Free «State and Federal Courts» Essay
Society is a very large informal organization which is composed of different people and with different human activities. With all this societal diversity, people need to be guided by laws in order to live in harmony. Therefore, different nations have come up with rules and laws that guide their citizens and others within their respective jurisdictions. The main objective of this paper is to discuss the subject matter and the personal jurisdictions as well as the different cases handled by the federal courts.
According to Welch (2012), the federal courts in the United States of America are the court systems that enforce the federal laws and rules within the specified geographical jurisdiction as they are mandated by the government. They are also responsible for interpreting the United States’ Constitution in fulfilling the courses of their actions. Apart from the geographical jurisdiction accorded to them, they also have the subject matter and the personal jurisdictions. Whereby, the subject matter jurisdiction is the power given to the federal courts of law to handle particular type of cases which can either be criminal or civil. On the other hand, personal jurisdiction is the power given to the court to order an individual to appear before it.
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In order for the federal courts to practice the personal jurisdiction in hearing and making a verdict on any particular case, they are required by the state to have personal jurisdictions over the defendant. It is also required that they have a jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case involved. Finally, the court should have a proper venue for hearing the cases (Welch, 2012).
According to Welch (2012), personal jurisdiction is divided into three types, including in personam jurisdiction, in rem jurisdiction, and quasi rem jurisdiction. In personam jurisdiction is whereby the federal court has authority to exercise power over an individual of a specific defendant. For instance, the federal court may have a jurisdiction to hear a case where the plaintiff claims to have been injured by the defendant’s action; however, then defendant has to be an individual from where the particular federal has the personam jurisdiction over.
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On the other hand, in rem jurisdiction is whereby the federal court has power to here a case concerning an individual by the virtue that the defendant has a property within the state’s boundaries. It may include an action by the court to determine whether a particular property imported in the U.S has been legally done or not. This can be done regardless of who the owner is. It may also deal with decisions on matters of personal status such as marriage and divorce. Finally, quasi in rem jurisdiction is whereby the court has the mandate to determine whether the defendant has any property within its control. For instance, foreclosing of a mortgage is a quasi rem action by the court, since the purpose is to determine the rights between the lender and the borrower (Welch, 2012).
According to Oakley & Amar, (2009), the two types of cases that the federal courts may hear are the civil and criminal cases. Criminal case is whereby someone commits an offence against the state or the society as a whole. These cases are prosecuted by the state or the prosecutor who acts on behalf of the state. For one to be punished before the courts, the offence must be proved beyond any reasonable doubt to have occurred. Examples of criminal offences include murder, robbery, and assault.
On the other hand, civil cases are the cases involving disputes between individuals on matters pertaining to the legal duties and responsibilities towards each other. In these cases, the persons who have been wronged (plaintiff) are the ones to start the legal proceedings against the offender (defendant). Examples of these cases include disagreements over contracts, disputes between landlords and tenants, and instances of damage on individuals due to others’ negligence (Oakley & Amar, 2009).
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In conclusion, it is worth noting that the various jurisdictions given to the federal courts are very important in ensuring that the criminal and civil cases are dealt with accordingly in the United States of America.