Historical Development of the U.S Court Systems

1300 Words Dec 19th, 2012 6 Pages
Historical Development of the U.S Court Systems


University of Phoenix

When the English were colonizing North America, they brought with them their laws. Being from the British Common Law system, the settlers understood how that system worked, so they modeled their own government using Common Law. In the 18th century, when the Union was formed and the colonies became states, they kept their Common Law governments. However, the Articles of Confederation set forth to establish one supreme court, being the federal court. Article III of the U.S. Constitution states: 'The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the
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U.S Courts of appeal do not decide “guilt”or“fault”, listen to witnesses, do not have a jury, and do not attempt to “find out the facts. They do however, see if there were legal issues made and review the courts records. They also listen to both lawyers working on the case. All states have supreme courts, although only 39 have intermediate appellate courts”. (Schmalleger,2009) The United States district courts are the trial courts of the federal court system. The district courts have jurisdiction over every category of federal cases ranging from civil cases to criminal cases. There are 94 federal judicial districts, including at least one district in each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The Virgin Islands; Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands are three U.S. territories that have district courts that hear federal cases, including bankruptcy cases. The Courts of Special Jurisdiction or limited jurisdiction are limited to handling cases such as family matters, bankruptcy, patents, copyrights, probate, traffic, juvenile courts and small claims courts for cases under $5,000.00.(Understanding Federal and State Courts) The federal courts have power to decide only those cases over which the Constitution gives them authority. These courts are located principally in the larger cities. Only carefully selected types of cases may be heard in the federal courts. All fifty state court systems in the United

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