Jurisdiction of courts & venue

The United States Court of Appeals was created by mandate of the United States Constitution particularly Article III thereof. Generally, the United States have two (2) court systems i. e. , the Federal Court System and the State Court System. The Federal Court System deals with cases involving the issue of constitutionality of a law, cases that deal with the laws and treaties of the U. S. , those involving ambassadors and public ministers, disputes between two or more states, admiralty law, and bankruptcy.

The parties who are not satisfied with a decision of a U. S. District Court, the U. S. Court of Claims, and/or the U. S. Court of International Trade may appeal to a U. S. Court of Appeals. On the other hand, state courts deal with most criminal cases, cases involving wills and estates, most contract cases, personal injuries, marriages, divorces, adoptions and other cases involving family law. The decisions of state courts with respect to matters regarding state laws and the state’s constitutions are final. However, their interpretation of federal law or the U. S. Constitution may be appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court. It is not mandatory that the U. S.

Supreme Court hear appealed cases. There are some states which have intermediate appellate jurisdiction prior to the case going to the Supreme Court. At present, there are thirteen (13) U. S. Court of Appeals and ninety-four (94) District Courts. The United States is divided into judicial districts and a State have at least one district court. The district courts are in turn divided among the appellate courts. Of the cases mentioned in the e-mail, only the case involving the issue on prayer recital before a football game qualifies to fall under the jurisdiction of the US Court of Appeals.

A case involving a dispute between Colorado, Utah and Arizona over water rights falls is a dispute between one or more states and this falls within the jurisdiction of the federal court system. However, it appears that it is not yet on its appeal stage hence, the court that would be hearing it are the District Courts. Colorado and Utah belong to the 10th District based in Denver whereas Arizona belongs to the 9th District based on San Francisco.

Further, a case involving an appeal of a 5th U. S. District court decision regarding the right of Texas high school students to recite prayers over the school PA system before football games belongs to the U. S. Court of Appeals hence, this may be the case which we can observe when we visit the court. The case involving a state law prohibiting the import of nuclear waste from other states involves the interpretation of state law. As mentioned above, such kind of dispute generally falls within the jurisdiction of the state court system and not the US Court of Appeals.

Moreover, a civil suit brought by a plaintiff from Tennessee against a defendant from Kentucky involves rights between natural persons and also falls within the ambit of the state court’s jurisdiction and not of the US Court of Appeals. A contract dispute between a private company and the U. S. government falls within the jurisdiction of the United States Court of Federal Claims. Controversies over money claims, federal contracts and other matters which involve claims against the United States that needs judicial intervention are often handled by this court. Hence, the aforementioned dispute will not be heard by the US Court of Appeals.

However, when the party concerned is not satisfied with the US Court of Federal Claims, the issue may be appealed to the US Court of Appeals. Lastly, the case involving a violation of a city ordinance against loitering is a criminal case of local application and belongs to the state court system. This does not fall within the jurisdiction of the US Court of Appeals.

REFERENCES

Court Ruling could shake up water wars, hurt Georgia’s standing. December 2007. U. S. Water News Online. Retrieved on January 10, 2008 from http://www. uswaternews. com U. S. Courts The Federal Judiciary.Comparing Federal and State Court Systems. Retrieved on January 10, 2008 from http://www. uscourts. gov/outreach/resources/comparefedstate. html United States Courts of Appeals. Retrieved on January 10, 2008 from http://www. uscourts. gov/courtsofappeals. html United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Retrieved on January 10, 2008 from http://www. cafc. uscourts. gov/about. html United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Rules & Forms. Retrieved on January 10, 2008 from http://www. cafc. uscourts. gov/contents. html United States District Courts.