THE RESOLUTION of PRIVATE DISPUTES Essay

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THE RESOLUTION of PRIVATE DISPUTES

INTRODUCTION

Judicial process in the U.S. is a balance between two objectives

To be fair and impartial
To operate efficiently

Judicial process is committed to the adversary system

THE JUDICIARY’S ROLE IN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

Judicial Review

The process by which the courts examine governmental action for constitutionality

BASIC JUDICIAL REQUIREMENTS

Introduction

Jurisdiction is the power of the court to hear and decide a case

Types of jurisdiction

Subject matter jurisdiction (in rem jurisdiction)

Without subject matter jurisdiction, any action taken by the court has no legal effect

Personal jurisdiction over the parties (in personam jurisdiction)

SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION

Federal courts have limited subject matter jurisdiction
State courts have jurisdiction over all state matters
Concurrent jurisdiction exists when a case may go to either a state court or a federal court
Federal jurisdiction

Exclusive federal jurisdiction

Federal criminal prosecutions
Admiralty
Bankruptcy
Antitrust
Patent
Trademark
Copyright
Lawsuits against the United States
Cases from federal statutes

Concurrent federal jurisdiction

Federal question

Cases where federal courts do not have exclusive jurisdiction

Diversity of citizenship

Amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 (may not include attorney or court fees to get to the $75,000)
Case involves one of the following

When all parties of the lawsuit are from different states
When a foreign country brings an action against a citizen of the United States
When the case is between citizens of the United States and a foreign country

Federal court applies substantive state law in the state in which the trial takes place

Exclusive state jurisdiction

Cases not assigned to federal court, states have jurisdiction over all matters

JURISDICTION OVER THE PARTIES

Power of the court to bind the parties to the judgment of the court
Jurisdiction over parties accomplished in three ways

In personam jurisdiction
In rem jurisdiction
Attachment jurisdiction (quasi-in rem jurisdiction)

In personam jurisdiction (personal jurisdiction)

Court obtains jurisdiction over the defendant

By service of process—to deliver a summons
Long-arm statute, if defendant

Has committed a tort within the state
Owns property in state that is subject of the lawsuit
Entered into a contract in the state
Transacted business in state that is subject of the lawsuit

In rem jurisdiction (property jurisdiction)

Court has jurisdiction over property located within the state that is the subject of a lawsuit

Attachment jurisdiction (quasi-in rem jurisdiction)

Jurisdiction over property rather than over a person
Property is not the subject of the lawsuit
Property is located in the court’s jurisdiction
Defendant’s property is seized to obtain payment of a claim against the defendant that is unrelated to the property seized

Venue

The geographical area in which a lawsuit should be brought
Purpose of venue

Regulate the distribution of cases within a specific court system
Identify a convenient forum

Lawsuits need to be initiated in the county in which the property is located, incident took place, etc.

THE COURT SYSTEM

Federal courts set up by Article III of the U.S. Constitution

U.S. District Court

Trial court of the federal system
Every state has at least one district court
Number in state is based on population

Wisconsin has two

Eastern district based in Milwaukee
Western district based in Madison

U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals

12 judicial circuits

11 are numbered
1 for the District of Columbia
1 for Appeals from the Federal Circuit

Function of court

Examine the record of a case on appeal
To determine whether trial court committed prejudicial error

Error substantially affecting the appellant’s rights and duties

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