Project #80986 - Discussion Board Thread - Peer reply post. Federal/State Jurisdiction

Compare and contrast your state’s court system (Minnesota) with the system of at least 2 classmates Bryan Dodds & Christina Maier. Comment specifically on the similarities and differences of both systems.

Each reply must be a minimum of 150 words.

Responding to a classmate’s post requires both the addition of new ideas and analysis. A particular point made by the classmate must be addressed and built upon by your analysis in order to move the conversation forward.

 

 

 

Bryan Dodds

 

In Exodus 18 the Bible tells us how Moses sat as a judge for his people, so that they may bring their disputes to him and he could mediate and resolve conflicts as a neutral third-party. However his father-in-law observed that he could not do all of that work by himself,  and advised that he “select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens” (Exodus 18:21). This hierarchy of jurisdiction was designed so that smaller disputes could be settled on a more localized level, and more serious matters could be brought further up the chain.

This design is similar to the one we as a nation have adopted. The court system is designed as a hierarchy, with each court representing a different aspect of the law or locale. While our system is designed as a nation, each individual state also has their own hierarchies of courts that serve different needs. With these different courts come varying number of judges, and a varying type of power to preside.

For example I reside in the state of South Carolina. We have a Supreme Court with five Justices, which much like the Federal Supreme Court only hears more serious cases such as “Mandatory Jurisdiction in civil, capital criminal, juvenile, disciplinary, certified questions from federal courts, original proceeding, and interlocutory decision cases” (SCCS, 2004).  However there is a difference in the State and Federal Supreme Courts, being that the Federal Supreme Court typically resides in the hearing of the Constitutionality of a law, or Constitutional interpretation, and the State Supreme Court does not.

There are many similarities between the Federal court structure and the one of my state, such as the existence of a Court of Appeals. While on a state level, “if a party is dissatisfied with the decision of a trial court, they may take their case to an intermediate Court of Appeals” (U.S. Courts, 2015), an appeal from a Federal case such will go straight to the U.S. Court of Appeals and can be requested to be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. However it is important to not one crucial difference is that the state court structure typically deals with more minor cases, such as traffic violations, small claims, misdemeanor charges such as DUI’s, and so on. These cases, much like in Exodus 18 are dealt with on a local level to avoid the higher courts from being swamped with small cases.

Interestingly enough, I happen to live in the capital of my state, so I am literally miles away from the State Supreme Court, as well as several other courts including the District Court, where judges such as the Honorable Terry L. Wooten serve. In the same city there is also a Magistrate Court, where the Honorable Paige Jones Gossett and various other judges serve (SCDC, 2015).

 

References:

South Carolina Court Structure. 2004. Retrieved from: http://www.judicialselection.us/uploads/documents/South_Carolina_1184082544360.pdf

Comparing Federal and State Courts. U.S. Courts, 2015. Retrieved from: http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/court-role-and-structure/comparing-federal-state-courts

United States District Court, District of South Carolina. 2015. Retrieved from: http://www.scd.uscourts.gov/Judges/distjudge.asp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christina Maier

 

 

 

The Virginia court system is very similar in structure to the federal court system. Both have Supreme Courts of last resort with the federal courts consisting of a United States District Courts; and a division of Non-Article III Courts. (Neubauer & Fradella, 2014, p.58). Virginia has, aside from the State Supreme Court, which includes an Executive Secretary and the Magistrate system, an Intermediate Court of Appeals ;Circuit Court of General Jurisdiction Trial Courts; General District Courts with Limited Jurisdiction Trial Courts; and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court with Limited Jurisdiction. (www.courts.state.va.us/courts).  The lower courts are located in Woodstock, Virginia, with the Honorable Amy B. Tisinger  presiding as one of the  judges. The trial courts (circuit courts) are also located in Woodstock, Virginia, with the Honorable Judge Dennis Lee Hupp being one of their judges; and the Honorable Judge Jean Harrison Clements is one of the several judges that serve on the Court of Appeals , which is located in Richmond, Virginia. (www.courts.state.va.us/courts).

     As is stated in Exodus 18:26: "They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases, they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves." NIV. Virginia has follwed the biblical model of having different levels of courts to handle varying degrees of cases; and one of the most important examples of that is concerning abortion. Virginia has banned abortions in the state even ruling against the lobbying efforts of such organizations as the NARAL Pro-Choice advocats. The State Supreme Court upheld the desires of the majority of citizens, and let their moral and Christian faith lead them to preserve innocent lives; placing bans on abortions and any attempts to force insurance companies to cover abortions or partial-abortions. (www.naralva.org/in-our-state. p.1).

References

Neubauer, David and Fradella, Henry F. 2014. America's Courts and the Criminal Justice System.Cengage Learning. 20 Davis Drive. Belmont, CA 94002-3098, USA. p.58.

Virginia's Judicial System. 2015. Virginia Courts In Brief. Retrieved from http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts.

Virginia's Judicial System 2015. Directories. Retrieved from http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts.

NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.2015, August 1. Retrieved from http://www.naralva.org/in-our-state. p.1. 

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