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Organization Of U.S. Court System
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Organization Of U.S. Court System


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  • 1. Organization of U.S. Court System
  • 2. The Judicial Branch  Judicial Branch is made up of the Supreme Court and over 100 federal courts  What Courts Do  They apply the law to an actual situation  They resolve the two types of legal conflicts  Criminal Cases  Civil Cases
  • 3. Criminal Cases  A court determines whether a person accused of breaking a law is innocent or guilty  If the person is found guilty the court decides the punishment  Criminal cases are always brought to court by the Prosecution, or a government body
  • 4. Civil Cases  A court settles a large disagreement  Disagreements can be over many issues:  Auto accidents  Broken contracts  Divorce  Violation of Constitutional Rights  Civil cases are brought to court by a plaintiff(s), or people that issue complaints against another party
  • 5. Role of the Judge and Jury  Judges  Judges apply the law to the conflict between the two parties  The judge directs the courts proceedings but must remain neutral  All federal judges are chosen by the President and approved by the Senate  Jury  They decide the facts of the case, deciding what happened and who is responsible
  • 6. State and Federal Courts  Most legal cases begin in the lower, or state courts  All state courts have different levels  If the court of original jurisdiction makes a decision that either side believes is unfair they can appeal to a higher court
  • 7. United States District Courts  They are the workhorses of the federal court system  94 district courts are scattered across the United States  District courts have juries and are directed by a judge
  • 8. Courts of Appeals  There are 12 United States Courts of Appeals  They handle appeals from district courts in their geographic region  Courts of appeals have NO juries, they call NO witnesses, and they do NOT examine evidence  Instead, lawyers argue their cases in front of three judges who decide what to do
  • 9. U.S. Supreme Court  Its purpose is to serve as the final court of appeals for both the state and federal court system  They are the only court to hear cases dealing with:  Representatives of foreign governments  Disputes between the states
  • 10. The United States Supreme Court State Supreme Special Federal U.S. Court of Courts Appeals Courts U.S. District State Appeals Courts Courts State Trial Courts Cases involving federal laws Cases involving Cases a foreign involving state diplomat or and local laws state government