The Federal Court System

Levels & Jurisdiction

Levels of the federal court system

  • First Level- The U.S. District Courts have 94 districts. Each one of them has a bankruptcy court plus. This includes the U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
  • Second Level- The U.S. Court of Appeals has 13 circuits. It has 12 regional circuits and one for the federal circuit.
  • Third Level- The U.S. Supreme Court only has one court.
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Types of Jurisdiction.

There are four main types of Jurisdiction. They are:

  • Original Jurisdiction is the right to hear a case for the first time.
  • Appellate Jurisdiction is the court authority to hear a case that was appealed from the lower court.
  • Concurrent Jurisdiction is when both courts have original jurisdiction over both of the cases.
  • Exclusive Jurisdiction is when the case is only heard by the federal court.
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What are the responsibilities of the different levels of the federal court system?

  • Level 1 is the District Court. This is where trials are held and lawsuits start .
  • Level 2 is the Court of Appeals. They review decisions that the district court made. They can uphold, overturn, or remand the case.
  • Level 3 is the supreme court. They are the final judge of every case in the system. It is the last resort court for people looking for justice.
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