38 terms

Judicial Branch

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judicial branch
branch of government responsible for interpreting the laws
appellate court
handles appeals from lower courts (Supreme Court of Georgia and Court of Appeals)
Supreme Court of Georgia
highest court in state responsible for reviewing decisions made in civil or criminal cases, determining the constitutionality of laws, changes to elections, and death sentences; has seven elected justices, no jury
Court of Appeals
twelve elected judges work in panels of three to review civil and criminal cases that have been previously heard by trial courts; no jury
trial court
the first court before which the facts of a case are decided
Superior Court
court responsible for hearing civil and criminal trials, divorce cases, felony cases, and land titles; jury and elected judge
State Courts
court responsible for ruling in misdemeanor cases, preliminary criminal cases hearings, civil cases, and can issue search warrants; jury and elected judge
Juvenile Court
jurisdiction over delinquent children under 17 and deprived children 18; appointed judge and no jury
Probate Courts
handle administrative matters such as the power to rule on wills and estates, traffic violations, violations of game and fish laws, grant marriage and firearms licenses, appoint legal guardians, and misdemeanors; elected judge and may have jury
Magistrate Courts
a court with the powers to issue warrants and try minor criminal cases, civil cases for sum of $15,000 or less, and civil disputes; judges may be elected or appointed and no jury
criminal law
cases involving violations of the law
civil law
disputes between two or more persons or groups
crimes
serious offenses that are punishable with fines, community service, prison, and sometime death
felony
a serious crime (such as murder and burglary) that can be punishable by no less than one year in prison and/or a fine of at least $1000
misdemeanor
a minor offense with a penalty of no more than one year in prison and/or a fine of less than $1000
tort
a civil wrong doing against an individual
defendant
person or group being charged for a wrong doing in a criminal or civil case
plaintiff
person who brings a lawsuit against another
capital crimes
felonies that can be punishable by death; murder, kidnapping with bodily injury, aircraft hijacking, and treason
jurisdiction
area that a court is responsible for
superior court
general jurisdiction trial court for felony cases, divorce, and land disputes
state court
limited jurisdiction over misdemeanor criminal cases, such as traffic violations, and civil cases
probate court
limited jurisdiction over wills, estates, guardianship, and marriage licenses; supervises election ballot printing and vote counting
magistrate court
limited jurisdiction over minor civil claims, ordinance violations, bad checks, and arrest and search warrants; do not have jury trials
Court of Appeals
appellate jurisdiction over appeals from superior and state courts in the adult justice system; hears appeals for civil claims for damages, child custody cases, and criminal cases, except felonies; no jury trials
Supreme Court
appellate jurisdiction over appeals related to wills, divorce, and cases where a sentence of death was or may be given; no jury trials
appellate
courts whose responsibility is to review prior court cases
appeal
seeking a new trial after a court decision
arraignment
step in pretrial in which a criminal defendant is brought into court, told of the charges in an indictment or information, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty.
arrest
when law enforcement has enough evidence to take a suspect into custody
limited jurisdiction
a court with a jurisdiction of only one county
sentencing (conviction)
after a jury finds a defendant guilty the judge determines the number of years the defendant will serve in prison or the amount of damages owed
suspect
person who has been charged by law enforcement for committing a crime
jury trial
a group of the accused person's peers (fellow citizens, usually 12 in number) who hear all the evidence at the trial and then decide if the defendant is guilty or not guilty
mediation
method of settling disputes outside of court by using the services of a neutral third party, who acts as a communicating agent between the parties and assists them in negotiating a settlement
arbitration
settling a dispute without going to trial; the parties who disagree select one or more impartial persons to settle the argument and all parties must accept the decision
compromise
settlement in which each side gives up some of its demands in order to reach an agreement
negotiation
discussion of an issue with intention of resolving it; both parties give and take to reach a resolution