The Court System


A court can be defined as a tribunal which is mostly a government institution that has the authority to pass judgment to disputes between two parties and also administrate the justice needed in criminal, civil and other administrative matters. This is usually done with accordance to the rule of the law. In many cases, courts are seen as the best place to solve disputes. Every person has the ability to get their claims heard before a court. The system that is used in the court system can help in interpretation and application of the law. This is generally known as judiciary. The authority that is given practically to the court is simply known as jurisdiction. This paper discusses how a court system works, especially in big countries such as the United States of America.

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How the US court System Works

The constitution of the United States establishes a federalism system. This system is under the federal government that is based with limited authority with any other kind of authority, which is left to the United States. The model of shred power used helps in defining the relationship that is there between the federal and the courts of the states. The judicial system that operates in America is made up of several autonomous courts. This shows that it would not be true if we speak about just one United States court system. The US court system is divided into several parts. The first court system is the federal one. This is defined as an integrated system which is divided into a number of geographical units and other several levels of hierarchy. In addition to this, every court has a court system which has a number of local courts which are supposed to operate within the state (Burns2006). The Supreme Court in the US is considered to be the final arbiter of the federal law due to the dual of state/federal court structure. Each state has a supreme court which is considered to be the highest court in a state, which has the authority to make interpretations of the states matter and law. If the constitution that is based on federal or involved in the statutory mattered gets involved, the courts in the federal region has  the ultimate power to rule whether the federal law is violated by the state law. One major issue that makes the functioning of the court systems complicated is the availability of some sources of law that tend to be big in number. This is also affected by the fact that the courts that belong to one system are usually called upon to make interpretation and application of the law from another jurisdiction. This also means that one court is allowed to hear to particular cases.

The individual court system and the federal judiciary systems are made in a pyramid like structure. This means that each entry level court at the federal levels and also the trial courts where the witnesses are summoned. The second evidence is given and there is need of the fact-finder is to make decisions on issues, which are of fact but also law based. Each pyramid structure’s top considered to be the last resort court and makes the authority to make interpretations of the law of the used jurisdiction. This is at either the federal level, the state level, the supreme court of the city and the US Supreme Court. There is mid-level court system to appeal which is found in most cases and also in the federal system. The number of courts in both the federal level and the state level has been referred to as the courts which have general jurisdiction (Thompson & Nuckolls 2009). This means that most courts have the authority needed so as to make decisions for many different cases. In US, there is no any special constitutional which makes it possible for the other courts  to make decision declaration of a law an action by the executives of the government to be unconstitutional and a subject to be reviewed by a court of higher level.

If a crime has been committed and the suspect of the carpet arrested, this is an indication that the judicial system have been used. In using of the law, an offender is given to appear due to the public arrest. The state is supposed to try the case within a given time. A lot of the defendants who gets arrested and booked into Palm Beach county   jail are given another stronghold since they help in keeping track of the people with them. There are a number of offenses that the court requires the defendants to be seen by the judge during the first appearance within the first 24 hours after being arrested. This happens on the daily basis at the Gun Club Courtroom. After the first hearing, the judge who tends to be having from the state and from the defense will make determinations on what condition will he or she rule on the case by determining the defendants  physical appearance at the courts hearing. According to the judge, the safety of the victims and the public and the judicial process integrity has been checked. The judge then checks the defendants prior to the criminal record. The judge also checks the case facts that are in front of him, which helps him in determining the type of bond or the type of release to be ordered according to the history of the arrested person (Sagarin 1966).

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The nature and type of crime can have an effect of the case, making some cases to get resolved at the very first appearance. Other cases are sent out through a number of court houses for some arraignments which takes about 30 days. After an arrest has been carried out and the prosecutor who is assigned with case receives any legal and needed documents that contain the evidence and the evidence from any enforcement officer, the prosecutor has the power to make a decision on whether the charges can be put into a file and what are the appropriate charges. This however depends on the nature of the defendant. The defense attorneys and the investigators may decide on calling witnesses and the victims of the case. The witness and the victim are under no obligation to have a talk with anyone about the case facts without having to talk about the deposition or trial. It is legal and acceptable to question anyone who is calling and the agency presented by them represents how they are connected to the case, whether victim or witness. There is a criminal discovery deposition which is supposed to be taken care of by the state or the defense of the state. In a discovery deposition involving a criminal, a witness is usually placed under an oath and then asked all they know concerning the case (Matthews 2007). In some cases like the felony one, the criminal discovery depositions can be made by taking information from any witness without the permission of the court. In big cases, the depositions are never allowed unless the court orders so. This is done by following a motion that shows a good cause why they think and see the importance of a deposition.

How the Justice Process Works: a simplified break down

A crime is committed and reported. There are a great number of criminal activities which are reported every year. After the crime is made, an arrest is made where the suspect is taken to the custody. This is followed by the initial court hearing. In the first appearance in court, the accused is read the charges. The accused may be bailed or not bailed, where this is influenced by the intensity of the charges. There is the scheduling of the preliminary hearing. Bailing of the accused may be given. However, this depends with the circumstances of the case. A guarantee is also needed that the suspect who is about to be released will go back to court. There are however some special case where a person recognizance bond is given. This can be termed as an honor bond of sorts. The preliminary hearing is then held to see whether there is a probable cause to keep on holding the suspect. After the preliminary hearing, formal charges are then filed against the accused (Gibson & Cavadino 2008). The grand jury than reviews the charges that are made against the accused. This grand jury is made up of citizens who make decisions regarding whether the evidence given is enough to charge the accused. This is followed by an arraignment. This is where the defendant is told about the pending charges that they have. It is at this point where the defendant will be told whether to plead guilty, not to contest or plead not guilty. This is followed by exchanging of evidence with all the case members. The prosecutor is then supposed to turn over everything that they plan to use in that case. The turning over is made to the defense attorney and the other people involved. After the exchanging of evidence, the negotiations of pleas may take place or not. This also depends on the nature of the case. If the defendant may plead guilty to a much lesser charge, he or she might receive a better deal at long run. This fact has seen around 95% of felony defendant’s plea guilt and chooses to have a plea agreement than the trial process. The trial happens if the defendants fail to take a plea agreement. The trial can be made before a simple judge or before a jury of twelve judges in their peers. This process looks at the laws and facts that might have been broken. After the trials have taken place, sentencing may be done immediately or scheduled for a later date. This is the period when a sentence is given to the defendant who has been found guilty of the crime. If the accused does not feel comfortable with the conviction, he or she may appeal to a higher court. However, statistics show that only about 6% of the convicted defendant’s happens to win their cases of appeal (Stojkovic 2007).


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If a judicial system is fair enough, it gives people a chance to have a free life without any fear. This is because people have some confidence that if they happen to get any legal issue their please will have an attentive ear in court ready to listen to them without any partiality. The judicial system can also help in reducing the rate of criminal rate. This can be done by the announcements of harsh punishments to be given to the criminals who happen to be the hardcore criminals. A good judicial system also helps in settlements of some issues that arise from time to time during the day to day activities of human beings. There are some sensitive issues, e.g. divorce, property inheritance, alimony and child custody. Almost all these issues happen due to the different natures human beings have and the judicial system helps in trying to settle them down.

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