Federal Court System

By Stephanie Dingle

Judicial Branch- District Courts

District Courts are the 3rd level of the Federal Court System.

All cases must be first held here.

The District Court has original jurisdiction meaning the authority to hear the case for the first time.

U.S. Attorney's represent the prosecution in every case of the District Court.

U.S. Marshall's make arrests, collect fines and take convicted person's to prison, protect jurors, keep order in court and serve papers.

Every case sets a precedent for future cases.

Other types of Judges that are a little part of the District Courts are the Magistrate Judges which handle routine work such as issue warrants.

Judicial Branch- Appeal Courts

The Appeals court is the 2nd level in the federal court system. The appeals court has appellate jurisdiction meaning the authority to hear a cases appealed from a lower court. There are 12 Court of Appeals which supervises a district, there is one extra court which is the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has nationwide jurisdiction. Furthermore, trials are not used at the appeals level.


There are 3 decisions:

- Uphold- keep the original decision

- Overturn- reverse the decision

-Remand- send it back to the lower court to be tried again.

Judicial Branch- Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the highest level of Federal Court.

There are 9 Supreme Court Justices, each one of them was nominated by the President and elected by the Senate, being a justice is a big deal because it's a life term.

In the Supreme Court, they take between 75-80 cases a year, with each making the justices interpret the Constitutions to their opinions.