The Federal Court System
Civics and Economics
The Federal Court
Definition: A court created by the authority of a federal government.
The U.S. Courts of Appeals and the U.S. District Court plays a large part in the Federal Court System.
The U.S District Courts: All states have at least one district court. These courts are were trials are held and lawsuits are begun. District Courts have original jurisdiction for all federal cases, which is the authority to hear the case for the first time.
The U.S. Courts of Appeals: People who lose in the District Courts usually go to this court. Appeal courts review decisions made in lower district courts. This is called appellate jurisdiction which is the authority to hear a case appealed from a lower court. In addition, each of the twelve Courts of Appeals covers a particular geographic area called a circuit. In Appeal Courts, the judge writes an opinion that explains the legal thinking behind the decision of the case. This creates a precedent for other judges to follow when they have a similar case to guide their decisions.
- Have nationwide jurisdiction
- Judges review the case records and listen to the lawyers arguments on both sides therefore, not holding the trial.
- During this, judges may decide to uphold the original decision, reverse the original decision, or remand the case (send back to a lower court to be tried again).
U.S. Judges, Attorneys, and Marshals
In the Federal Court System, there are ranks of workers that help the system work such as judges, attorneys, and marshals.
- A judge can serve for life terms as their job and can only be removed by impeachment.
Magistrate Judge: These judges decide weather the accused go on bail or sentenced to jail. They also hear "preliminary evidence" and decide if the case goes through trial.
U.S. Attorneys: Every federal district has an attorney. These people look into the charges of fellonies and present the evidence in court. In civil cases, they represent the united states government.
U.S. Marshals: Like the attorneys, every federal district has a marshal. These people collect fines, take people to prison, and make arrests.
Cited Sources: http://people.howstuffworks.com/judicial-system1.htm