Example of court services management research paper

Where the federal and state courts obtain their authority

So as to enforce federal law, the Constitution created the federal judicial authority and therefore, the Constitution merely permitted the states to keep hold of their existing judicial authority. The Tenth Amendment stipulated that all powers not provide to the federal government were maintained by the states and since the Constitution never took away state court authority above internal matters, the state courts retained their authority (Constitution of the United States).

The structure of the federal court system, and the types of cases addressed at the various federal court levels

The federal court system may be basically a 3-tiered structure. The district courts are the lowest federal courts and there currently number is ninety four. Each state has at least one district court. Federal cases characteristically initiate in district courts, which are ‘ trial courts’ where every parties present their side of the case. The District courts may be the only courts in this federal system in which juries testify (Goldman and Cheeseman, 2011). A single judge presides over most cases, and most federal cases can be resolved in the federal system. They have jurisdiction over many kinds of cases, both criminal and civil, inside their geographic regions.
When there is hearing of appeal cases from district courts, they either go to one of the thirteen circuit courts which have nationwide jurisdiction over cases brought from the courts of Federal Claims and International Trade. In addition they also review copyright and patent cases. These courts never use juries. They are referred to as 1st-level appellate courts, where all facts are assumed to be correct, and normally cases may be adjudicated by a three-judge. For the vast bulk of all litigants, the circuit-courts symbolize the ‘ last hope’, as the Supreme Court justices barely accept approximately 1% of the total appeals. Judges in the circuit courts are interested law application (Siegel, 2011).
Finally, the federal Supreme Court may be the highest tribunal in the U. S. (The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2007). They hear definite categories of cases from both the ‘ state supreme courts’ and the ‘ U. S. District Courts’. The highest-level appellate court is the ‘ Supreme Court’ (nevertheless it does have various original jurisdictions); moreover, the nine justices that serve on this Court mutually observe precedent and also observe the constitutionality of certain laws and actions (Goldman and Cheeseman, 2011).

Key similarities and differences in the functions of federal versus state courts

Federal and state courts function a lot in a similar manner. Defendants and their attorneys in criminal cases face prosecutors in open-court facing a sitting judge. Juries may be empanelled according to directives constitutionally that guarantee an objective examination of the evidence and impartiality. There is also swearing in of witnesses and questioning by both the defense and prosecution. Both the state and federal courts have rules to protect their witnesses from probable retribution for giving testimony. In addition, the state and federal courts also allows reading of the verdict in open court and also jury deliberations.
On the other hand, the differences between state and federal courts may be defined largely by jurisdiction. Jurisdiction in this case refers to the sort of cases a court may be authorized to hear (Siegel, 2011). Federal courts are limited to the sort of cases that are listed in the Constitution and explicitly provided for by Congress. They hear civil and criminal cases that involve the federal law, the U. S. Constitution, special subject matters (like Federal Tax or Bankruptcy) and policies. The State courts on the other hand, have broad jurisdiction and reserve the power to hear criminal and civil cases related state constitutional issues and state laws.

Key similarities and differences in the role and function of court administrators in trial, appellate, and limited-jurisdiction courts

Court administrators are professional individuals that are trained as court managers and that pose the bureaucratic knowledge to control the court system. Several duties that they carry out include troubleshooting, summarizing caseload data, preparing annual reports and preparing budgets.
The duties and responsibilities assigned to courts administrator in trial, appellate, and limited-jurisdiction courts are similar; and include criminal history reporting, case processing, debt collection, judgment enforcement and other crucial services. However, these duties may vary depending on the judge’s willingness to allot responsibility in trial, appellate, and limited-jurisdiction courts. One of the main roles of a court administrator may be to decide on reducing costs whilst at the same time increasing efficiency inside the system.

The Alabama judicial system

The structure of the Alabama judicial system consists of three systems and is laid out in the constitution of Alabama; these three systems are the state trial court (superior court, district court, or municipal court); the state supreme court and the state appellate court. The state trial court system attends to cases as diminutive as traffic violations to large cases such as murder trials. The hearing of cases that were lost during the trial courts is done by the state appellate court and may be appealed by the lawyer; while, the state supreme courts may overrule any hearings of a lower court and is the cases court. The state court systems only prosecute and hear cases where crimes have been committed in its jurisdiction, in Alabama. For instance, if a resident of Alabama commits a crime in Mississippi, his or her case is supposed to be heard in Alabama since the person is from that state, however, the Texas court system cannot hear the case since it may not be in their jurisdiction.
In Alabama the federal court system is made of similar structure as the state court system; however, the only difference may be that the jurisdiction of the federal court system is more jurisdiction than that of the state. The federal court can hear cases from anyplace in the U. S. The federal court system holds mostly similar cases as the state apart from minor family and traffic violations court. This system enforces laws that pertain to the United States constitution, while the state court system enforces state laws and its own constitution. This has the meaning that the illegal laws in Georgia may not be similar to legal laws in Alabama. A good example may be that some Alabama state law articulates that no one ought to be speaking on their cell phones even as driving; nevertheless, in other states that law may not be enforced.

Quasi-judicial body and the kinds of decisions reached through adjudication and other quasi-judicial proceedings

Quasi-judicial refers to actions by one authorized individual or a group of people that may be charged with holding hearings, determining facts and perhaps even issuing subpoenas for persons. The goal may be often to come to considering to the case facts and make a decision call concerning possible consequences or outcomes. The term entails, that this body may not be routinely dependable for holding such proceedings and habitually may have other duties (Goldman and Cheeseman, 2011).
A city council may be one example of a Quasi-judicial body that chooses to enforce some of its own decrees, particularly those with a component of civil penalty. The council may evaluate fines or suspend or even pull a business license. Stipulated that the city council operates as a quasi-judicial body, it is required to hold hearings that are similar to proceedings of a courtroom from instance to instance. The introduction of calling witnesses and evidence may be a couple of the fads that may be done at some stage in these hearings.
Quasi-judicial decisions can be reached through proceedings that investigate a disputed claim, weighing evidentiary facts and reaching a binding decision. Characteristically, the quasi-judicial body reaches a decision that subsequently becomes legally binding decisions, except if it is appealed. At that point, the case usually moves into a conventional court system. In such cases, the judges may not be in the position of the assessment of the particular case facts, but rather basically be charged with deciding whether the said quasi-judicial entity makes had the authority to make the decision, and whether it was within the confines of any administrative rules and the law.


Constitution of the United States. (n. d.) Retrieved on February 16, 2013; from,
http://www. archives. gov/exhibits/charters/constitution. html
Goldman, T. F., & Cheeseman, H. R. (2011). The paralegal professional the essentials. (3 ed.).
New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Schmalleger, F., Hall, D. E., & Dolatowski, J. J.   (2010). Criminal law today. (4th ed.) Upper
Saddle River, NJ:   Prentice Hall.
Siegel, L. S. (2011). Courts and criminal justice in America. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia (2007). United States Supreme Court: Scope and
Jurisdiction Retrieved on February 16, 2013; from,
http://www. infoplease. com/ce6/history/A0861364. html