The United States Court System Essay

937 Words Nov 22nd, 2015 4 Pages
The United States court system is actually many court systems: a federal system and 50 state systems. Each has its own structures and procedures and are multi-tiered. Legal cases begin in a lower court and may work their way up to a higher court. Some cases initiated in a state court system ultimately end up in the federal court system.
Most legal issues are resolved in state trial courts, the courts at the lowest tier in a state 's court system. Depending on the specific structure of a state 's court system, trial courts may be city or municipal courts, justice of the peace courts, county or circuit courts, or even regional trial courts.
Most states have two levels of trial courts: trial courts with limited jurisdiction and trial courts with specific jurisdiction. Jurisdiction simply refers to the types of cases a court can hear. For example, trial courts of limited jurisdiction hear some kinds of civil cases, juvenile cases, minor criminal cases and traffic violations. Most legal problems are resolved in this kind of trial court.
Courts of general jurisdiction include circuit courts, superior courts, district courts, or courts of common pleas. They hear lawsuits that involve greater amounts of money or more serious types of crimes than the cases heard in trial courts of limited jurisdiction.
Many states also have specialized trial courts that hear cases related to a very specific area of the law. These courts can include probate courts, family law courts, juvenile courts,…
Open Document