US Federal Court System

Kelly Lathe; Module 6 Lesson 1 Mastery Assignment

The Federal Courts

District courts are where trials and lawsuits are begun; they have original jurisdiction, or the authority to hear the case for the first time.

Court of Appeals review decisions made in lower district courts; they have appellate jurisdiction, or the authority to hear a case appealed from a lower court. Each of the 12 US courts of appeals covers a particular geographic area called a circuit.

An appellate judge writes an opinion that explains the legal thinking behind the court's decision on the case.

Judges in the 13th appeals court have the option to remand the case, or send it back to the lower court to be tried again.

The opinion sets a precedent or model for other judges to follow in making their own decisions.

Life terms are only for Federal Court judges and it means that they can stay for as long as they want.

Magistrate Judges decide whether the accused people should be held in jail or released on bail, they also hear preliminary evidence and determine whether the case should go to trial.

US Attorney are government lawyers who prosecutes people accused of breaking federal laws, they look into to charges and present the evidence in court, and they represent the US in civil cases involving the government.

US Marshals makes arrests, collect fines, and take convicted people to prison, they protect jurors, keep order in court, and serve subpoenas ordering people to appear in court.

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