Court Systems of the United States
PA 101 Unit 3
The Federal Court system is a complex system for trying cases within the guidelines set forth by the United States Constitution and Congress. New York State courts are broken down into many different courts that handle many different types of cases.
Federal Courts are limited in the types of cases in which they can preside over. They can only hear cases which involve diversity in citizenship or a federal question. Diversity of citizenship is when there is an issue between two parties who are located in different states but also cases that involve other countries. A federal question is when one of the parties involved in the case has an issue regarding a federal law or statute.
The trial courts within the system are called District Courts. There are 94 Federal Judicial Districts set up throughout the United States. There is at least one District Court in each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, as well as three territories of the United States. Congress has given US District Courts jurisdiction over almost all types of federal cases, including civil and criminal cases. The Court of International Trade which handles cases that involve international trade and custom issues is situated within the court system. District Court also houses the US Federal Claims Courts which handle cases involving monetary damages against the United States, federal contract issues and other claims involving the United States. Bankruptcy Courts are also housed within the US District Court. Bankruptcy cases can only be tried in a federal court. Bankruptcy helps people who are unable to pay off their debts. They can either liquidate assets or set up a repayment plan which helps individuals as well as businesses that are having debt issues.
The 94 Federal Judicial Districts are further broken down into 12 regional circuits. Each circuit contains a Federal...