The Judical Branch

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The judicial branch includes the nation’s courts, whose job it is to ensure the government follows the law. Courts also settle disagreements between different groups, and the Supreme Court has the final word in settling disagreements about what the U.S. Constitution means. The Supreme Court of Georgia is this state's highest court. It is a court of review, meaning it is a court for the correction of errors of law. It is not a trial court, and does not make findings of fact. The Supreme Court of Georgia has exclusive appellate jurisdiction over constitutional cases and election contests, and general appellate jurisdiction over cases involving title to land, wills, habeas corpus, extraordinary remedies, divorce and alimony, all cases certified to it by the Court of Appeals, and cases in which a sentence of death was imposed or could be imposed. Superior courts are trial courts of general jurisdiction. Superior courts have exclusive jurisdiction over felony cases (except in the case of juvenile offenders as provided by law), prosecuted by the District Attorney's Office, and cases regarding title to land, equity, and divorce. Superior courts have general jurisdiction over civil law cases, misdemeanors, and other cases. Georgia has 159 superior courts, one in each county. In superior courts, a judge and sometimes a jury hears witnesses' testimony and other evidence and decides cases by applying the relevant law to the relevant facts. Civil courts have a jurisdictional limit of $25,000. Jury trials are held in this court. Appeals from this court are made to the Georgia Court of Appeals. Georgia has two civil courts, in Richmond and Bibb counties.
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