Chapter 9 Texas Government 2306

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Terms in this set (...)

Texas Supreme Court
the highest civil court in Texas
Geographical Jurisdiction
District, County, State area where your court can hear cases from
Civil Jurisdiction
lawsuit between private parties
Criminal Jurisdiction
alleges offenses against the public, usually brought up by the government
Original Jurisdiction
Trial Court, where first cases are heard
Appellate Jurisdiction
Appeals Court, no jury box or witnesses - 3 or more judges hearing case to make sure there was a fair trail
Characteristics of Supreme Court Justices in Texas
35 years old, practicing lawyer to judge for 10 years
Supreme Court Justice Terms
6 years, selected every 2 years
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
the highest criminal court in Texas, consists of nine justices and has final state appellate authority over criminal cases
Court that has jurisdiction over automatic appeals in death penalty cases
Texas Court of Criminal appeals
Court of Appeals
intermediate level appellate courts that hear appeals from district and county courts to determine whether the decisions of these lower courts followed legal principles and court procedures
district courts
the major trial courts in Texas which usually have general jurisdiction over a broad range of civil and criminal cases
county judge
the person in each of Texas' 254 counties who presides over the county court and the county commissioners court, with responsibility for the administration of county government; some county judges carry out judicial responsibilities
county courts
the courts that exist in some counties that are presided over by the county judges
statutory county courts at law
courts that tend to hear less serious cases then those heard by district courts
statutory probate courts
specialized courts whose jurisdiction is limited to probate and guardship matters
Justice of the Peace Courts
local trial courts with limited justification over small claims and very minor criminal misdemeanors
municipal courts
local trial courts with limited jurisdiction over violations of city ordinances and very minor criminal misdemeanors
ordinance
a regulation enacted by a dirt government each of Texas's incorporated cities and towns
civil law
a branch of law that deals with disputes, usually between private individuals over relationships, obligations, and responsibility
criminal law
the branch of law that regulates the conduct of individuals, defines comes, and specifies punishment for criminal acts
complaint
the presentation of a grievance by the plaintiff in a civil case
answer
the presentation of a defendants defense against an allegation of a civil case
contingent fee
a fee paid to the lawyer in a civil case which is contingent on winning the case
preponderance of the evidence
the standard of proof in a civil jury case by which the plaintiff must show that the defendant is ore likely than not the cause of the harm suffered by the plaintiff
capital case
a criminal case in which the death penalty is a possible punishment
felony
a serious criminal offense punishable by a prison sentence or a fine, a capital felony is punishable by death
misdemeanor
a minor criminal offense usually punishable by a fine or a jail sentence
grand jury
jury that determines whether sufficient evidence is available to justify a trial, grand jurys do nor rule on the accused guilt or innocence
indictment
a written statement issued by the grand jury that charges a suspect with a crime and states that the trial is warranted
bench trial
a trial held without a jury and before only a judge
plea bargain
negotiated agreement in a criminal case in which a defendant agrees to plead guilty in return for the states agreement to reduce the severity of the criminal charge or prison sentence the defendant is facing
beyond a reasonable doubt
the legal standard in criminal cases, which requires the prosecution to prove that a reasonable doubt of innocence does not exist
Judges are
elected in partisan elections
which judges are are not elected
municipal judges
en banc
referring to an appellate hearing with all judges participating
State Commission on Judicial Conduct
created by a constitutional amendment - investigates judicial misconduct and disciplines judges
Most common complain against judges
people don't agree with ruling, usually these complaints are ignored
The highest criminal court in texas
the court of criminal appeals
Major trial courts
district courts
primarily filled with non lawyers
justices of the peace
Largest minority group to retain judgeship
women
elections lost as a result of party affiliation do not violate
the voting rights act