Questions On Civil Law

Submitted By agus009
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Chapter 10

Key Terms

Civil Law: the body of law concerning noncriminal matters, such as business contracts and personal injury
Criminal Law: the body of law concerning felony and misdemeanor offenses by individuals against other persons and property
Misdemeanor: classified as class A, B, or C, a misdemeanor may be punished by fine and/or jail sentence
Felony: a serious crime punished by fine and prison confinement
Jurisdiction: a court’s authority to hear a particular case
Original Jurisdiction: the power of a court to hear a case first
Appellate Jurisdiction: the power of a court to review cases after they have been tried elsewhere
Exclusive Jurisdiction: authority of only one court to hear a particular type of case
Concurrent Jurisdiction: the authority of more than one court to try a case
Municipal Court: City-run courts with jurisdiction primarily over Class C misdemeanors committed within a city’s boundaries
Court of Record: has a court reporter or electronic device to record testimony and proceedings
Justice of the Peace: elected official who presides over justice of the peace courts
Small Claims Courts: presided over by a justice of the peace, a small claims court offers an informal and inexpensive procedure for handling damage claims of $10,000 or less
Probate: probate cases involving wills and guardianships fall under the jurisdiction of county courts and probate courts
Constitutional County Courts: hear higher-level misdemeanors, civil cases, and appellate cases from lower level courts; judge serves both administrative and judicial functions
County Court-at-law: created to relieve the constitutional county court congestion, hear misdemeanor cases and civil cases
Court of Appeals: 14 districts, hears both civil and criminal cases
Court of Criminal Appeals: highest criminal appellate court; 9 court members including presiding judge
Supreme Court: hears highest civil cases and juvenile cases, 9 court members including Chief Justice
State Bar of Texas: practicing lawyer must be a member, promotes ethical conduct, conducts training programs
Contingency Fee: a lawyer’s compensation paid from money recovered in a lawsuit
Grand Jury: composed of 12 citizens, serves 3-6 months, determines sufficient evidence
Trial Jury: (petit jury) citizen of U.S. and state of TX, at least 18 years of age, of sound mind, exemptions from jury duty
Recidivism: criminal behavior that results in reincarceration after a person has been released from confinement for a prior offense
Adjudication Hearings: trials in juvenile courts


* State law in Texas- role of state’s judges to interpret and apply state constitutional provisions, statutory law, and agency regulations * Sources of law- provisions of Texas Constitution, legislative statues, state agency regulations, common law, and codes * Statutory Courts- Texas legislature has power to create courts other than the ones described in Article V * Drug courts, cluster courts, veteran’s courts * There is a minimum of one Justice of the Peace per county; position provides magistrate and coroner functions * Texas’s principal trial courts are composed of district-level courts of general and special jurisdiction * Texas and Oklahoma are the only states in the Union that have bifurcated (divided) court systems for dealing with criminal and civil appeals * Final jurisdiction includes cases involving divorce, slander, boundary disputes, and elections held for purposes other than choosing government officials * The Texas Supreme Court performs other important functions: * Formulating the rules of civil procedure * Transfers cases for the purpose of equalizing workloads * Chief justice can temporarily assign district judges outside their administrative judicial regions and assign retire appellate justices to temporary duty on courts of appeals * Appellate Court judges are elected to a six year term, and