Federal Court System
How it Works
- A case is first seen in a district court. This authority of being the first to hear and decide a case is called original jurisdiction. Each state has at least one district court.
- If the defendant thinks the district court has made a mistake, their lawyer can request an appeal, or for the case to be seen by a court of appeals. There are 12 courts of appeals that each cover a geographic area called a district.
- The court of appeals' authority to review a case appealed by a lower court is called appellate jurisdiction. This court reviews the case records and has three options. It can:
- Go by precedent, or previous ruling, and uphold the original decision
- Reverse the decision
- Remand the case, meaning to send it back to the lower court to be tried again
- Also, the court of appeals writes an opinion to explain the legal reasoning behind their decision
All federal judges are appointed by the president with senate's approval and have life terms - this means they can stay in their position for as long as they want. Here are some other people besides the judges that are present in the federal court system.
- Decides whether the accused should be held in jail or released on bail
- Does the routine work of district court judges, as there is a magistrate in each district court
- Decide if a case should be put on trial after hearing preliminary evidence
- 32 years old
- In top physical condition
- Has clean background check
- Has received bachelor's degree
- Makes arrests, takes those convicted to prison, and collects fines
- Protects jurors and keeps order in court
- Serves subpoenas telling people they must appear in court