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    State court (United States)

    State court (United States)

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    "State court" United States – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR

    This article is part of a series on the

    State governments of the United States

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    In the United States, a state court has jurisdiction over disputes with some connection to a U.S. state. State courts handle the vast majority of civil and criminal cases in the United States; the United States federal courts are far smaller in terms of both personnel and caseload, and handle different types of cases.[1]

    Each state "is free to organize its courts as it sees fit," and consequently, "no two states have identical court structures."[2] Generally, state courts are common law courts, and apply their respective state laws and procedures to decide cases.[3] They are organized pursuant to and apply the law in accordance with their state's constitution, state statutes, and binding decisions of courts in their state court hierarchy. Where applicable, they also apply federal law. Generally, a single judicial officer, usually called a judge, exercises original jurisdiction by presiding over contested criminal or civil actions which culminate in trials, although most matters stop short of reaching trial. The decisions of lower courts may be reviewed by a panel of a state court of appeals. Generally, there is also a highest court for appeals, a state supreme court, that oversees the court system. In matters that involve issues of federal law, the final decision of the state's highest court (including refusals to hear final appeals) may be appealed to the United States Supreme Court (which also has the discretion to refuse to hear them).

    Contents

    1 Types of state courts

    2 State court judges

    3 Differences among the states

    4 Nature of matters handled in state courts

    4.1 Civil cases 4.2 Criminal cases 5 Administration

    5.1 State court regulation of lawyers

    6 Relationship to federal courts

    7 Nomenclature 8 See also 9 References

    10 External links and references

    Types of state courts[edit]

    Cases in state courts begin in a trial court where lawsuits and criminal cases are filed and evidence is eventually presented if a case proceeds to a hearing or trial.[3] Trials in these courts are often held only after extensive pre-trial procedures that in more than 90% of cases lead to a default judgment in a civil case, an agreed resolution settling the case or plea bargain resolving a criminal case, or pre-trial resolution of the case by a judge either on the merits or on procedural grounds. Territory outside of any state in the United States, such as the District of Columbia or American Samoa, often has a court system established under federal or territorial law which substitutes for a state court system and is distinct from the ordinary federal court system.

    State trial courts are usually located in a courthouse, which is often in the county seat. Even when state trial courts include more than one county in a judicial district, it is not uncommon for the state trial court to hold regular sessions at each county seat in its jurisdiction and function from the point of view of litigants as if it were a county-based court.

    If one of the litigants is unsatisfied with the decision of the lower court, the matter may be taken up on appeal (but an acquittal in a criminal trial may not be appealed by the state due to the Fifth Amendment protection against double jeopardy). Usually, an intermediate appellate court, if there is one in that state, often called the state court of appeals, will review the decision of the trial court. If still unsatisfied, the litigant can appeal to the highest appellate court in the state, which is usually called the state supreme court and is usually located in or near the state capital. Appellate courts in the United States, unlike their civil law counterparts, are generally not permitted to correct mistakes concerning the facts of the case on appeal, only mistakes of law, or findings of fact with no support in the trial court record.

    Many states have courts of limited jurisdiction (inferior jurisdiction), presided over by, for example, a magistrate or justice of the peace who hears criminal arraignments and tries petty offenses and small civil cases. Appeals from courts of limited jurisdiction are frequently sent to state trial courts of general jurisdiction rather than to an appellate court.

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    Comparing Federal & State Courts

    Main content

    Comparing Federal & State Courts

    The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land in the United States. It creates a federal system of government in which power is shared between the federal government and the state governments. Due to federalism, both the federal government and each of the state governments have their own court systems. Discover the differences in structure, judicial selection, and cases heard in both systems.

    Court Structure

    The Federal Court System The State Court System

    Article III of the Constitution invests the judicial power of the United States in the federal court system. Article III, Section 1 specifically creates the U.S. Supreme Court and gives Congress the authority to create the lower federal courts.

    The Constitution and laws of each state establish the state courts. A court of last resort, often known as a Supreme Court, is usually the highest court. Some states also have an intermediate Court of Appeals. Below these appeals courts are the state trial courts. Some are referred to as Circuit or District Courts.

    Congress has used this power to establish the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals, the 94 U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Court of Claims, and the U.S. Court of International Trade. U.S. Bankruptcy Courts handle bankruptcy cases. Magistrate Judges handle some District Court matters.

    States also usually have courts that handle specific legal matters, e.g., probate court (wills and estates); juvenile court; family court; etc.

    Parties dissatisfied with a decision of a U.S. District Court, the U.S. Court of Claims, and/or the U.S. Court of International Trade may appeal to a U.S. Court of Appeals.

    Parties dissatisfied with the decision of the trial court may take their case to the intermediate Court of Appeals.

    A party may ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals, but the Supreme Court usually is under no obligation to do so. The U.S. Supreme Court is the final arbiter of federal constitutional questions.

    Parties have the option to ask the highest state court to hear the case.

    Only certain cases are eligible for review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Selection of Judges

    The Federal Court System The State Court System

    The Constitution states that federal judges are to be nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

    They hold office during good behavior, typically, for life. Through Congressional impeachment proceedings, federal judges may be removed from office for misbehavior.

    State court judges are selected in a variety of ways, including

    election,

    appointment for a given number of years,

    appointment for life, and

    combinations of these methods, e.g., appointment followed by election.

    Types of Cases Heard

    The Federal Court System The State Court System

    Cases that deal with the constitutionality of a law;

    Cases involving the laws and treaties of the U.S.;

    Cases involving ambassadors and public ministers;

    Disputes between two or more states;

    Admiralty law; Bankruptcy; and

    Habeas corpus issues.

    Most criminal cases, probate (involving wills and estates)

    Most contract cases, tort cases (personal injuries), family law (marriages, divorces, adoptions), etc.

    State courts are the final arbiters of state laws and constitutions. Their interpretation of federal law or the U.S. Constitution may be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court may choose to hear or not to hear such cases.

    Source : www.uscourts.gov

    GOVT 9

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    Since the late 1980s, the courts in Texas have become more favorable to defendants in civil cases than to plaintiffs. Why?

    Click card to see definition 👆

    Several tort reform laws were passed during the early 2000s that limited damages against defendants.

    In general, more conservative than liberal justices have been elected.

    More Republican than Democratic justices have been elected.

    Click again to see term 👆

    Suppose you are a county judge in rural Texas. How would your duties differ from those of a county judge living in a more urban area?

    Click card to see definition 👆

    As a rural county judge, you are more likely than an urban county judge to play a judicial role in addition to an administrative role.

    Click again to see term 👆

    1/75 Created by cherrystiks

    Terms in this set (75)

    Since the late 1980s, the courts in Texas have become more favorable to defendants in civil cases than to plaintiffs. Why?

    Several tort reform laws were passed during the early 2000s that limited damages against defendants.

    In general, more conservative than liberal justices have been elected.

    More Republican than Democratic justices have been elected.

    Suppose you are a county judge in rural Texas. How would your duties differ from those of a county judge living in a more urban area?

    As a rural county judge, you are more likely than an urban county judge to play a judicial role in addition to an administrative role.

    Which of the following statements about Texas local government is accurate?

    Texas has more local governments than most states in total, but fewer local governments per capita.

    Which of the following is perhaps the greatest obstacle to getting the best-qualified individuals to run for judgeships and to stay on the bench in Texas?

    Private law practice can bring much more money.

    Which process does the legislature use to authorize spending money on programs and services?

    appropriations

    Match each Texas court to its correct jurisdiction.

    intermediate-level appeals for civil, juvenile, and criminal cases

    courts of appeal

    jurisdiction over probate cases, less serious misdemeanors, and civil cases involving relatively low amounts of money at the local level

    county courts

    final appellate jurisdiction in state civil and juvenile casesTexas Supreme Court

    ultimate jurisdiction in state criminal cases

    Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

    general jurisdiction over a broad range of civil and criminal cases, mostly at the local level

    district courts

    Texas uses nonpartisan elections to select state judges.

    false

    Regulations enacted by city government, and under the jurisdiction of municipal courts, are often referred to as which of the following?

    ordinances

    If an economic crisis were to occur that caused a significant decline in the projected tax revenue for the biennium, the state legislature would likely deal with the shortfall by taking which steps?

    cuts in spending

    use the Rainy Day Fund

    delay payments

    Study the figure on the budget-making process, and then determine which of the following statements are accurate.

    Both chambers of the legislature process the budget at the same time.

    The final stage of the budgetary cycle is with state agencies.

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