Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Responsibilities of the Fedreal and State Courts

Federal & State Court Responsibilities

The founding fathers of the United States adopted the US Constitution in 1787, and it still is the supreme legal document of the country. The country's leaders divided the government into three branches: the legislative, the administrative and the judicial. The judicial branch encompasses the court systems, composed of the federal and state courts that interpret and govern the laws of the land.

The state and federal courts administer all litigation, dealing with both civil and criminal causes of action. State courts handle matters local to that state, while federal courts handle disputes between individuals or businesses of different states. Federal courts also handle lawsuits dealing with federal statutes, such as federal civil rights laws and any other violation of federal statutes adopted by the United States Congress. In both civil and criminal matters, the federal courts may have exclusive jurisdiction over a federal matter, or concurrent jurisdiction with the state on certain civil disputes valued more than $75,000 between parties of different states.

Both the state and federal courts are held responsible for enforcing the nation's criminal laws. State criminal violations are prosecuted in a state court, while criminal violations involving federal laws or that occurred in multiple states will be prosecuted in the federal courts. Both the state and federal courts administer the court system, including all jury trials. Once an individual is convicted, the courts are required to monitor the convicted criminal if he is granted parole.

There are certain courts at both the state and federal level that have very specific and unique responsibilities. Federal bankruptcy courts handle matters exclusively dealing with individuals or businesses involved in bankruptcy proceedings. In each state, there are specific courts that will only handle estate matters, such as the legal administration of wills. There are both state and federal administrative courts that deal strictly with the rulings of a specific governmental administration, such as the Social Security Administration or the Unemployment Administration.

Each year, both state and federal legislatures pass hundreds of legal statutes. When disputes arise about the interpretation of any legislative statute, the state and federal courts will be called upon to render a decision interpreting the statue as a matter of law. Neither the United States president nor the U.S. Congress has the power to overrule the United States Supreme Court's interpretation of the United States Constitution or any federal statute.

David Burlison practiced law for 25 years In Tennessee and Mississippi. He has traveled extensively throughout the world, and once lived and worked in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has published numerous articles with Demand Studios, Ezine Articles, GoTo Articles and Hubpages. His publications have covered subjects dealing with law, travel and various social issues.

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