In some cases, there is only one court that can hear and decide a case. This is called exclusive jurisdiction. Some cases may be heard by one of the different courts. This is called concurrent jurisdiction. It is up to the prosecution to decide under which jurisdiction a case will be heard, although the defence can appeal to change jurisdiction. Some functions of the district court are delegated to federal judges. Judges are appointed by the District Court by a majority of judges and are appointed for a term of eight years if they are full-time and four years part-time, but they may be reappointed at the end of their term. In criminal cases, judges may supervise certain cases, issue search and arrest warrants, hold initial hearings, determine bail, rule on certain applications (e.g. a request to suppress evidence) and other similar measures. In civil cases, judges often deal with a variety of issues, such as pre-trial motions and investigations.
The courts of the federal system operate differently from the state courts in many ways. The main difference between civil cases (as opposed to criminal cases) is the types of cases that can be heard in the federal system. Federal courts are courts with limited jurisdiction, which means they can only hear cases authorized by the U.S. Constitution or federal laws. The Federal District Court is the starting point for all matters arising under federal statutes, the Constitution or treaties. This type of jurisdiction is called the “court of origin”. Sometimes the jurisdiction of state courts overlaps with that of federal courts, which means that some cases can be heard by either court. The plaintiff has the first choice to bring the case in state or federal court. However, if the plaintiff chooses state court, the defendant may sometimes choose to “apply” to federal court. The question is whether or not a court has jurisdiction over a particular defendant. For example, if a minor is arrested for a crime, he or she will likely fall under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.
Another example is that of an active member of the military who may be under the jurisdiction of a military tribunal. All federal courts have limited jurisdiction. Many U.S. states have divided their courts into criminal and civil courts, with a few additional departments and assigning probate, family, and juvenile cases, for example, to specialized courts. The first major Supreme Court to hold that general jurisdiction alone was sufficient to satisfy personal jurisdiction was Perkins v. Benguet, 342 U.S. 437 (1951). There, a non-Ohio citizen sued the Benguet Consolidated Mining Company, which was founded in the Philippines in Ohio, where Benguet maintained its activities in response to the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. In particular, Benguet kept office logs in his Ohio office, maintained official correspondence, held director`s meetings there, supervised the remediation of mines from there, and paid the salaries of that office. The Supreme Court found that these activities were continuous and systematic, allowing Ohio to subject Benguet to its jurisdiction without violating due process guarantees, even though the plaintiff`s claim was unrelated to Benguet`s Ohio operations.
Once the district court or the state Supreme Court has ruled on a case, either party may appeal to the Supreme Court. However, unlike appeals by the District Court, the Supreme Court is generally not required to hear the appeal. The parties can file a “writ of certiorari” with the court and ask the court to hear the case. If the application is granted, the Supreme Court will present oral arguments and hold oral proceedings. If the application is not granted, the opinion of the lower court remains. Certiorari is not often granted; Less than 1% of High Court appeals are actually heard by him. The Court usually hears cases where there are conflicting decisions on a particular issue across the country, or where there is a glaring error in a case. There are three types of subject matter jurisdiction: A court with general jurisdiction is a court with the power to hear all kinds of cases – criminal, civil, family, inheritance, etc. Substantive jurisdiction includes the legal right to hear and decide different types of cases. For example, a judge would not hear a criminal case in a civilian court. Only a judge of an appellate court would hear an appeal.
There are laws and constitutional provisions that determine substantive jurisdiction. A court with limited jurisdiction can only hear certain cases. A court of general jurisdiction can hear almost all cases. It is most common for a court with limited jurisdiction to deal only with misdemeanours and other minor offences. On the other hand, a court that deals with crimes will be a court of general jurisdiction. This means that if a person is accused of both felonies and misdemeanors, the criminal court can hear both cases – but not the other way around. The federal court system has three main levels: the district courts (the trial court), the district courts, which are the first instance of appeal, and the Supreme Court of the United States, the court of last resort in the federal system. There are 94 district courts, 13 district courts and one Supreme Court throughout the country. The U.S. Supreme Court is the highest court in the U.S. judicial system and has the power to rule on appeals in all cases filed in federal or state court, but dealing with federal law.
For example, if a First Amendment free speech case were decided by a state`s highest court (usually the state Supreme Court), the case could be challenged in federal court. However, if the same case were decided entirely on the basis of a state law similar to the First Amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court would not be able to hear the case. Criminal cases should not be placed under the jurisdiction of diversity. States can only sue in state courts, and the federal government can only sue in federal court. It is important to note that the principle of double prosecution – which does not allow an accused to be charged twice on the same count – does not apply between the federal and state governments. For example, if the state lays a murder charge and does not receive a conviction, in some cases the federal government can lay charges against the defendant if the act is also illegal under federal law. The Supreme Court promulgated the norm allowing a state to exercise personal jurisdiction over a defendant outside the state in International Shoe v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310 (1945). International Shoe requires that in order for a state to exercise personal jurisdiction over a defendant outside the state, it must have a minimum of contacts within the state and jurisdiction would not violate traditional notions of fair justice. It defines minimum contacts as “continuous and systematic” operations.
Although International Shoe requires a State to have general jurisdiction and specific jurisdiction over a personal defendant to exercise personal jurisdiction, it does not support the proposition that general jurisdiction alone can satisfy personal jurisdiction. Specifically, federal courts hear criminal, civil and bankruptcy cases. And once a case is decided, it can often be challenged. However, subsequent Supreme Court cases have significantly limited the extent to which states can subject companies to personal jurisdiction simply because of their activities in that country. In 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in BNSF v. Tyrrell noted that “a state court may exercise general jurisdiction over companies outside the state if their affiliation with the state is so `continuous and systematic` that they are essentially at home in the forum state.” The court described paradigmatic forums in which a defendant company is at home as its place of incorporation and principal place of business.