Responsibilities of State and Federal Courts
There are two main court systems today. These two court systems are the state court system, and the federal court system. Each of these two systems are made up of several levels of courts.
The state court system is made up of limited-jurisdiction courts, general-jurisdiction trial courts, and state courts of appeals.
Limited-jurisdiction courts are responsible for trying cases for minor crimes such as disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, prostitution, and traffic violations. Limited-jurisdiction, or local trial courts, is mostly limited to the minor crimes, however, they can also be responsible for the preliminary stages of felony cases. Preliminary, arraignments, and bail hearings also take place in the lower courts.
The general-jurisdiction trial courts are also known as district courts, superior courts, circuit courts, or county courts. These courts are the setting for most criminal trials, and they have the authority to hear and decide cases dealing with many different types of subject matter.
Most states have at least one court of appeals, also known as reviewing court, which can either be an intermediate appellate court or the state’s highest court. All decisions made by the state’s highest court about questions of state law are final. The United States Supreme Court can overrule a decision made by a state’s highest court only when issues of federal law or constitutional procedure are involved.
Those were the different levels of the state court system. The other court system is the federal court system. The federal court system is made up of three levels of courts as well. These three levels are the U.S. district courts, U.S. courts of appeals, and the U.S. supreme courts.
The U.S. district courts are on the lowest tier of the federal court system. These courts handle cases involving federal laws, and a judge or a jury usually decides the case if the case is a...