Chapter 3 Court Systems
Bell Ringer 11/7 What is one thing you can do to improve your scores for your next test?
Solving disputes without Court • Litigate Take disputes to court *People decide too quickly to litigate disputes before considering other options. Option 1 Face-to-face - Together, parties reach a mutually acceptable resolution
Option 2 Mediation • Two parties invite an independent 3rd party called a Mediator; they try to develop an acceptable solution to the both sides of the dispute • Option 3 Arbitration -Arbitrator holds an informal meeting to determine what happened; Arbitrator’s decision is binding and can be enforced by court order if need be
Settling disputes with Court • Court a governmental forum that administers justice under the law -Courts decide disputes between private individuals and in criminal cases -Courts may award damages or order other appropriate relief in the former cases -Courts may impose punishment in the criminal cases (fines & imprisonment)
Option 1 Trial Court -Court in which a dispute is 1st heard; hears witnesses testify and reviews other pertinent evidence 1st hand so as to determine the facts of a case -Applies what it selects as the appropriate law to the facts to reach a verdict or decision in the case -Trial courts have original jurisdiction over, or original power to decide the case
Option 2 Appellate Court -Reviews decisions of lower courts when a party claims an error was made during the lower court’s proceeding -Appellate court does not go off of evidence; goes solely off of errors of law -Appellate courts examine the transcript which is the verbatim record of what went on at trial -They also read Appellate briefs or written arguments on this issues of the law, submitted by the opposing attorneys. -Appellate courts DO NOT consider any new evidence
For Friday 11/9… • Find a current event to bring to class on Friday to share (Worth 5 points)
Bell Ringer 11/9 • What is the difference between the 3 ways of settling a dispute without going to court? (Face to face, Mediation, Arbitration) • Share Current Events
Bell Ringer 11/13 • What is the difference between trial court and appellate court? • Coming up: • Current Event due Thursday • Bell Ringer Check Thursday • History of the Jury assignment due Thursday
Origin of the Federal Court System • Articles of Confederation did NOT allow for a Supreme Court • During George Washington’s inauguration as the first president, it took 6 months for Congress to pass the Federal Judiciary Act. • This act “ordained and established” the U.S. Supreme Court and 13 district courts.
Jurisdiction of the Federal Courts -General Jurisdiction can hear almost any kind of case -Special Jurisdiction Hears only one specific type of case.
3 Levels of Federal Court Levels: • Federal District Courts • Federal Courts of Appeals • The U.S. Supreme Court
Federal District Courts • Lowest level of federal court with general jurisdiction • This level is the trial court (first court to hear a dispute) at the federal level • Has power to determine the facts and to make initial determinations of the law to use in deciding the case
Federal District Court Cont’d… • District Courts have original Jurisdiction over: • Federal Questions or cases that arise under the Constitution, U.S. Law, and U.S. Treaties • Lawsuits between citizens of different states, between U.S. citizen and a foreign nation, or between a U.S. citizen and a citizen of a foreign nation. • Parties have “diversity of citizenship” • More than $75,000 must be in dispute for a case to go to the Federal District Court
What’s your Verdict… Susan Bean, a citizen of Illinois, sued Wallis Turk, a citizen of the state of Colorado, for the breach of a construction contract on Bean’s new Chicago residence. More than $600,000 was at stake. Bean filed the suit in Illinois state court. Turk fought to remove the case to the federal courts. Will the case be heard in federal or state court?
What’s your verdict… • Bill Jones, a citizen of the state of Maryland sues Jim Smith, also a citizen of the state of Maryland over a breached contract. Bill Jones contracted Jim Smith to complete some minor handy man work at his home costing around $10,000. Would this case be heard in a Federal District Court or state court? Why or why not??
Bell Ringer 11/15 • Provide 1 fact that you learned on Tuesday about the Federal District Courts • Coming up today: • Current Events • History of the Jury • Federal Courts of Appeals • Vocab Quiz Monday
Federal Courts of Appeals • Have appellate jurisdiction over district courts, certain specialized federal courts, and many federal administrative agencies. • This power is exercised when the result of a case in a lower court is appealed by one or more of the parties.
Federal Court of Appeals cont’d… • Appellate courts DO NOT accept any new evidence or call witnesses; instead they review the trial transcripts, appellate briefs, and oral arguments of the attorneys • No appellate court, not even the USSC can change the factual determinations of a jury.
Federal Courts of Appeals Cont’d… • 13 federal courts of appeals; 12 of them are circuit courts, each of which is responsible for an assigned geographic area; the 13th one is dedicated to the federal circuit • This court handles patent cases appealed out of the district courts and appeals from federal courts with special jurisdictions
Federal Courts of Appeals Cont’d… • More Info • With the exception of criminal cases in which a defendant is found not guilty, any party who is dissatisfied with the judgment of a U.S. District Court (or the findings of certain administrative agencies) may appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal in his/her geographical district. • Cases are heard with a panel of 3 judges.
Vocab Review • http://www.flashcardmachine.com/2280734/x54f
Bell Ringer 11/27 • Write down one of your vocab words and it’s definition • For Thursday: Current Event Judge’s Activity
United States Supreme Court (USSC) • Made up of 9 judges known as justices and presided over by the Chief Justice • Located in Washington D.C. • Informational Website
USSCCont’d… • Has both original and appellate jurisdiction • According to the constitution the USSC has original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers/consuls, and those in which a state shall be a party
USSC Cont’d… • The most important function of the USSC is the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction • This jurisdiction is exercised over cases on appeal from the U.S. Courts of Appeals or from the highest courts of the various states.
Activity • Brianna Samuel Alito Jr. • Danyelle Sonia Sotomayor • Sean Elena Kagan • Rachelle President Obama • Katy Vice President Biden • Trey Robert Casey • Jake John G. Roberts Jr. • Dylan Antonin Scalia • Jenna Anthony M. Kennedy • Kerri Clarence Thomas • Karena Ruth Bader Ginsburg • Mike Stephen G. Breyer
Bell Ringer 12/3 • Name the 3 levels of Federal Court • Wednesday-Review • Friday- EXAM Chp 3
A Typical State Court System • In most states, Trial Courts(original jurisdiction over criminal and civil matters) are known as circuit courts • Court of Record-Keeps an exact count of what goes on at trial. Record may include a transcript • State trial courts review the decisions of lower courts such as small claims courts • State trial courts have original jurisdiction over cases, so they typically use a jury; if NO jury, Judge will determine the decision
State Courts of Appeal • An appeal from a court of record is reviewed by a panel of judges in a state court of appeals. • No more than 3 judges • State appellate panel evaluates the record of the case and the appellate briefs submitted by the attorneys. • NO NEW EVIDENCE • If they determine that incorrect law was used, they apply the correct law themselves to reach a new result • If they determine that incorrect law was used and interfered with the proper decision, the case may get a new trial
State Supreme Courts • Every legal issue is entitled to a trial and to ONE appeal, if filed in a timely manner • Only cases that have the most complex legal issues are taken to the Supreme Court • Judges called “Justices” • 3 or more justices will review the case • Issue final decision unless there is a federal question of the law, than it can go to the USSC
Associate Circuit Courts • Layer of courts below main courts • General Jurisdiction • Hear minor cases such as Traffic Offenses and small cases that involve no more than $25, 000 • Take a burden off of the higher courts
City or Municipal Courts • Administer city ordinances • Traffic and Criminal Division • Ordinances are not considered criminal law • Results can be appealed to the state trial court level if need be
Small Claims Court • $2,500 or less • Attorneys general not required • Judge hears the case without a jury or formal rules of evidence • Can be appealed to a state trial courty
Juvenile Courts • Over 13 & under 18 in most states are referred to as Juveniles • Chart on page 58 shows the age that each state tries as an adult • Society believes that that juveniles should not be held as responsible as adults for their criminal acts • Focus is on juveniles being rehabilitated, not punished • Cases involving juveniles DO NOT become public knowledge • If rehabilitation fails or juvenile is back in court, they will tried as an adult
Probate Courts • When people die, the probate courts make sure their wills are followed through upon • The courts administer wills and estates