Federal Court Definition & What the Federal Courts do


Hello English explorers! Today, I am going to talk about a very complicated word combination. The definition of the word Federal Court.

The best way to understand this definition is to explain what is the Federal Court. It is not a simple definition. The Federal Court is too complicated to explain in one sentence. You should understand what the Federal Courts do.

Federal Courts have 12 circuit courts distributed throughout the US. Federal courts see matters that are as follows:

  • Cases where the law is a federal law (involving the entire country and not just the state) like Taxes on a federal level
  • Cases against treaties
  • Cases involving the US Constitution
  • Cases where the US government is a party to the litigation (or lawsuit)
  • Cases that involve more than one state where more than $70,000 is an issue.

Now, if a civil case makes it all the way to the top, then the Supreme Court will decide on a law. It is the final court. The Supreme Court is the highest Federal Court.

They have priority over the following:

  • Cases between the US and a state
  • Cases between two or more states
  • Cases involving foreign ministers or ambassadors
  • Cases where a citizen is bringing a case against a citizen from another state or against a foreign country
  • Cases against pirates, where the crime occurred in the ocean.

Most cases that reach the Supreme Court are there on appeal. They ask a federal question about a National rule. The Supreme Court will only hear certain cases that meet the following criteria:

  • There must be a controversy or case; someone needs to be affected by the law.
  • The cases must also be called standing, meaning the parties need to have a stake in the outcome. Usually money is involved here.
  • Mootness is also used to determine if the Supreme Court will hear a case. This means the case no longer needs to be resolved. Since the problem has taken care of its self.
  • If the activity has not occurred yet, then the case is not seen because of its ripeness.
  • The Supreme Court will hear cases where circuit courts have reached different conclusions and also when the US has initiated the appeal.

So this is what the word Federal Court means. Leave your comments below if you have any questions or additional comments.

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Written by: Brian Thornton