1
   

[question] circut court?

 
 
J-B
 
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 06:57 am
I am reading a news report and feel puzzled by this.

Circut court? Can anybody give me a hand?



Thanks, JB
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,319 • Replies: 9
No top replies

 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 07:06 am
http://www.bartleby.com/65/co/courtsys.html

Quote:
State Court Systems
The system of state courts is quite diverse; virtually no two states have identical judiciaries. In general, however, the states, like the federal government, have a hierarchically organized system of general courts along with a group of special courts. The lowest level of state courts, often known generically as the inferior courts, may include any of the following: magistrate court, municipal court, justice of the peace court, police court, traffic court, and county court. Such tribunals, often quite informal, handle only minor civil and criminal cases. More serious offenses are heard in superior court, also known as state district court, circuit court, and by a variety of other names. The superior courts, usually organized by counties, hear appeals from the inferior courts and have original jurisdiction over major civil suits and serious crimes such as grand larceny. It is here that most of the nation's jury trials occur. The highest state court, usually called the appellate court, state court of appeals, or state supreme court, generally hears appeals from the state superior courts and, in some instances, has original jurisdiction over particularly important cases. A number of the larger states, such as New York, also have intermediate appellate courts between the superior courts and the state's highest court. Additionally, a state may have any of a wide variety of special tribunals, usually on the inferior court level, including juvenile court, divorce court, probate court, family court, housing court, and small-claims court. In all, there are more than 1,000 state courts of various types, and their judges, who may be either appointed or elected, handle the overwhelming majority of trials held in the United States each year.


Does this help?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Mar, 2005 10:30 am
JB: It depends on what "circuit court" you're talking about. Phoenix's link offers a good explanation of what circuit courts are in the state judicial system, but it would be seriously misleading to apply it to the federal system.

Both the federal system and the individual states have court systems divided between lower courts (often called "trial courts") and appellate courts. In some states, the lower courts are called "circuit courts" (that's the case in Illinois, for instance). In the federal system, however, the intermediate appellate courts are called "circuit courts." So everything depends on whether the particular "circuit court" you are inquiring about is a state or a federal court.
0 Replies
 
J-B
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Apr, 2005 10:11 pm
Sorry everyone. I realized my thread might have been moved to from Politics section to Legal section until today and finally found my lost thread.

Well, the reason I ask for "circut court" is that I don't have any concept of it. So your question about whether the circut court I mean is in federal system or the state system might be unanswerable for me, Joe. Confused

So Pheonix's explanation means "circut court" is another name of "superior court"?
Then why is "circuit"? How does the word make sense?

Thanks,
JB, a non-concept idiot of American judicial system
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Apr, 2005 05:41 am
Circuit means a loop, which is what lawyers, particularly in the old West, used to do. They would travel from court to court in their state, arguing cases for a few days in one town, and then in another. This was called riding the circuit. So that explains it in the state sense (at least I hope that explains it). President Lincoln used to ride the circuit in Illinois (before he became President, of course). See: http://www.papersofabrahamlincoln.org/narrative_overview.htm

For Federal court, so far as I am aware, the circuits just refer to areas of the country. So the Third Circuit, for example, contains Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the US Virgin Islands. See: http://www.legalengine.com/fedcaselaw/caselawfederal3.htm There are twelve Federal circuits. Eleven are numbered one to eleven, plus there is a DC Circuit that only covers the District of Columbia.

The lowest Federal court is the District Court. Each state has at least one District Court and a lot of larger states have several. But if you lose in the District Court, and you want to appeal to a higher authority, you appeal to that area's Circuit Court. So you see that in Pennsylvania you might start off in the Eastern District Court, then appeal to the Circuit Court if you lost at the lower level. Above that is the US Supreme Court. Above that is nothing.

There is a difference between Federal and State court. State courts handle what are (to use a very vague term) more local matters. Car accidents that happen within one state, where all of the parties are from that state, are state matters. A construction accident at a factory incorporated in the same state where the accident occurred is most likely to be a state matter. A criminal case, so long as there are no Constitutional questions, and so long as everything happened in one state, is a state matter. There are exceptions and more details and a lot more types of cases are solely state matters, but that's the general gist of it.

Federal cases are less local and often involve incidents that can be connected to more than one state. For example, I live in Massachusetts. If I drive to nearby New Hampshire and get into a car accident there, if the amount of damages is high enough, the case can be brought in Federal court. Federal courts also handle cases brought under the US Constitution (such as civil rights cases) or under Federal laws, such as antitrust matters.

Cases that have exhausted their state remedies aren't automatically transferred to Federal court. When a criminal case ends up in Federal court, it's because there was a Federal law violated (such as the Anti-Racketeering laws) or a Constitutional right was violated (such as the prohibition against unlawful search and seizure). But most purely state cases cannot be heard in Federal court (an exception is if there is a significant conflict between states' decisions, this doesn't happen often). So, when people say they're going to "take a case all the way to the Supreme Court", they are often mistaken. It just doesn't work that way. If every case could go to the US Supreme Court, they'd be hearing cases around the clock.

I hope this explanation didn't raise more questions than it answered. This was a very good question; thank you for asking it.
0 Replies
 
J-B
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Apr, 2005 06:03 am
Your explanation is so illuminating jespah. Razz
Well I admit that I am not indeed not puzzled by the "circut court". I am trying to study about the politics, the society of America. I am now reading a book written by a Chinese who has lived in USA for years about how to regard USA. She suggested that the very best way to study the country is to study its very constitution. And she vividly presents the country with cases including the bombing in Oklahoma City and the Simpson trial she has experienced in America. Her gist is that in some terms, the essential of USA is a debate around a 200-year-old principle. American people deal with their constitution extremely cautiously even though they are just a few words.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Apr, 2005 07:07 am
Jespah's explanation holds for the Federal system, as well, although she many not know it. The jsutices of the first Supreme Court also rode circuit in the Federal Districts while the Congress haggled over a series of Judiciary Bills, all of which were much freighted with political chicanery and attempts to pack the court system. Although my recollection of this may be incorrect, i believe that Mr. Justice Marshall was riding circuit in the North Carolina district at the time he received the landmark Marbury v. Madison brief.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Apr, 2005 01:35 pm
Thanks, &^JB^ and thank you, Setanta, I had no idea. And here I used to complain about going to Supreme Queens.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Apr, 2005 01:44 pm
Anyone obliged to go to Queens has a right to complain.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Apr, 2005 12:23 am
jespah: Yes, US supreme court justices used to ride circuit (with a brief respite in 1801-02) until the modern federal intermediate appellate court system was established in 1891. Up to then, one supreme court justice (originally two) would be responsible for circuit court duties. He would sit as judge with a district court judge, and the circuit courts would hear both original cases and appeals. Of course, this presented the odd situation where a district court judge might sit in review of a case he presided over at the trial level, and then a supreme court justice might then sit in review of a case he presided over at the circuit court level. An excellent short description of the development of the federal court system can be found here (.pdf file).

A few notable cases came from the pre-1891 circuit courts, including Corfield v. Coryell, which set forth the controlling definition of the "privileges and immunities" clause of Article IV. Furthermore, the supreme court case of In re Neagle, which was an important case involving executive power, arose when a US marshall, assigned to protect Justice Stephen Field while performing his duties as a circuit judge, shot and killed a man in California.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » [question] circut court?
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/21/2021 at 04:37:53