字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Hello class! And now we begin our discussion about federal district courts. As I just mentioned. Federal district courts are the bottom tier of the federal court system. District courts are trial courts, and they have you -- ready for this term, one that you've probably never heard before? They have what is called "original jurisdiction." Original jurisdiction means that cases originate at this level, or they begin at this level. In other words, cases are never appealed at this level. They're heard for the first time in courts with original jurisdiction. Ok? Now, as I mentioned, federal district courts are trial court's. This means that they function like other trial courts in which there is evidence introduced and examined; they may use a jury to come to a decision; witnesses are called to the stand and are questioned and cross-examined. Basically anything you've ever seen in a courtroom drama -- you know things like attorneys trying to appeal to the emotions of jurors or somebody rushing in with a bloody knife, and saying "Your honor, I'd like to introduce this to the evidence!" All of those things take place at trial courts. Now the reason that I'm saying this is because when we talk about federal courts of appeals, and we talk about the Supreme Court. Those things do not take place and those courts. They only take place in the federal court system at federal district courts. Federal district courts hear both civil and criminal cases. Civil cases are cases in which no one has been accused of a crime, so you can think of a civil case in pretty simple terms as when somebody is suing somebody else, or if a business is suing another business. In federal courts, it can be the federal government is suing a corporation or a corporation suing the federal government. Those things happen all the time in federal district court, so the different types of civil cases that are heard at federal district courts are: contract cases, a contract case is quite simply when someone or some business or individual has signed a contract with someone else and has broken that contract or is being sued for breaking that contract. So today, for example, the federal government does a lot of business with private companies, and they sign contracts, and perhaps that company is suing the federal government because according to that company, the federal government was supposed to pay this much money, but the federal government only paid them this much money, so now that company is suing the federal government. That would be an example of a civil case that would be heard at a federal district court. Makes sense? I hope so. You can always email me with your questions! the other type of civil cases that are heard at federal district courts are called torts: T-O-R-T-S. A tort is a civil case in which there was no contract involved. So for example, a couple of years ago there was that giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in which they were BP -- British Petroleum oil rig that exploded, and thousands and thousands or actually millions of gallons of oil bubbled up out of the sea floor and spilled into the Gulf Coast and the federal government sued British Petroleum for damages basically for the cost of cleaning up all of that oil. That was a tort case because British Petroleum didn't have a contract with the federal government, but they created damage. They caused damage, so the federal government was suing British Petroleum for damage. Now when British Petroleum lost that case, no one went to prison; it wasn't a criminal trial it was a civil trial. Federal district courts hear criminal cases when someone has been accused of violating a federal criminal statute or a federal crime. Someone's been accused of committing a federal crime like mail fraud or kidnapping or terrorism or bank robbery. These are all federal crimes, so if one is accused of violating a federal criminal statute or a federal criminal law and you're arrested, you would stand trial at a federal district court. Ok, so I hope this makes sense. Oh, let me just say one thing going back to civil cases. Civil cases are heard at federal district courts if the federal government is involved, so if someone's suing the federal government or the federal government is suing someone else. Our next video is going to deal with federal courts of appeals. Talk to you soon. Bye!