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Understanding Our Court System

Our court system comprises of Federal and State courts. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the nation and preempts all others.

Federal courts are comprised of district courts, courts of appeals, and the Supreme Court. The district courts are essentially the trial courts. Subject matter jurisdiction – the power for the court to hear a case – is based on a federal question (constitutional or statutory), or upon diversity of citizenship (citizens of different states).

An appeal from a state court to the Supreme Court of the United States is possible if a federal question is involved.
The Federal courts of appeals are divided by circuit throughout the U.S. and it’s territories. An appeal from a district as of right is heard by the appropriate court of appeals.

An appeal to the Supreme Court from a decision of a court of appeals is generally discretionary.

The State system of courts is divided generally in the same manner. In New York the Supreme Court acts as the trial court, while in New Jersey it is called the Superior Court. An appeal from the trial court is heard by the Appellate Division. The court of last resort in New York is called the Court of Appeals. The court of last resort in New Jersey is called the Supreme Court.

An appeal from a state court to the Supreme Court of the United States is possible if a federal question is involved.

There are also Federal bankruptcy courts hearing cases under the Federal bankruptcy law, and local municipal courts for such things as traffic offenses.

Below are some useful links to Federal Courts and the Courts of the States of New York and New Jersey.

Federal Courts

New York Courts

New Jersey Courts

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If you or a loved one has been injured in a New York or New Jersey accident, we will explain every step of the legal process and court system to you. We will fight for your rights. Call Mr. DiMartini directly at 1.844.299.0030. You can also contact us online. The consultation is free. There is never a fee unless we win your case!

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