Court Systems

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October 29, 2012|

The U.S. Constitution is supported by a dual court system in which the power is shared between the state and the federal governments. Most criminal cases are tried in state court, whereas, federal crimes are tried in federal courts. Both courts have jurisdiction, although federal courts are limited to the cases heard. The state offers a broad capability to encompass more cases and averages 30,000,000 cases filed, whereas, the federal courts see a mere 1,000,000 cases (findlaw). State and federal governments are mutual partners in the objective to protect the rights of citizens and the Constitution. Unlike federal courts, which are established under the United States Constitution, state courts are established by state Constitution or statutes. State legislatures create laws while state courts enforce laws, regulations, and rules that do not oppose the federal or state Constitution. The judicial system is composed of a Supreme Court, Appellate Courts, and Trial Courts. Supreme courts handle cases regarding the Constitution or federal law. Appellate court hears appeals in appropriate circuits or specialized cases. Trial courts hear cases civil and criminal in nature, excluding federal law. California has 58 trials courts, one in each county. Congress established the Appellate Courts in 12 regional court of appeals and one Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit; six districts in California. Courts of original jurisdiction hear the original evidence and thoughts along with witness testimony for the first time. Supreme courts has exclusive jurisdiction over the cases it hears, and parties may not settle a dispute between states without the original authority of the Supreme Court. After both sides are presented, a decision is made by either a judge or a jury. Both federal and state courts harbor trial courts, and conduct trials under two subdivisions of this jurisdiction. These subsets are ‘Limited Jurisdiction’ and ‘General...
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