Ch 5 the court system
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Ch 5 the court system

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Ch 5 the court system Presentation Transcript

  • 1. The Court System Ch 5
  • 2. Trial courts listen to testimony, consider evidence, and decide the facts in disputed situations. Evidence is provided by witnesses who are called to testify in the case.
  • 3. Judges and juries are essential parts of our legal system. • The judge – presides over the trial and protects the rights of those involved. – makes sure that attorneys follow the rules of evidence and trial procedure. – is required to instruct the jury as to the law involved in the case. – In most states, will sentence individuals that are convicted of committing crimes.
  • 4. If a jury trial is requested, a jury is selected. • To serve on a jury, you must be – a U.S. citizen. – at least 21 years old. – able to speak and understand English. – a resident of the state. When you register to vote, you are included in a “pool” that is used to draw jurors.
  • 5. Jury service is a very important civic duty. It is necessary to preserve our constitutional right to a trial by jury.
  • 6. FAQs about Jury Duty • Convicted felons are ineligible for jury duty. • After being chosen, you are “on call” for a one month period. This doesn’t necessarily mean you will serve. • You are paid $40 per day as a juror whether or not you are selected. • You are reimbursed 50.5 cents per mile round trip from your home for mileage. • If you fail to report, you could be found in contempt of court and could be fined $100, imprisoned for three days, or both.
  • 7. Voir Dire • …a hearing to determine the competency of a juror • prospective jurors are questioned about their backgrounds and potential biases before being chosen to sit on a jury. • Why would someone not be chosen to serve?
  • 8. Turn to page 49 and let’s go over the steps in a trial.
  • 9. Appeals Courts • …review decisions of trial courts for errors of law. • No new evidence is presented. • Only lawyers appear before judges to make legal arguments. • Not everyone who loses a trial can appeal.
  • 10. Appeals Courts (cont.) • An appeal is usually possible ONLY when there is a claim that the trial court has committed an error of law. • Error of law: when a judge makes a mistake. • When an appeals court decides a case, it issues a written opinion. • This sets a precedent for similar cases in the future. • However, a higher court has the power to reverse or change a precedent.
  • 11. Appeals Courts (cont.) • When judges disagree on a decision, two or more written opinions may be issued in the same case. • The majority opinion states the decision of the court … • Judges who disagree may issue a separate document: a dissenting opinion.
  • 12. Dissenting Opinions • Dissenting opinions are important because their reasoning may become the basis of future majority decisions. • As society and the views of the judges change, so can legal opinion. • Plessy v. Ferguson 1896 led to Brown v. Board of Ed 1954 – “separate but equal” was declared unconstitutional.
  • 13. Mississippi Court System • Youth courts – deal with matters involving abuse and neglect of juveniles, as well as offenses committed by juveniles • Municipal courts – have jurisdiction over misdemeanor crimes, municipal ordinances and city traffic violations • Justice courts – have jurisdiction over small claims civil cases involving amounts of $3,500 or less, misdemeanor criminal cases and any traffic offense that occurs outside a municipality
  • 14. Mississippi Court System (cont.) • County courts – have exclusive jurisdiction over eminent domain proceedings and juvenile matters, among other things. • Chancery courts – have jurisdiction over domestic matters including adoptions, custody disputes and divorces; guardianships; sanity hearings; wills; and challenges to constitutionality of state laws. Land records are filed in Chancery Court. • Circuit courts – hear felony criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits.
  • 15. Mississippi Court System (cont.) • Court of Appeals – hears cases assigned by the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals is an error correction court. It hears and decides appeals on issues in which the law is already settled, but the facts are in dispute. • Supreme Court – Mississippi has a two-tier appellate court system that reviews decisions of law and fact made by the trial courts. The Mississippi Supreme Court is the court of last resort among state courts. Decisions of the Chancery, Circuit and County Courts and of the Court of Appeals may be appealed to the Supreme Court.
  • 16. Federal Court System
  • 17. U.S. Supreme Court Members: Chief Justice of the United States JOHN G. ROBERTS, JR. Associate Justices ANTONIN SCALIA ANTHONY M. KENNEDY CLARENCE THOMAS RUTH BADER GINSBURG STEPHEN G. BREYER SAMUEL A. ALITO, JR. SONIA SOTOMAYOR ELENA KAGAN