M6L1 Mastery Assignment

By: Brody Fairchild

Types of Courts

District Courts

Before all other federal courts, the district handles criminal and civil cases first. This authority is called original jurisdiction. All states have at least one of these but some have two or three.

Court of Appeals

People who lose in a district court often appeal to the next level of one of the twelve U.S. Court of Appeals. This process and authority of the court is called appellate jurisdiction. The geographic area of jurisdiction of each of the court nationwide is called a circuit. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is heads these. This is court's circuit is nationwide unlike its lower counterpart. Appeals courts do not hold trials but have a council of judges to determine if the trial was fair and respect the rights of the accused. If it is found as a mistrial a remand will be put into place which will send the case back to the lower court to be held again. This basis come from the judges in the council writing an opinion that turns to a precedent to be used in similar appealed cases.

Supreme Court

Some cases are appealed to the Supreme Court, the highest level of court in the nation with a cabinet of judges that serve a life term and are appointed by the President (as are all other federal judges). They have the final say in any case, criminal or civil.

Important Figures in the Justice System

U.S. Attorneys

Every federal judicial district also has a U.S. Attorney. Their job is to look onto the charges of the accused and present evidence in court. They also represent the federal government in civil cases against them.

U.S. Marshals

Like U.S. Attorneys every federal judicial district also has a U.S. Marshal. There duty is to make arrests, collect fines, and take convicted people to prison. They also (while a trial is being held) protect jurors, keep order in the court, and serve subpoenas to summon people to come to court.

Magistrate Judge

They decide whether or not an accused person should go to jail or be released on bail. Each judicial district has one and they do much of the judges routine work. They also hear preliminary to determine whether or not it should go to trial.