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Prosecution & Adjudication Week 6 Notes 9.27.16

by: Alyssa Gentile

Prosecution & Adjudication Week 6 Notes 9.27.16 CJL 3510

Marketplace > University of Central Florida > Criminal Justice > CJL 3510 > Prosecution Adjudication Week 6 Notes 9 27 16
Alyssa Gentile
University of Central Florida
GPA 3.0
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About this Document

These notes cover what what will be on exam 1
Prosecution and Adjudication
Dr. Humiston, Gail
Class Notes
federal, court, system




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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alyssa Gentile on Tuesday September 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CJL 3510 at University of Central Florida taught by Dr. Humiston, Gail in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Prosecution and Adjudication in Criminal Justice at University of Central Florida.

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Date Created: 09/27/16
Module 2: The Legal System: A System of Formal Social Control Federal Courts  Organizational Structure   Organizational structure – can be defined simply as the sum  total of the ways in which it divides its labor into distinct  tasks and then achieves coordination among them. Jurisdiction   Court structure is largely determined by limitations on the  types of cases a court may hear and decide – jurisdiction.  Jurisdiction defined:  A court's authority to hear and decide a case  Power to hear cases is given by constitution or statute  Jurisdiction is limited by:  Geography ­ where the crime happens or where parties  reside  Hierarchy ­ the different functions of courts  Original Jurisdiction – the court that has the initial  authority to try and decide cases  Trier of fact – factual issues to go trial courts  Appellate Jurisdiction – the court has the authority to  review cases decided by the courts of original  jurisdiction  Trier of law – legal questions go to appellate courts  Subject Matter  ­ the type of case a court can hear &  decide Federal v. State o Subject matter is typically concurrent, but federal  courts may be restricted to federal issues, such as  due process and equal treatment  Limited v. General Trial Courts o Limited – subject matter in criminal cases is  usually limited to misdemeanors, small claims,  and early stages of felonies o General – subject matter in criminal cases is not  limited.  General courts hear all types of cases or  cases not heard by trial courts of limited  jurisdiction o Not all states have trial courts of limited  jurisdiction  More issues to consider regarding jurisdiction:  Party characteristics, such as: o Two states in a dispute ­ makes it a federal issue o Juvenile v. Adult defendant ­ juvenile goes to  juvenile courts, while adult goes to criminal court  Type of law, such as: o Criminal ­ both federal and state courts may have  jurisdiction, but most are filed in state court o Civil ­ both federal and state courts may have  jurisdiction, but federal jurisdiction is more  limited.  o Bankruptcy ­ is limited to federal jurisdiction o Concurrent Jurisdiction ­ when more than one  court may hear a case o Exclusive Jurisdiction ­ when only one court may  hear a case Civil v. Criminal Law  • Civil and criminal law differ according to the:  Purpose of each type of law o Criminal cases – are filed due to harm caused to  the public o Civil cases – are filed due to harm caused to a  private party  Parties o Criminal – the state files the case o Civil – usually involves private parties  Consequences o Criminal – often results in a sentence whereby  the gov’t takes money or liberty  o Civil – usually results in a monetary award to the  harmed party Trial v. Appellate Courts   Trial and appellate courts both exist within the state and  federal systems, but they differ in many ways  This is an outline summary of the differences between trial  and appellate courts:  Trial courts (trier of fact):  This court hears and decides outcomes of almost all  cases  The parties in a criminal case include the: o State (prosecutor/plaintiff) and o Defendant  The court hears evidence against the defendant and  determines the facts/outcomes for the parties  Cases are decided by a judge or jury  Appellate court (trier of law):  This court reviews cases already tried to correct legal  errors.  That is, appellate courts review how the law  was applied at the trial level  The parties in a criminal appellate cases are called the:  Appellant – he/she the defendant at trial and was found  guilty.  Filed a petition for an appeal  Appellee – he/she the prosecutor at trial and won a  guilty verdict.  U.S. Supreme Court – has the power to declare acts of the  president or Congress unconstitutional  Landmark case – When a right is granted in a case by the  U.S. Supreme Court, it is usually referred to as a landmark  decision Dual Court System  • The U.S. is unique because it has a dual court system (federal & state)  State o State crimes are defined by state statutes passed  by state legislators o There are 50 state court systems  Federal o Federal crimes are defined by federal statutes  passed by Congress o There is 1 national court system  History of the Federal Judiciary  • Political controversies involving the allocation of power  between the national and state governments have shaped the  federal judiciary.  The Articles of Confederations failed to provide for a  national supreme court to enforce federal law and  resolve disputes between states.  The delegates of the 1787 Constitutional Convention in  Philadelphia saw the need to create a national court.  Five Key developments which substantively shaped the  current federal court structure include the following: 1. U.S. Constitution (1787)  Article III of the Constitution created the U.S. Supreme  Court & authorizes Congress to create lower federal  courts 2. Judiciary Act of 1789  Congress created federal district (trial) courts within  state boundaries  The creation of the lower courts was a victory for  Federalists. 3. Marbury v. Madison (1803)  The Supreme Court declared the power of judicial  review over acts of Congress, giving itself the power to  declare laws to be unconstitutional 4. Court of Appeals Act of 1891  Congress created federal circuit (appellate) courts  For more than 100 years, the U.S. Supreme Court had  mandatory jurisdiction and heard all federal appeals. 5. Judges Bill (1925)  U.S. Supreme Court was given control over its docket  Modern administrative structures were added in the  20  century: o 1939 – The Administrative Office Act created the  current administrative structure which includes  the judicial conference and judicial councils o 1967 – The Federal Judicial Center for research  and training was created o 1984 – The Sentencing Commission was created  and charged with developing sentencing  guidelines and policies Four Federal Courts  1. U.S. Magistrate Court   This court is the lower of the two trial courts  o Preliminary felony hearings o Misdemeanors and petty offenses o Civil cases  The courts were created to alleviate caseloads at the  next level.  The judicial positions are not as esteemed as those at  the higher levels.  The judges are: o Not Article III judges o Selected by district court judges o Full­timers that serve 8 year terms 2. U.S. District Courts   This court the higher of the two trial court levels o Majority of cases are civil.   o The courts also hear felony criminal cases,  including drug offenses, property crimes, violent  felonies, immigration offenses, and traffic  offenses on federal land.  There are 94 District Courts ­at least 1 in each state o There is 1 U.S. Attorney in each District  The judges are: o Article III judges, nominated by the  President and confirmed by the Senate 3. U.S. Courts of Appeals   The lower of the two appellate court levels  These courts are required to hear appeals from the  federal trial courts.  There are 14 circuits/courts in the U.S. o 11 numbered circuits  o 1 for only Washington, DC o 1 Federal Circuit o 1 Armed Forces   Cases are heard by panels of 3 judges/justices  o It is rare to have a case heard en banc –  when all judges hear the case  Justices are: o Article III judges o Nominated by the President and confirmed  by the Senate 4. U.S. Supreme Court   The highest appellate court  The United States Supreme Court is the only court  specifically established by the federal Constitution  Today, the basic function of the court is to interpret the constitution and federal laws to create policy/law  The Court has original jurisdiction over a few types of  cases, such as: o Disputes between states or U.S. and a state   There are 9 judges, 8 associates, and 1 chief justice  A case is heard before the U.S. Supreme Court if the  Court grants a writ of certiorari which is an order for  the lower court to produce the necessary documents for the appeal Specialized Courts • The federal court system other courts with limited subject­ matter jurisdiction, such as:  Bankruptcy Courts o An adjunct court at the District Court level o Judges are appointed for 14­year terms by  the Court of Appeals. Judicial Administration   Judicial administrators may oversee long­term strategic plans  for the court system or handle day­to­day processes of  individual courts.  


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