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What you should know about federal cases

  • December 4, 2013

What you should know about federal cases

Federal cases are tried in federal courts. Basically there are 2 types of courts in the US; state and federal courts. State and local courts are established by a state and operate within the state. On the other hand federal courts are established under the US Constitution by Congress to decide disputes that involve laws passed by Congress as well as the Constitution.

Jurisdiction often plays a major role in determining whether a case will be heard in a federal or state court. Jurisdiction refers to the types of cases a court is authorized to hear. Federal courts are often referred to as courts of limited jurisdiction. This is because they can only hear certain cases. These include cases involving the laws and treaties of the US, disputes between 2 or more states, cases about admiralty law as well as bankruptcy cases. A federal court may try a bank robbery cases if the robbery occurred in a bank insured by a federal agency. Crimes committed on federal reservations, racketeering, international and interstate transportation of illegal drugs and interstate banking fraud can also be tried in these courts.

Federal courts may try cases concerning state laws especially if the issue is whether the state law violates the federal Constitution. The state law may forbid slaughtering of animals outside of certain areas .If a neighborhood association brings a complaint in a state court against a person who sacrifices animals in his backyard and the court issues an injunction forbidding the defendant from engaging in the behavior, the defendant can challenge the state law in a federal court as an unconstitutional breach of his religious freedom.

Some federal cases arise out of appeals for review of actions by federal institutions or agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency. If such an agency issues a permit to a mill to discharge effluent into a river over the objections of people who reside in that area, residents could ask for a review of the agency’s decision from a federal court of appeals.