Course Court Systems and Practices

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1 Course Court Systems and Practices Unit II Federal Court vs. State Court Systems Essential Question What are the differences between the federal court and state court systems and their jurisdictions? TEKS (c) (1)(B)(C) Prior Student Learning Structure and function of federal and state courts Estimated Time 3 to 6 hours Jurisdiction: Federal Court vs. State Court Systems Rationale Students must distinguish between federal and state court systems in order to understand why a case is heard in a particular court. Objectives The students will be able to: 1. Outline the process of a case as it moves through an appeal in either the state system or the federal system 2. Describe the jurisdictional differences between federal courts and state courts 3. Differentiate between subject matter jurisdiction, geographic jurisdiction, and hierarchical jurisdiction Engage Have the students watch and listen to the video of the Court System Song. (To find the video do an Internet search of the following key terms: Court System Song video.) Then discuss the following questions as a class: What does the power to speak the law refer to? What does the singer mean by it s jurisdiction that matters after all? How does the US Supreme Court settle the law? Use Discussion Rubric for assessment. Key Points I. Key Terms A. Dual court system division of two separate court systems, federal and state; federal courts have limited jurisdiction over state courts B. Jurisdiction the authority of a court to hear and decide cases within an area of the law or a geographical territory C. Subject matter jurisdiction the authority of the court to hear a particular type of case, depending on the nature of the claim or controversy D. General jurisdiction authority of a court to hear a wide range of cases, both civil and criminal E. Limited jurisdiction court restricted to hear only certain types of cases; also called special jurisdiction F. Geographic jurisdiction authority of a court to hear certain cases dependent on geographic boundaries G. Hierarchical jurisdiction refers to different levels of courts, whereby one court may hear appeals from a lower court H. Original jurisdiction refers to the first court to hear and render a verdict on a case I. Exclusive jurisdiction the power of a court to hear a particular type of case; based on subject matter J. Concurrent jurisdiction more than one court has the authority to rule 1

2 over one case; can be simultaneous K. Federal-question jurisdiction a federal court s power to hear cases that involve the US Constitution, government, or federal laws, or cases between states or the US and foreign governments L. Diversity jurisdiction a federal court s power to hear cases that involve citizens of differing states or between US citizens and citizens of another country; monetary damages must be in excess of $75,000 M. Courts of last resort the final court to hear appeals, whether through the state court system or, ultimately, the US Supreme Court II. Outline of the federal court system A. Magistrate Court B. Trial Courts 1. US District Courts 2. US Bankruptcy Courts 3. US Court of International Trade 4. US Court of Federal Claims C. Appellate Courts 1. US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit 2. Circuit Court of Appeals D. US Supreme Court E. Other Federal Tribunals 1. US Tax Courts 2. Court of Veteran Appeals 3. Military Courts 4. Federal Administrative Agencies and Boards III. Jurisdiction of the federal courts A. Magistrate Court limited jurisdiction B. Trial Courts 1. US District Courts a) General trial jurisdiction b) Both criminal and civil 2. US Bankruptcy Courts limited and exclusive jurisdiction 3. US Court of International Trade specialized jurisdiction 4. US Court of Federal Claims specialized jurisdiction C. US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit 1. Intermediate appellate jurisdiction 2. Reviews appeals from specialized courts a) Court of International Trade b) US Court of Federal Claims c) Nationwide geographical jurisdiction D. Circuit Court of Appeals 1. Intermediate appellate jurisdiction 2. Reviews appeals from US District Courts a) Circuit determined by geographic location of lower federal court b) 12 Regional Circuits 2

3 E. US Supreme Court 1. Court of last resort in the US 2. Appellate jurisdiction over cases that deal with the Constitution or federal law a) US Supreme Court has discretion regarding which cases it will review b) Cases usually begin in state court or federal court 3. Original and exclusive jurisdiction over: a) Proceedings against ambassadors or public ministers of foreign states; and b) All controversies between two or more states F. Other Federal Tribunals 1. Military Courts 2. Court of Veteran Appeals 3. US Tax Court 4. Federal Administrative Agencies and Boards IV. Outline of the state court system (Texas) A. Justice of the Peace or Municipal Courts B. County Courts 1. Constitutional County Courts 2. Statutory County Courts at Law 3. Statutory Probate Courts C. District Courts D. Courts of Appeals E. Texas Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals F. Other state tribunals 1. State Office of Administrative Hearings 2. State Agencies and Boards V. Jurisdiction of the State Courts (Texas) A. Justice Courts 1. Limited jurisdiction 2. Original jurisdiction in Class C misdemeanor criminal cases that are punishable by fine only 3. Civil matters not more than $10, Evictions (Landlord/Tenant law) B. Municipal Courts 1. Limited jurisdiction 2. Misdemeanors with fines less than $ Exclusive original jurisdiction over municipal ordinance violations 4. Limited civil jurisdiction C. County Courts 1. Limited jurisdiction 2. Constitutional County Courts a) Have appellate jurisdiction over the justice courts, municipal courts, and administrative hearings 3

4 b) Preside over Class A and Class B Misdemeanors c) Original jurisdiction in civil cases from $200 to $10,000 d) Concurrent jurisdiction with justice of the peace and district courts in civil cases in which the amount in controversy is small 3. County Court at Law a) Created by Legislature to aid the single constitutional county court b) Legal jurisdiction varies c) Original, appellate, and concurrent jurisdiction are the same as Constitutional County Court 4. Statutory Probate Courts a) Original and exclusive jurisdiction over their counties' probate matters, guardianship cases, and mental health commitments b) Legislature grants authority to certain county courts D. District Courts 1. General and Special Jurisdiction 2. Original jurisdiction a) All felony criminal cases b) Divorce cases c) Title to land cases d) Contested election cases e) Civil matters of $200 or more 3. Juvenile matters E. Courts of Appeals 1. Intermediate appellate jurisdiction 2. Both criminal and civil cases F. State of Texas Highest Appellate Courts 1. Texas Supreme Court a) Final appellate jurisdiction in civil cases b) Final appellate jurisdiction in juvenile cases 2. Texas Court of Criminal Appeals a) Final appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases Activities 1. Court Systems Charts. Have the students complete the United States Federal Courts Handout and the Texas Court Structure Handout. Use the United States Federal Courts Handout Key and the Texas Court Structure Handout Key for assessment. 2. Venn Diagram Group Project. Divide the class into groups of four. Give each group a copy of the Types of Cases Heard in Federal and State Courts Handout. The group must work together to complete a Venn Diagram dividing the cases into three groups: Federal Court, State or Federal Court, and State Court. The students may write the types of cases or cut the handout into strips and glue the types of cases onto a poster board. Allow the groups to conduct research on the Internet to help them complete the Venn Diagram. Use the Peer Evaluation Rubric 4

5 and the Types of Cases Heard in Federal and State Courts Handout Key for assessment. Assessments Jurisdiction: Federal Court vs. State Court Systems Exam and Key United States Federal Courts Handout and Key Texas Court Structure Handout and Key Types of Cases Heard in Federal and State Courts Handout and Key Discussion Rubric Individual Work Rubric Peer Evaluation Rubric Research Rubric Materials Jurisdiction: Federal Court vs. State Court Systems computer-based presentation Jurisdiction: Federal Court vs. State Court Systems Key Terms United States Federal Courts Handout and Key Texas Court Structure Handout and Key Types of Cases Heard in Federal and State Courts Handout Poster boards, drawing materials, scissors, and glue Computers with Internet access Resources Prentice Hall, Criminal Courts: Structure, Process, and Issues (2nd Edition), 2007, Dean John Champion, Richard D. Hartley, & Gary A. Rabe Outline of the US Legal System, Bureau of International Information Programs, United States Department of State, 2004, Accommodations for Learning Differences For reinforcement, students will engage in peer mentoring for Court Systems Chart activity. Use the Individual Work for assessment if needed. For enrichment, students will write a research paper about the qualifications 5

6 of judges in either federal courts or state courts. Research papers should include a works cited page. Use the Research Rubric for assessment. State Education Standards Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Career and Technical Education Court Systems and Practices (One to Two Credits). (1) The student examines the structure of the legal system in the United States. The student is expected to: (B) outline the state court system and the federal court system; (C) explain how jurisdiction impacts criminal charges and trial proceedings; College and Career Readiness Standards Cross-disciplinary Standards I. Key Cognitive Skills E. Work habits 1. Work independently. 2. Work collaboratively. V. Effective Communication A. Clear and coherent oral and written communication 1. Use appropriate oral communication techniques depending on the context or nature of the interaction. 6

7 Jurisdiction: Federal Court vs. State Court Systems Key Terms Dual court system division of two separate court systems, federal and state; federal courts have limited jurisdiction over state courts Jurisdiction the authority of a court to hear and decide cases within an area of the law or a geographical territory Subject matter jurisdiction the authority of the court to hear a particular type of case, depending on the nature of the claim or controversy General jurisdiction authority of a court to hear a wide range of cases, both civil and criminal Limited jurisdiction court restricted to hear only certain types of cases; also called special jurisdiction Geographic jurisdiction authority of a court to hear certain cases dependent on geographic boundaries Hierarchical jurisdiction refers to different levels of courts, whereby one court may hear appeals from a lower court Original jurisdiction refers to the first court to hear and render a verdict on a case Exclusive jurisdiction the power of a court to hear a particular type of case; based on subject matter Concurrent jurisdiction more than one court has the authority to rule over one case; can be simultaneous Federal-question jurisdiction a federal court s power to hear cases that involve the US Constitution, government, or federal laws, or cases between states or the US and foreign governments Diversity jurisdiction a federal court s power to hear cases that involve citizens of differing states or between US citizens and citizens of another country; monetary damages must be in excess of $75,000 Courts of last resort the final court to hear appeals, whether through the state court system or, ultimately, the US Supreme Court 7

8 Name Date United States Federal Courts Handout 8

9 United States Federal Courts Handout Key Supreme Court United States Supreme Court Appellate Courts US Courts of Appeals 12 Regional Circuit Courts of Appeals 1 US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Trial Courts US District Courts 94 Judicial Districts US Bankruptcy Courts US Court of International Trade US Court of Federal Claims Federal Courts and other entities outside the Judicial Branch Military Courts (Trial and Appellate) Court of Veteran s Appeals US Tax Court Federal administrative agencies and boards 9

10 Name Date Texas Court Structure Handout State Highest Appellate Courts Civil Jurisdiction Only 9 Justices Criminal Jurisdiction Only 9 Judges State Intermediate Appellate Courts Intermediate Appellate Jurisdiction 14 Courts State Trial Courts of General and Special Jurisdiction Trial Courts of General Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction (Some Courts Specialize by Subject Matter) County Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction Limited Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction (1 in each County) Limited Civil and/or Criminal Jurisdiction Limited to Probate Matters Local Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction Limited Criminal Jurisdiction (Small Claims Courts) Limited Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction 10

11 Texas Court Structure Handout Key State Highest Appellate Courts Supreme Court Civil Jurisdiction Only 9 Justices Court of Criminal Appeals Criminal Jurisdiction Only 9 Judges civil appeals criminal appeals State Intermediate Appellate Courts Court of Appeals Intermediate Appellate Jurisdiction 14 Courts State Trial Courts of General and Special Jurisdiction District Courts Trial Courts of General Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction (Some Courts Specialize by Subject Matter) County Level Courts County Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction Constitutional County Courts Limited Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction (1 in each County) County Courts at Law Limited Civil and/or Criminal Jurisdiction Statutory Probate Courts Limited to Probate Matters Local Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction Municipal Courts Limited Criminal Jurisdiction Justice of Peace Courts (Small Claims Courts) Limited Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction 11

12 Name Date Texas Court Structure: Matching Federal and Texas Court Structure Quiz State Highest Appellate Courts 1. Civil Jurisdiction Only 9 Justices 2. Criminal Jurisdiction Only 9 Judges State Intermediate Appellate Courts 5. Intermediate Appellate Jurisdiction 14 Courts State Trial Courts of General and Special Jurisdiction 6. Trial Courts of General Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction (Some Courts Specialize by Subject Matter) 7. County Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction 8. Limited Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction (1 in each County) 9. Limited Civil and/or Criminal Jurisdiction 10. Limited to Probate Matters Local Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction 11. Limited Criminal Jurisdiction 12. (Small Claims Courts) Limited Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction A. Civil appeals B. Constitutional County Courts C. County Courts at Law D. County Level Courts E. Court of Appeals F. Court of Criminal Appeals G. Criminal appeals H. District Courts I. Justice of Peace Courts J. Municipal Courts K. Statutory Probate Courts L. Supreme Court 12

13 United States Federal Courts: Fill in the Blank 13. United States Supreme Court 14. US Courts of Appeals 12 Regional Circuit Courts of Appeals 1 US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit 15. US District Courts 94 Judicial Districts US Bankruptcy Courts US Court of International Trade US Court of Federal Claims 16. Military Courts (Trial and Appellate) Court of Veteran s Appeals US Tax Court Federal administrative agencies and boards 13

14 Federal and Texas Court Structure Quiz Key 1. L 2. F 3. A 4. G 5. E 6. H 7. D 8. B 9. C 10. K 11. J 12. I 13. Supreme Court 14. Appellate Courts 15. Trial Courts 16. Federal Courts and other entities outside the Judicial Branch 14

15 Types of Cases Heard in Federal and State Courts Handout "Class action" cases International trade law matters Admiralty cases Bankruptcy matters Cases involving rights under treaties, foreign states, and foreign nationals Cases involving securities and commodities regulation, including takeover of publicly held corporations Certain civil rights claims Certain disputes involving federal law Crimes punishable under both federal and state law Crimes under state legislation Crimes under statuses enacted by Congress Disputes between states Environmental regulations Family law issues Federal constitutional issues Habeas corpus actions Matters involving interstate and international commerce, including airline and railroad regulation Most cases involving federal laws or regulations (for example: tax, Social Security, broadcasting, civil rights) Most issues involving the internal governance of business associations such as partnerships and corporations Most issues involving the regulation of trades and professions Most personal injury lawsuits Most private contract disputes (except those resolved under bankruptcy law) Most professional malpractice issues Most traffic violations and registration of motor vehicles Most workers' injury claims Patent, copyright, and other intellectual property issues Probate and inheritance matters Real property issues State constitutional issues and cases involving state laws or regulations State law disputes when "diversity of citizenship" exists 15

16 Types of Cases Heard in Federal and State Courts Key* State Courts State or Federal Courts Federal Courts Crimes under state legislation State constitutional issues and cases involving state laws or regulations Family law issues Real property issues Most private contract disputes (except those resolved under bankruptcy law) Most issues involving the regulation of trades and professions Most professional malpractice issues Most issues involving the internal governance of business associations such as partnerships and corporations Most personal injury lawsuits Most workers' injury claims Probate and inheritance matters Most traffic violations and registration of motor vehicles Crimes punishable under both federal and state law Federal constitutional issues Certain civil rights claims "Class action" cases Environmental regulations Certain disputes involving federal law Crimes under statutes enacted by Congress Most cases involving federal laws or regulations (for example: tax, Social Security, broadcasting, civil rights) Matters involving interstate and international commerce, including airline and railroad regulation Cases involving securities and commodities regulation, including takeover of publicly held corporations Admiralty cases International trade law matters Patent, copyright, and other intellectual property issues Cases involving rights under treaties, foreign states, and foreign nationals State law disputes when "diversity of citizenship" exists Bankruptcy matters Disputes between states Habeas corpus actions Traffic violations and other misdemeanors occurring on certain federal property * 16

17 Your Name Your Group Number Peer Evaluation 1) Name of Student At what level of seriousness did they take this activity? t Very Serious Very Serious Did they make a significant contribution to the brainstorming process? Did they make a significant contribution to preparing for the skit? What was the level of their participation in the skit(s)? ne A Lot Would you want to work with this person in a group again based on their level of productivity? Total Score 2) Name of Student At what level of seriousness did they take this activity? t Very Serious Very Serious Did they make a significant contribution to the brainstorming process? Did they make a significant contribution to preparing for the skit? What was the level of their participation in the skit(s)? ne A Lot Would you want to work with this person in a group again based on their level of productivity? Total Score 17

18 3) Name of Student At what level of seriousness did they take this activity? t Very Serious Very Serious Did they make a significant contribution to the brainstorming process? Did they make a significant contribution to preparing for the skit? What was the level of their participation in the skit(s)? ne A Lot Would you want to work with this person in a group again based on their level of productivity? Total Score 4) Name of Student At what level of seriousness did they take this activity? t Very Serious Very Serious Did they make a significant contribution to the brainstorming process? Did they make a significant contribution to preparing for the skit? What was the level of their participation in the skit(s)? ne A Lot Would you want to work with this person in a group again based on their level of productivity? Total Score 18

19 5) Name of Student At what level of seriousness did they take this activity? t Very Serious Very Serious Did they make a significant contribution to the brainstorming process? Did they make a significant contribution to preparing for the skit? What was the level of their participation in the skit(s)? ne A Lot Would you want to work with this person in a group again based on their level of productivity? Total Score 6) Name of Student At what level of seriousness did they take this activity? t Very Serious Very Serious Did they make a significant contribution to the brainstorming process? Did they make a significant contribution to preparing for the skit? What was the level of their participation in the skit(s)? ne A Lot Would you want to work with this person in a group again based on their level of productivity? Total Score 19

20 Name Date Objectives 4 pts. Excellent Discussion Rubric 3 pts. 2 pts. Needs Some Good Improvement 1 pt. Needs Much Improvement N/A Pts. Participates in group discussion Encourages others to join the conversation Keeps the discussion progressing to achieve goals Shares thoughts actively while offering helpful recommendations to others Gives credit to others for their ideas Respects the opinions of others Involves others by asking questions or requesting input Expresses thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively Total Points (32 pts.) Comments: 20

21 Name Date Objectives Follows directions Student completed the work as directed, following the directions given, in order and to the level of quality indicated Time management Student used time wisely and remained on task 100% of the time Organization Student kept notes and materials in a neat, legible, and organized manner. Information was readily retrieved Evidence of learning Student documented information in his or her own words and can accurately answer questions related to the information retrieved *Research/Gathering information (if relevant) Student used a variety of methods and sources to gather information. Student took notes while gathering information Total Points (20 pts.) Comments: Individual Work Rubric 4 pts. Excellent 3 pts. Good 2 pts. Needs Some Improvement 1 pt. Needs Much Improvement N/A Pts. 21

22 Name Date Objectives Question/goal Student identified and communicated a question or goal of the research 4 pts. Excellent Research Rubric 3 pts. Good 2 pts. Needs Some Improvement 1 pt. Needs Much Improvement N/A Pts. Research/Gathering information (if relevant) Student used a variety of methods and sources to gather information. Student took notes while gathering information Conclusion/Summary Student drew insightful conclusions and observations from the information gathered. Information is organized in a logical manner Communication Student communicated the information gathered and summary or conclusions persuasively. Student demonstrated skill in the use of media used to communicate the results of research Reflection Student reflected on the importance of the research and its potential application Total Points (20 pts.) Comments: 22

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