A Dual Court System

 Administer wills and estates

Juveniles still have constitutional rights

Juveniles have no right to jury or bail

Rehabilitation not punishment

Can be tried as an adult if serious offense

Divided into traffic and criminal (city or municipal)

Violate an ordinance

$2,500 or less (small claims)

Attorney not needed

Judge hears the case without jury or formal rules of evidence

Hear minor criminal, state traffic offenses, and lawsuit below $25,000

Not court of records

Original jurisdiction

Most states have 1 trial court for each county

All cases involving major crime and large amounts of money

Determine the facts and then apply the law

Usually works with a jury

Can hear appeals from a lower court or retry case to create a proper record

Hears appeals from the state trial court

Reviewed by a panel (3) of judges

No new evidence

Can appeal if:

 Believe that they did not have a fair trial

 Judge in the lower court did not apply the law correctly

Hear appeals on questions of the law, not facts

Attorney’s may give oral arguments and study original documents

If the incorrect law interfered with applying the facts of the case can order a retrial

46 states call their highest court the Supreme


Most instances these courts make the final decision

Only decide whether the law was applied correctly

Most state supreme courts select what cases they want to hear

Original jurisdiction over state impeachment cases

File in timely manner and proper form