AJ 4 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Trial De Novo, Certiorari, Appellate Court
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Courts Of General Jurisdiction
Courts of general jurisdiction: a state or federal court that has jurisdiction over felony offenses—
serious crimes that carry a penalty of incarceration in a state or federal prison for one year or
● Are responsible for reviewing cases on appeal from courts of limited jurisdiction. In some
cases they can grant a new trial called trial de novo process. Typically organized in
judicial districts and receive cases from the various limited courts located within the
Appellate court: a court to which appeals are made on points of law resulting from the judgment
of a lower court; the appellate court may be asked to evaluate the impact of new evidence but
more typically decides whether the state or federal constitution was improperly interpreted
during a case.
● Appeals from criminal cases are the most common types of appeals with others from civil
judgments and administrative agency decisions.
Model State Court Structure
● Justice of peace and police magistrate>county court>superior court>intermediate
appellate courts>state Supreme Court
● Probate court>superior court
● Gun court, drug court, domestic relations court, municipal court> superior court
Article 3, Section 1 of the U.S. constitution “ the judicial power of the U.S. shall be vested in one
Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as Congress may from time to time ordain and
U.S. district courts: a trial court in the federal court system.
● Jurisdiction over violations of federal laws, interstate transportation of stolen vehicles and
kidnappings, citizenships, and rights of aliens.
● Federal district courts are organized by congress in the Judicial Act of 1789 and today 94
are in operation.
Federal Appeals Courts
U.S. court of appeals (circuit courts): an appellate court in the federal court system. Currently 13.
● Judges are not required to travel, share caseload with other judges, are located in major
cities, and must be brought to these locations by attorneys.