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Running Head: Judicial System 1 JUS 261 Module 3 Milestone One: Judicial System.

JUS261 Module 3 Milestone One: Judicial System.

Southern New Hampshire University

May 28, 2017


Module 3Milestone One – Judicial System: Based on information reviewed during this course, I we will be working with a case scenario and based on those facts I will try to explain how does the Judicial System works, which court will be hearing this case and how the venue should be selected.

Let’s start by explaining what is the hierarchy of the judicial system: “The United States legal system hierarchy is well-known for ha­ving the most complicated and complex judicial systems in the entire world. One of the reasons of this success is an impartial and very carefully ordered hierarchy. In United States legal system hierarchy, several kinds of federal courts control matters related to the federal law and every state has its individual set of courts that can adjust according to the needs of the people.” (United States Legal System Hierarchy)

The US judicial System is made of several levels, which are the federal, state and local levels. There are many differences between the courts and they contribute to the way in which the courts cooperate among them to ensure that specific cases can move forward. Since the courts have different jurisdictions, to decide in which venue the case will be heard is a matter of concern.

Regarding the case scenario, we need to make a determination as to which courts will oversee hearing the case of Jed, Herman and Jane, we must understand the crucial differences that currently exists between the courts and how the venue will be decided. The crucial difference is the jurisdiction of the courts, for example Federal Courts will only hear: “Cases in which the United States is a party; “Cases involving violations of the U.S. Constitution or federal laws (under federal-question jurisdiction); Cases between citizens of different states if the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 (under diversity jurisdiction)State courts have broad jurisdiction and as such the only cases that are not heard in state courts are those cases where the issue is a violation of federal law or in cases that involve the United States as a specific party” (Federal vs. State Courts – Key Differences, From the Federal Judicial Center)

Most of the cases where the violation was against the state laws will be handled by the state courts. In this specific case, the robbery of the bank performed by Jane, Jed and Herman, could be heard by the state court, however if the bank had its deposits secured by the federal deposit insurance corporation (FDIC) this will make the crime a federal violation and as such the case should fall in the Federal court jurisdiction since the majority of the banks as small as they can be will have their customer’s deposits insured by the FDIC, also one of the robbers, Jed was a convicted felon and not only the local police but the FBI were involved in his investigation, so if the FBI was involved that’s another reason why the case will be handled by the Federal court.

The venue in which the case will be heard is determined by several factors like where the crime was committed and where the offender was found, but first I will explain the meaning of venue: “While jurisdiction says in what state and what court you file your lawsuit, “venue” is the county where you file your action. Usually, venue is in the county where:The person you are suing lives or does business (if you are suing a business or organization); or

The dispute arose, like where an accident happened, or where a contract was entered into or broken.” (California Courts – The Judicial Branch of California)

            The venue for state courts can change due to several reasons like if the defendant fails to have access to a neutral trial, if the case is having tons of media influence which may impact the trial, also publicity good or bad that could influence the jury selection or if the witnesses are not located close to the venue. Federal cases venue is determined by other criteria, but must cases are first heard in the US district court.

            In this scenario, the venue where the case will be heard could be the US District court in Washington DC, however if the bank didn’t have the deposits insured, the case will be heard and processed by the state courts and the venue will be the closest to where the crime was committed meaning the court that is closest to the bank.The implication of a venue is that it can affect the process of the case depending on the laws that have been violated.


California Courts – The Judicial Branch of California. Retrieved from:

Federal vs. State Courts – Key Differences, From the Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved from:

United States Legal System Hierarchy Retrieved from:

JUS261 Module 3 Milestone Two: Judicial System Components

Southern New Hampshire University

June 10, 2017


Module 5 Milestone Two – Judicial System Components: Based on information reviewed during this course, I will be working with a case scenario where three people from Washington D.C. decided to rob a bank, they used fire arms but no one was hurt during the event. They escaped and took $65,000 and were caught by the police near the Canadian border. The attorneys from the defendants are asking the court for continuance but the judge want to process the case right away. Charges for the defendants are very serious. Now, based on these facts I will try to explain what are the steps needed for the case move along the Judicial System. 

Let’s start by summarizing the study case: Jed, Herman and Jane live in Washington D.C. they robbed a bank and took $65,000, they used shotguns however nobody was hurt, Jane drove the getaway car. Two hours later they all very apprehended by the police near the Canadian border when they were stop for speeding. Jed and Jane matched the descriptions made by witnesses and Jane confessed that they were the bank robbers, while Jed and Herman denied any kind of participation. The police could only recover $25,000 out of the $65,000 and couldn’t determine if the money was taken from the bank. Jed was found to be a convicted felon when the robbery occurred and now both police and FBI were investigating.

The attorneys for the defendants are requesting a continuance for four months. The prosecution objects and claims work overload, and argues that if the court does grant a continuance, then the prosecution should get to prolong turning over the remaining discovery. The defense attorney insist that their clients deserve a well-prepared defense, however the busy judge wants to try the case immediately.

Federal, state and courts calendar refer to the schedules for case hearings in the US court system. They represent a list of cases that are ready to be heard and determined by the jury within specific time frames. The calendar is kept and planned by the court clerk, and the Jury is expected to follow it in the proceedings of any case set to be presented to him or her. Meanwhile, “Docket cases refer to the official summary of proceedings in any court of law in the United States. The docket case comprises of standard numbers assigned to each case brought before a jury for tracking purposes” (Neubauer & Fradella, 2015). These two concepts are very important in promoting the efficiency of court processes in many ways. The court’s calendar, on the other hand, provides an organized schedule of cases to be heard and that way avoid a backlog of cases in the courts. The docket cases are a very helpful tool because they allow a straightforward way to track cases and ensure that no cases are delayed in any stage of the court calendar.

Let’s continue with the calendaring and continuance procedures for this case. Federal courts and state courts have different calendaring and continuance strategies. In federal courts, for example, calendaring and continuance are based on individual cases. In this situation, there might be no delays in hearing this robbery case since the jury would be focused on following the proceedings of the case due to the seriousness of the charges so the judge would prefer to comply with the completion of the process within the shortest time possible and that way he can continue processing other less serious cases. In this scenario the defense lawyers for Jed, Herman, and Jane most likely will not be allowed more time to prepare their defense.

In state courts, on the other hand, the calendaring is based on various cases and is controlled by the court clerk based on the convenience and availability of the jury. The state calendaring and continuance rules tend to be a bit more flexible compared to federal rules. If this case was to be heard on a state court there are higher possibilities for the defense lawyers to be allowed enough time to prepare their defense in a state court.

Now let’s talk a little about key roles, “One major key role of State courts is to hear and make judgments on a vast majority of civil cases within the states. The Federal court, however, provides an opportunity for the unsatisfied party in any decision made by the state courts to appeal” (Howard, 2014). The federal courts comprise of the highest court in the land which is the Supreme Court. These two distinct and key roles of the federal and state courts help in creating and maintaining an efficient judicial system in the United States since any party to a case which is not satisfied with the state courts can seek an audience with the federal courts by filing an appeal. In other words, cases that cannot be settled by state courts can be heard by a federal court following the correct procedures, and if the defendant doesn’t agree with the ruling of either court they can follow another process and ask the for the Supreme court to hear the case.

Let’s move on to the venue of court hearings, this matter can also have a major impact on the process efficiency in this scenario.  If this robbery case is to be heard and determined by the state courts in Washington D.C. the process would be easier compared to if the case was to be heard in a different state. Transferring the case to a different state would, tremendously affect the efficiency of the court proceedings in this case negatively. Since the case is to be heard in a Federal court because the money they stole was from a bank and the deposits were protected by the FDIC, the court in charge most likely will be the US District court which is located in Washington which will facilitate a very streamline process.

Finally, if the Jury decides to give the defense attorneys a four-month continuance, the efficiency of the court in this scenario would be greatly impacted since it would lead to a backlog of cases (Posner, 1999). State courts efficiency is tied to hearing and making a determination on cases within the shortest time possible.

A four-month continuance would, therefore, affect the efficiency of the state courts in hearing this case since the Jury handling the case is currently blocked over the next ten months and would, therefore, wish to hear and make a determination of this cases as soon as possible to avoid any delays within the state judicial system.

            However, as explained before this case most likely will go the a Federal court which will give the defense attorney little to cero possibilities of being granted a continuance, even if they are asking for extra time to be able to prepare a good defense for their clients, with all the evidence and the testimony of one of them showing all the odds against them, it will be hard for the attorneys to defend a case where the “suspects” without a doubt are the perpetrators of the crime due to all the evidence found on them. I believe the court will review all these elements before deciding if extra time is needed and this will happen when there is little evidence against the suspect, but clearly in this scenario that is not the case.


Howard Jr, J. W. (2014). Courts of appeals in the federal judicial system: A study of the second, fifth, and District of Columbia circuits. Princeton University Press. Retrieved from:

Neubauer, D. W., & Fradella, H. F. (2015). America’s courts and the criminal justice system. Cengage Learning. Retrieved from:  

Copiague Public Library.

Posner, R. A. (1999). The Federal Courts. Harvard University Press. Retrieved from:
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