states, or a party and the U.S.

Disputes involving federal law

Cases in which the U.S. Supreme Court has Appellate Jurisdiction
Cases from lower courts involving a violation of constitutional rights or the misapplication of law

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