The Courts I

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The Courts I

Looking at the Judicial branch and their affects on the states. Then moving onto chapter 12 which looks at how effective state policies are.

Lecture number:
Lecture Note
Texas A&M University
Pols 207 - State & Local Goverment

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POLS 207 1st Edition Lecture 21 Outline of Last Lecture I. The Courts Outline of Current Lecture II. States Courts A. Texas Courts III. Participation IV. Chapter 12 Current Lecture  Configuration of State Courts  Texas and one other state have their supreme court split into two – one for criminal and another for civil cases.     State Courts  Original Jurisdiction  Questions of fact and questions of law  FACT: Did prohibited behavior occur? Is defendant legally responsible? Substantive questions. Answered by Juries in cases involving juries.  LAW: Procedural due process. Rules of conflict adjudication. What evidence is permissible, what issues are germane, who is eligible to speak to which issues, etc. Always answered by Judge.  If defendant is found responsible, Judge decides punishment in criminal cases, compensation in civil cases. Supreme Courts Intermediate Appellate Courts Trial Courts  Appellate Jurisdiction  Questions of law only.  Uphold or reverse decisions on questions of law made by trial court. Review court record & hear from attorneys. If reversed, then a new trial is possible. Appellate courts do not set defendants free. There are no juries, but multiple judges.  They nullify the decision  Very few cases are appealed  PROCESS: Loser appeals; briefs from parties; briefs from friends of the court; hearing; then decision   Texas Courts  States Highest Appellate Courts  Supreme Court – Civil Matters  Court of Criminal Appeals – highest appellate court for criminal matters  State Intermediate Appellate Courts  Court of Appeals  State Trial Courts of General and Special Jurisdiction  District Courts  Country Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction  County Level Courts o Constitutional Country Courts o County Courts at Law o Statutory Probate Courts  Local Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction  Justice Courts  Municipal Courts   Two Supreme Courts are underworked – would make more sense for their just to be one. However, to change it there would need to be statutory amendment and Texans don’t like change.    Elite Participation

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