The purpose of court systems is to provide a decision on any issue that happens or any matter that brings about controversies. They decide the punishment for people who have committed crimes, solve disputes for people who cannot resolve themselves, and even interpret the law for the Republic. The United States court system works through the federal judiciary branch of the government as required by the Constitution through state courts and federal courts. The federal court system has got three main levels: the district courts, circuit courts which include the courts of appeal and the Supreme Court. State courts work differently from federal courts. Federal courts have limited jurisdiction while state courts may overlap the competence of the federal courts indicating that any state court can listen to any case. However, at times, the plaintiff has the choice of deciding which court to present their case.
District courts are general trial courts with at least one District Judge appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate there are over 100 district courts at least one in each state. The primary work of these district courts is to handle both civil and criminal trials. Magistrates are appointed to head over district courts. They issue search warrants and arrest warrants setting bails and conduct initial hearings. Federal courts also have bankruptcy courts for proceedings related to tax claims against the United States government. The decisions of district courts have a right of appeal to the next level of federal courts.
After District courts, the circuit court of appeal takes the position. There are 13 courts of appeal all over the United States with one court having the sole jurisdiction over international trades and copyright laws. Circuit courts of appeal reaffirm the decision made by district courts. However, they can also resend the cases back to the district courts for a competent decision. Circuit appeal courts do not have the jurisdiction of listening decisions made by state courts. The Supreme Court is the highest ranking court in the United States. The Supreme Court has the power to deal with any case presented before them. The decision made by the Supreme Court has no appeal whatsoever from either other federal courts or state courts.
The Alabama State Courts fall under three levels of jurisdiction: courts of limited jurisdiction, courts of general jurisdiction and the courts of appellate jurisdiction. Under the levels of expertise, the courts are divided into lower levels depending on their functions.
Under the tribunals of limited jurisdiction, there are municipal courts, small claims courts, district courts, Juvenile courts and probate courts. Alabama state has 41 judicial circuit courts with some counts covering more than one county. Courts of general jurisdiction have their coverage under criminal matters. Moreover, they may also deal with cases from the tribunals of limited jurisdiction. They also deal with direct appeals from the circuit courts in Alabama State. Each of the 67 counties in Alabama State has a circuit court for general legal matters.
Alabama State has courts with Appellate Jurisdiction divide into three individual courts. These are the Courts of Civil Appeals, the Court of Criminal Appeals and the Supreme Court of Alabama. These courts act as superior courts from minor courts where they review legal cases decided by other tribunals. The Court of Civil Appeals makes decisions on cases appealed involving administrative entities, domestic relations, and children matters. The Court of Criminal Appeals listens to appeals from criminal trials. The highest ranking court is the Supreme Court of Alabama which has maximum jurisdiction over all other court systems in Alabama State. The court has the mandate to review the decisions made by other tribunals.
Each state in the United States has different judicial systems all depending on the governing body. Each state designs its courts depending on their levels of cases they handle. However, state courts are structured in a process similar to that of the federal judicial system.