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There are two different types of Courts.  The state courts and the federal courts. The state courts hear cases not within the limited jurisdiction courts and include felonies and civil cases above a certain dollar amount.  The state also has limited jurisdiction courts that hear matters of specialized or limited nature such as traffic, juvenile, family law and misdemeanor criminal or civil cases.  Within the state courts there are also justice or city courts.  These courts hear cases for things such as evictions, small claims and orders of protection.

The function of the state appellate court is to hear appeals from trial courts. They review the trail court record to determine any errors that require reversal or modification in the decisions. They review any pertinent parts of the entire record from the lower court.  In the state immediate court no new evidence or testimony is permitted.

The highest states courts hear appeals from the intermediate state courts and certain trial courts. They also hear no new evidence or testimony.  The decisions of this court are final unless a question of law in involved and can be appealed to the U.S. Supreme court.

The U.S. district courts are the federal court system’s trial courts of general jurisdiction.  The cases in these courts handle the constitutionality of a law.  They handle cases that involve disputes between two states, bankruptcy and habeas corpus issues to name a few.

The U.S. Supreme court is the highest court in the country. They hear appeals from the federal circuit courts of appeals, under certain circumstances from federal district courts, special federal courts and the highest state courts.  There are 9 justices in the Supreme Court nominated by the President. The President also appoints one of the justices as chief justice and the rest are considered Associate justices. The chief justice is responsible for the administration of the Supreme Court and is the spokesperson for the judicial branch.  He has much more responsibility as the leader in the Supreme Court system. 

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