Federal Court System

Module 6 Lesson 1 Mastery Assignment

How the Federal Judicial system works.

1. District Courts

Trials are held and law suits are started in the District courts. All states have at least one but larger states have two or three. They hear both civil and criminal cases and are the only only court that involves witnesses. They also have original Jurisdiction which is to hear the case for the first time.

2. Appeal court

Those who loose in district court will be appealed to the next level, the court of appeals. This is called appellate jurisdiction. A court of appeals is located in a federal circuit, a geographical area of US courts of Appeals. No trials are held for this and judges will review from records and what lawyers say. Judges have three choices, uphold original decision, reverse the decision or remand the case, which means to send it back to the lower court.

3. Appeal court

An appellate judge will write an opinion that explains the thinking behind the decision made. This opinion will be a model for other judges to make their own decision on similar cases or sets a precedent.

People In Court

4. Guilty

If a person is is found guilty the Magistrate judge will decide whether to put the accused person in jail or released on bail. They also do the judge's routine work and hear preliminary evidence to determine the results of the case.

Life Terms

Judges are appointed by the president and approved by the senate. Judges serve for life terms, which mean they can serve as long as they like.


An attorney is a government lawyer who prosecute people accused of breaking laws.They present the evidence in court and represent the US on civil cases involving government.

U.S. Marshal

Every judicial district does not only have an attorney but a U.S. Marshal. They make arrest, collect fines, and take convicted people to prison. They also protect jurors, keep order in court and serve subpoenas ordering people to appear in court.