Dual court system

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Dual court system

  1. 1. The Dual Court System
  2. 2. Courts in America <ul><li>There are two separate court systems in the United States: </li></ul><ul><li>The Federal Judiciary & State Judiciary </li></ul>
  3. 3. Federal Judiciary <ul><li>The Constitution creates the United States Supreme Court and leaves the inferior courts’ creation to Congress. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inferior courts -the lower federal courts that are beneath the Supreme Court </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. 2 Kinds of Courts <ul><li>Constitutional Courts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>created to interpret Article III of the Constitution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Supreme Court, courts of appeals, district courts, & the Court of International Trade </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>also known as regular or Article III courts </li></ul>
  5. 5. 2 Kinds of Courts <ul><li>Special Courts </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>also known as the legislative courts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Court of Military Appeals, Court of Veterans Appeals, Claims Court, Tax Court, territorial courts and the courts of the District of Columbia </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Supreme Court = ultimate authority
  7. 7. HOW DOES A CASE REACH THE SUPREME COURT? <ul><li>“THE RULE OF FOUR”-four justices must agree that the case should be heard </li></ul><ul><li>BY CERTIFICATE-a lower court requests a ruling on a particular point </li></ul>
  8. 8. SUPREME COURT AT WORK <ul><li>BRIEFS </li></ul><ul><li>è written documents supporting one side of the case or the other </li></ul>
  9. 9. SUPREME COURT AT WORK <ul><li>ORAL ARGUMENTS </li></ul><ul><li>è lawyers speak to the justices emphasizing main points of the case </li></ul>
  10. 10. SUPREME COURT AT WORK <ul><li>SOLICITOR GENERAL </li></ul><ul><li>è represent the US before the Supreme Court in all cases </li></ul>
  11. 11. SUPREME COURT AT WORK <ul><li>THE CONFERENCE </li></ul><ul><li>è justices meet in secret to discuss the cases they’ve just heard </li></ul>
  12. 12. SUPREME COURT AT WORK <ul><li>OPINIONS </li></ul><ul><li>è justices always write an Opinion of the Court-for each ruling </li></ul>
  13. 13. The State Judiciary
  14. 14. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: Unified Justice System Supreme Court Superior Court Commonwealth Court Common Pleas Court Philly Municipal Court District Justices Special Courts Pittsburgh Magistrates Philly Traffic Court
  15. 15. State System Justices <ul><ul><ul><li>Justices are subject to strict standards of conduct </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>elected to office in odd-numbered years </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>10-year terms (except those in special courts) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>vacancies before election, appointment by governor, PA Senate confirmation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>unlimited number of terms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“merit retention”- to keep office </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>yes-no question </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Court of Common Pleas <ul><ul><ul><li>1 President Judge and 12 associate judges </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>elected to 10-year terms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jurisdiction- </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ALL civil and criminal cases in County </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ALL appealed cases in county </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. District Attorney <ul><li>conducts all criminal prosecutions –Commonwealth of Pennsylvania </li></ul><ul><li>jurisdiction over ALL felony, misdemeanor and summary offenses </li></ul><ul><li>provides legal guidance in criminal matters for the county’s 47 police agencies and departments (FBI, DEA) </li></ul><ul><li>processes over 6,000 criminal cases each year </li></ul><ul><li>Stanley Rebert-District Attorney </li></ul>
  18. 18. Public Defender <ul><li>Responsible for representing all “indigent” defendants in all types of criminal cases-as desired by the defendant-in which there is a substantial likelihood that a jail sentence will be imposed </li></ul><ul><li>6th Amendment-right “to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” </li></ul>
  19. 19. Sheriff’s Department <ul><li>serving subpoenas, orders and notices issued by the courts </li></ul><ul><li>provide security in courtrooms </li></ul><ul><li>responsible for transporting and securing prisoners to and from correctional facilities </li></ul><ul><li>extradition of prisoners (fugitives) apprehended out of state </li></ul><ul><li>transports mental patients and juvenile offenders </li></ul>
  20. 20. District Justices <ul><li>18 in York County; elected to 6-year terms </li></ul><ul><li>Jurisdiction -civil cases dealing with monetary disputes of less than $8000 as well as landlord and tenant disputes </li></ul><ul><li>Criminal jurisdiction-summary violations of City, Borough, and Township ordinances, violations of the fish, game, and dog laws </li></ul><ul><li>DO NOT have to practice law or have any experience with law </li></ul>
  21. 21. Levels of law violations <ul><li>Summary offense -crimes that are committed with the least amount of severity. Ex: traffic violations-speeding, parking tickets, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Misdemeanor -a minor crime such as disorderly conduct, littering, petty theft, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Felony -a major crime such as murder, arson, or assault. </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Civil Cases </li></ul><ul><li>Usually involve a dispute between two or more individuals or private organizations. Dispute may be over property rights, violation of a contract, etc. Include suits for damages. The state is usually not involved in these cases. </li></ul>Criminal Cases State brings charges against citizens for violation of law. Involve misdemeanors or felonies. The state is the prosecution in these cases

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