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What Is a Civil Court?

(This may not be the same place you live)

A civil court is a court of law that handles various types of civil cases. The purpose of civil court is to hear civil cases. It does not hear criminal cases. 

A civil lawsuit is filed in a civil court. It involves an individual, or plaintiff, filing a complaint against another individual, or defendant, whom they believe has injured them in some way or has caused them property damage. 

A plaintiff in a civil lawsuit is usually requesting damages , or monetary payment. Alternatively, they may be seeking equitable damages, such as an injunction, which is a court order instructing the defendant to take some action or cease an action. For example, if an individual is involved in a car accident, they may file a civil lawsuit in civil court under personal injury laws. They may seek compensation for damage to their vehicle, medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses.

What Types of Claims and Disputes do Civil Courts Review?

There are several different types of claims and disputes that civil courts handle. These include legal issues in areas of law such as:

How are Civil Courts Different from a Criminal Court?

Civil court cases and criminal court cases are different in many ways. The laws, punishments, and the burdens of proof are different in both court systems. 

In civil lawsuits, individuals or organizations bring each other to court. These cases often involve a dispute of some sort. The penalties typically involve financial or property compensation. The right to a jury trial is not guaranteed in civil cases that seek an equitable remedy.

In criminal cases, the case is brought to either federal or state by law enforcement. The government brings a case against an individual and carries the burden of proof. Penalties can vary widely and by jurisdiction. The right to a jury trial in criminal cases is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment.

The burden of proof in the two types of cases is also different. In a civil case, the elements of the case must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. This is often described as when 51% of the evidence points to one party being right.

In a criminal case, the elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order to find a defendant guilty. In other words, there can be no reasonable uncertainty of guilt. This is considered to be a higher burden of proof.

The legal consequences are also different in civil and criminal cases. Civil cases typically result in monetary damages or an injunction . Criminal cases typically involve jail time and criminal fines.

There are constitutional protections that are afforded to defendants in criminal cases that are not always applicable in civil court. This includes the right to have an attorney appointed in criminal cases.

There are also some types of violations that can be tried in civil court and criminal court under both sets of laws. For example, there are criminal assault laws and civil assault laws.

In some cases, a civil lawsuit may follow a criminal case. For example, if an individual is found not guilty of murder, they may still be found liable in a wrongful death case.

How do I File a Case in a Civil Court?

Before filing any action in civil court, it is essential to determine if there is a statute of limitations that applies to your cause of action or legal claim against the other party. The statute of limitations is the timeframe within which an individual must file a lawsuit. For example, if the statute of limitations for a breach of contract is four years, an individual has four years to file a lawsuit from the date of the breach.

If an individual does not file their lawsuit within the time prescribed in the statute of limitations, their case may not be heard. There are some exceptions to these rules, but they only apply in certain circumstances. An attorney can determine the proper cause of action as well as the statute of limitations for an individual’s case.

What is considered timely filing of a claim will vary by jurisdiction and the type of claim. There are three main reasons for statutes of limitations:

If an individual decides to file a lawsuit in civil court, they would begin by filing a complaint. An individual can file a complaint themselves at a local clerk’s office or courthouse, but it is advisable to have an attorney file the complaint.

Some courts have self-help centers that will assist an individual who has decided to sue or defend against a lawsuit themselves. Some courts also provide fill-in-the-blank forms for individuals to file their own paperwork. 

Additionally, some court websites have FAQ sections or forms available. Certain matters can be complex and it is always in an individual’s best interest to have a lawyer’s assistance.

The complaint will contain the cause of action that the individual is suing for, such as:

A lawsuit begins with pleadings. Pleadings are formal documents filed with the court that outlines the parties’ basic positions.

Common pleadings include:

A plaintiff may be required to file either a fact pleading or a notice pleading, depending on the jurisdiction. A fact pleading contains details of the case and shows support for the elements of the claim using facts of the case. A notice pleading, in contracts, only requires the plaintiff to provide sufficient notice of the claim, such as stating that the individual is suing the defendant for negligence arising from a traffic collision.

If a case is filed in federal court, an individual may file a fact pleading but only a notice pleading is required. If an individual is unsure what type of pleading is required, they should consult with an attorney as filing the incorrect pleading may result in a dismissal of their lawsuit. For example, if an individual files a notice pleading in a jurisdiction that requires a fact pleading, the defendant may file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit because the complaint did not allege sufficient facts to support the claim.

If an individual files the incorrect type of pleading, they may also be required to file another pleading which results in more money due to additional filing fees and more time spent filing the additional pleadings. Pleadings can be complicated but an attorney familiar with the process and the requirements of the specific jurisdiction can simplify the process and help it run much more smoothly.

Should I Hire a Lawyer If I Need Representation in Civil Court?

Yes, it is essential to have the assistance of a civil lawyer for any cases heard in civil court. In civil cases, each party obtains their own attorneys. Your attorney can review your case, advise you on the issues involved, and represent you during any court proceedings, if necessary. 

In some cases, your attorney may also be able to help you negotiate with the other party in order to avoid having to go to court. Your attorney will also ensure your case is filed in a timely manner. Having an attorney on your side can mean the difference between prevailing and losing your civil case.

Need a Civil Lawyer in your Area?

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Jennifer Corbett

LegalMatch Legal Writer

Original Author

Jennifer joined LegalMatch in 2020 as a Legal Writer. She holds a J.D. from Cumberland School of Law and has been a member of the Alabama State Bar since 2012. She is a certified mediator and guardian ad litem. She holds a B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice and a B.A. in Spanish, both from Auburn University. Jennifer’s favorite part of legal work is research and writing. Jennifer enjoyed being a Law Clerk for a distinguished Circuit Judge in Alabama. She is a stay-at-home mom and homeschool teacher of three children. She enjoys reading and long evening walks with her husband.

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Jose Rivera

Managing Editor

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The Law Dictionary

Your Free Online Legal Dictionary • Featuring Black’s Law Dictionary, 2nd Ed.

What Does Disposed Mean In A Court Case?

When a case has been disposed, this means it has been closed. Specific reasons for a case being closed can include dismissal, conviction, admission of guilt, among other reasons. Once a case is officially over, it is removed from the court’s docket. This simply means there are no further dates for that matter scheduled on the court’s calendar. As a legal term, disposed cases can include any type of case ranging from small claims to more felony charges.

Why Was a Case Disposed?

While any party involved in a case may ask for it to be disposed, only a magistrate can decide if it will be and when. Parties to a case will be made aware through court documents and legal counselors as to whether a case has been disposed and why. This information is also easy to obtain by visiting a clerk’s office and reviewing the files relating to the case.

There are a number of reasons why a court proceeding can be disposed , such as:

Dismissal With Prejudice

When a court case is dismissed with prejudice it will not be reopened or retried. This means that a judge has decided, based on the merits of a case, it will not be examined by the court any further or ever again.

Dismissal Without Prejudice

Cases dismissed without prejudice may be reopened or new charges may be filed on the same grounds. It is common for cases to be disposed due to a lack of evidence, but a dismissal without prejudice means a judge provides an opportunity for the reexamination of a case in the event stronger evidence can be presented in the future. How much time is allowed for a case to be reopened may vary. It is best to consult an attorney if more specific information is needed.

Cases may be reopened for other reasons, such as a party not paying as ordered in a prior ruling.

Once a court has awarded a judgment in a case, it is disposed. No further court hearings are needed unless the losing party appeals the judgment. If the case is not appealed, all parties are expected to abide by the judgment in place. Should a party decide not to pay the judgment within the allotted time, the case may be reopened to bring it to the judge’s attention. Cases in which all parties are abiding by the judgment in place do not appear on the court’s docket again.

A Guilty Plea

Court cases are sometimes disposed due to a defendant pleading guilty. When this happens, there is no need to explore further evidence or hear additional testimony. Depending upon the type of case, a punishment will typically be in the form of financial compensation ordered to be paid to an injured party (known as a judgment.) There may be other fines, jail time, or probation. Cases disposed due to guilty pleas are subsequently removed from a court’s docket and no further hearings will be scheduled.

A Guilty Verdict

A guilty verdict is handed down by a judge or a jury after evidence and testimony have been weighed during a trial. In both cases, evidence has been presented and all parties have been allowed the opportunity to give their version of events. Once a guilty verdict is reached, sentencing takes place and a case is disposed.

After the evidence of a case has been weighed, a judge or a jury has decided a defendant is not guilty of the charges brought against them. Once this verdict is entered into the record, the case is disposed, and no further proceedings will take place.

Other possible reasons for a case being disposed may include:

The Final Say?

A case that have been disposed will no longer be heard by a magistrate in the court where the case was originally filed. This does not necessarily mean that the case cannot be reopened, especially if new evidence is ever discovered. When cases have been dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction, it is common for new cases to be filed in another court. Much depends on how a case was disposed and the exact reasons why.

The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, however, ensures that a person cannot be tried twice for the same offense. So, when a case has been disposed after a trial has taken place and a verdict rendered, the exact same case cannot be reopened, or the same charges filed a second time.

Case Disposed, Now What?

After a case has been disposed, a record of its proceedings still exists. In criminal cases, a defendant who was found guilty will always have a criminal record even after being sentenced and serving jail time. This fact can make it difficult for convicted felons to find suitable employment or an affordable place to live. Some may attempt to have a criminal record expunged or sealed after a case has been disposed. In some disposed cases, it may even be possible to have a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor.


People convicted of a felony might be able to have their cases dismissed even after they’ve been disposed. This process is called expungement. Doing so typically requires an attorney’s assistance and can take time to accomplish, but it is possible. If an expungement is granted, a former felon generally does not have to disclose their conviction to the public, including most potential employers or landlords.

Sealed Records

In cases when a record cannot be expunged, some may be successful in having their conviction sealed. When this happens, it means that information about the crime and conviction is not accessible to the general public.

Reducing a Felony

Those who can’t get a record expunged or sealed can might be able to have a felony reduced to a misdemeanor. The ability to do so depends on the crime a person has been convicted of and the jurisdiction where the case against them was decided. This only happens with crimes known as ‘wobblers.’ Wobblers means they could have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, but ultimately got charged with a felony.

Further Information and Reading

In general, “disposed” can be summed up as “case closed.” Whether the matter will be revisited depends largely on how it was closed and why. One can never assume that the disposition of a case means it is over for good – legal battles are not always so cut and dry. Through the appeals process, the introduction of new evidence, a party not cooperating with a judgment, or by possibly reopening a case in another court, it is entirely possible for disposed cases to require legal attention in the future.

Gaining an understanding of legal parlance is critical when involved in a personal case. Reading detailed definitions of legal jargon, key terms, and concepts is an important first step. Should you need more information on why cases may be disposed, please check out our article archives. There you will find more detailed information on a variety of topics that may apply to you. If you need even more information or have specific questions about a legal case you are involved in, please consult with your legal counsel or speak to a qualified attorney in your area .

This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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Circuit Courts

Instant court case lookup.

The following is for information purposes only

What is a Circuit Court?

what is a case in court

The United States circuit court system is a small one, with only 13 courts. However, these courts are not limited to a single courtroom. Many circuit court systems transcend several buildings and areas.

Circuit Courts get their name because the judges go to each "circuit" location in a cycle.

There are three judges for each case in the circuit court.

The notion of circuit courts requires judges to travel to multiple locations to guarantee case exposure and understanding.

In 1789, each federal judicial district had a circuit court. These circuit courts had first and appellate jurisdiction.

District courts now exercise the circuit courts' original jurisdiction.

The United States courts of appeals currently exercise their appellate authority, formerly known as circuit appeals courts.

What Types of Cases are Handled by Circuit Courts?

Circuit Courts handle appeals of cases and examine trial court matters to determine the following:

You can take any case to the circuit court for an appeal once the district court has decided on a judgment.

You can appeal specific issues before a final decision by filing an " interlocutory appeal ".

The U.S. Supreme Court considers around 100 to 150 appeals out of the over 7,000 cases requested for evaluation annually.

In thousands of cases, the judgments of the nation's 12 Circuit Courts of Appeals and the Federal Circuit Court are final.

What are Circuit Court Procedures?

what is a case in court

Before learning the circuit court procedures, it is essential to know that there are 94 district courts grouped into 12 circuits or districts within the federal system.

Each circuit has a Court of Appeals that reviews district court rulings.

The Federal Circuit is the 13th federal appellate court. This court accepts national cases, but only certain types.

Here's a quick rundown of the U.S. 13 circuit courts with their jurisdiction:

First Circuit

The First Circuit Court of Appeals considers federal appeals. It hears appeals from all circuit courts within its jurisdiction, and its decisions are appealable to the United States Supreme Court.

The John Joseph Moakley Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts, hears appeals. There is an additional circuit courtroom in Puerto Rico and San Juan, where the court meets for two weeks every year.

First Circuit covers Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island.

Second Circuit

The Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse in lower Manhattan is home to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Each case panel consists of three appellate court justices, except en banc appeals, which the whole court hears. The appellate court reviews appeals from the circuit's district courts.

Connecticut, New York (Eastern, Northern, Southern, Western), and Vermont districts are under the federal jurisdiction of the U.S. District Courts for the Second Circuit.

Third Circuit

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the James A. Byrne Federal Courthouse handles appeals. It uses the same courthouse as the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The Virgin Islands, New Jersey, and Delaware are all in the Third Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Fourth Circuit

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

With 15 authorized judgeships, the court is considered average size among U.S. Circuit Courts. This circuit's judges maintain the unique custom of leaving the bench after an oral argument to shake hands with the counsel involved.

Fifth Circuit

The headquarters of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is the John Minor Wisdom United States Courthouse in New Orleans, Louisiana. This court handles appellate review of matters heard in United States District Courts within its geographic jurisdiction, encompassing Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

Sixth Circuit

The jurisdiction of the Sixth Circuit includes federal appeals from the states of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. The Potter Stewart United States Courthouse in Cincinnati, Ohio, is the location of the court.

Seventh Circuit

Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin are within the jurisdiction of the Seventh Circuit. Chicago, Illinois, is the location of the Seventh Circuit court. There are eleven approved judgeships in the Seventh Circuit and several senior-status judges who continue to consider appeals.

Eighth Circuit

Eleven approved judge positions exist in the Eighth Circuit. Lavenski Smith, nominated by President George W. Bush, serves as the court's chief judge. Donald Trump appointed four of the current court's justices.

Thomas Eagleton U. S. Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri, is where they hear appeals.

The Eighth Circuit comprises the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas.

Ninth Circuit

With 29 authorized judge appointments, the Ninth Circuit is the most extensive appellate court.

This court will hear appeals at the following courthouses:

The Ninth Circuit includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Tenth Circuit

The Tenth Circuit has territorial jurisdiction over the six states of Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah and the sections of Yellowstone National Park that extend into Montana and Idaho.

The Byron White U. S. Courthouse in Denver hears the appeals.

Eleventh Circuit

Congress set up the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in 1981. It handles federal cases that started in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. The circuit has nine district courts, with each state having a Northern, Middle, and Southern District.

District of Columbia Circuit

The authority of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is the smallest of the federal appellate courts in the United States, covering just one district court: the District of Columbia.

Federal Circuit

Article III of the U.S. Constitution adopted the Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1982 on October 1, 1982, establishing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. It has jurisdiction over numerous issues, including foreign commerce, government contracts, patents, and trademarks, on a national scale.

Circuit Court Procedures

Three circuit court judges handle appeals initially. The parties submit "briefs" to the court stating why the judgment of the trial court should be "affirmed" or "reversed".

After submitting the papers, the court will schedule an "oral argument" where the attorneys present their points and respond to the judges' questions.

En banc hearings are uncommon, although the whole circuit court may review specific appeals on occasion.

Note that the Ninth Circuit's en banc procedure differs from that of the other circuits. En banc opinions are often more critical, and they will be available after a panel has heard the case.

No subsequent board can overturn the ruling once a panel has rendered a judgment on an issue and "published" its opinion. However, the committee may recommend that the circuit examine the first panel's ruling en banc.

Aside from the Federal Circuit, a few specialized courts handle appeals in specific areas.

For example, if you have a veteran's claim, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims will handle that. The U.S Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces hears appeals for military problems.

What are the Differences Between District and Circuit Courts?

The American legal system has federal and state courts, and the district courts and circuit courts constitute this judicial system.

District courts are "lower" and are responsible for conducting trials.

In contrast, circuit courts are appeal courts that do not conduct trials but instead consider appeals of matters resolved by lower courts.

These two courts have very distinct functions. The district court handles general disputes and challenges to federal statutes for a specific geographic region.

District courts impose punishments and sentences, whereas the Circuit Court does not. These cases may entail divorces, crimes, and even concerns with diversity and citizens' voting rights. You can appeal these matters after the court has rendered a verdict.

These instances may include challenges to the constitutionality of existing laws. If there is an appeal, the case will go to the circuit court, which only handles federal cases. The Circuit Court is one level down from the Supreme Court in this situation.

Also, the Supreme Court has the authority to remand matters to either the District Court or the Circuit Court for further evaluation.

Where to Find Circuit Court Records?

Depending on where you are, you can access circuit court records by visiting the website of a specific circuit. For example, if your filed appeal or case is in Maryland, you must go to The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals website.

Sometimes, you have to click the online court records link on the electronic services portion of the website to find the documents. You can browse for your case by name, case number, or ticket in the corresponding search field.

Another way to look for circuit court records is through Nexis Uni , FindLaw , and PACER websites.

The information on this website is taken from records made available by state and local law enforcement departments, courts, city and town halls, and other public and private sources. is not a “consumer reporting agency” and does not supply “consumer reports” as those terms are defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). By clicking “I Agree”, you acknowledge and agree to our Terms of Service , and agree not to use any information gathered through this website for any purpose under the FCRA, including but not limited to evaluating eligibility for personal credit, insurance, employment, or tenancy .

You further authorize to conduct a person search to identify preliminary results of the search subject you entered. You understand and agree that full search reports will only be available after you register for an account or purchase a report. You further agree not to use the information provided for any unlawful purposes and you understand that we cannot confirm that information provided below is accurate or complete.

Government News

Student Loan Forgiveness Is Headed to the Supreme Court. Here’s What To Expect

Lawyers will debate whether a 2003 law gives the Biden administration the power to cancel student loans en masse

what is a case in court

Richard Sharrocks / GettyImages

Student loan forgiveness is about to have its day in court. 

Key Takeaways

On Feb. 28, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases that led to judges blocking President Joe Biden’s $400 billion student loan forgiveness program, which would cancel up to $20,000 of federally held student loan debt per borrower.

The case will affect the finances of an estimated 40 million borrowers eligible for relief, 26 million of whom applied for forgiveness this fall before federal judges ordered the program suspended in November .

No matter the outcome, federal student loan payments are set to resume two months after the court issues its ruling , which will likely come over the summer. If Biden loses, borrowers will have to adjust their budgets to fit in monthly payments they haven’t made for almost three years.

The arguments aren't televised, but anyone can listen to the oral arguments live on the Internet . They usually start at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

Lawyers for both sides have laid out the battle lines in legal briefs. Here's what the Supreme Court will consider during the hearing, and how you can follow along: 

Supreme Court to Consider Two Cases

After Biden announced the student loan forgiveness program in August, conservative opponents launched a flurry of lawsuits trying to stop it. Most were dismissed somewhere in the court system, but two were successful, resulting in federal judges blocking forgiveness. The cases have both been appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court. 

In the first case, Nebraska and five other states sued the Biden administration in federal court, seeking to have the plan struck down. A federal judge dismissed the suit, and the states appealed. In November, a higher court temporarily blocked Biden’s student loan program while the states appealed the case of Biden vs. Nebraska to the Supreme Court. 

In the second case, two college graduates with student loans, Myra Brown and Alexander Taylor , backed by a conservative activist group, sued the Department of Education arguing that the process for determining who got debt forgiveness and who didn’t was unfair and broke the law. A federal judge sided with the students in Department of Education vs. Brown. Biden’s lawyers appealed, setting the stage for the Supreme Court showdown.

There's no firm date for when the court will make its decision public. Supreme Court releases rulings throughout the year, with many coming at the very end of the court’s session in late June or early July.

A key to both cases is the legal concept of standing—that is, in order to have the court rule on the merits of a case, a plaintiff must prove that they have been harmed by the defendant breaking the law and that the court has the power to fix it. The states contend that they were harmed in several ways by the loan forgiveness program. The coalition of states, crucially, includes Missouri, where student loan servicer the Higher Education Loan Authority of the State of Missouri (better known as MOHELA) is based. The states contend that Biden’s program will hurt MOHELA—a state agency—by reducing the amount of loan servicing fees it can collect.

They also argue that the forgiveness program will deprive the states of income tax revenue they would otherwise collect on student loan balances being discharged. That is, under Biden’s program, millions of loans would be forgiven before 2025, during a window when borrowers receiving student loan discharges would be exempt from paying income taxes on the amount forgiven, thanks to a provision of the American Rescue Plan pandemic relief bill.

The students say they've been harmed by the program because there was no public comment period when it was established. Brown’s student loans aren't eligible for any forgiveness under the program because they are owed to commercial lenders rather than the government, while Taylor is eligible for $10,000 in forgiveness, but not the full $20,000 because he didn't attend college on a Pell grant. 

Biden’s Lawyers to Defend Loan Forgiveness on Two Fronts

The Biden administration is making a two-pronged argument to defend the program, people familiar with the administration’s legal strategy said. The government will argue that neither the states nor the students have standing and that even if they do, that the program is lawful. Biden’s lawyers contend that MOHELA is a separate legal entity from the state and that if it wanted to kill the loan program, it could sue on its own behalf—but it didn’t. The administration has pointed to the fact that MOHELA’s leaders have said publicly that the servicer wasn't involved with the decision to sue.  

As for the students, the Biden team points to the fact that if they win, they won’t gain anything—striking down the entire student loan forgiveness program won’t help either one and in fact, would leave Taylor worse off than before.

Between the two cases, the state lawsuit is the more likely to be given standing, said Richard Painter, a law professor at the University of Minnesota and former chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush.

“The courts may be somewhat deferential to state attorneys general in terms of having standing,” Painter said. The students have a harder sell, he said.

“To go into court say, ‘So and so got something I didn't—there are lots of things that people get that other people don't get,” he said. “Once you open that door, you're going to have everybody go into court and say, ‘I'm entitled to this, and I'm entitled to that.’”

Case Centers on HEROES Act of 2003

The White House says the HEROES Act of 2003 gives the administration the power to cancel student loan debt. Originally passed by Congress in 2003 to benefit military servicemembers with student loans, it was made permanent in 2007 and gives the Secretary of Education broad powers in the event of a national emergency.  

Specifically, the administration points to the text of the law saying the secretary may “waive or modify any statutory or regulatory provision” relating to student loan programs to ensure that borrowers are “not placed in a worse position financially in relation in relation to that financial assistance” because of a national emergency.”

In a legal brief filed with the court, Biden’s lawyers argue the student loan cancelation was a response that “reflects the unprecedented scale of the national emergency that the Secretary confronted: a multi-year global pandemic driven by an infectious disease that caused massive disruption to the economy, commerce, and employment.” 

The opponents of student loan cancellation say the HEROES Act was never intended to empower such a sweeping program. They also point to the fact that Biden declared the pandemic over in an interview with 60 Minutes in September 2022.

“While President Biden publicly declares the pandemic over, the Secretary and Department of Education are using COVID-19 to justify the Mass Debt Cancellation—an unlawful attempt to erase over $400 billion of the $1.6 trillion in federal student-loan debt,” the states argued in their own legal brief.

The national emergency from the pandemic, first declared by Donald Trump in 2020 when COVID-19 first struck, is set to expire in May . 

Painter said the states likely have a stronger argument here. “It's awfully hard to say there's a real emergency for these debtors due to the pandemic,” Painter said.

Lawmakers involved with writing the HEROES Act have weighed in on both sides of the issue. 

Controversial “Major Questions Doctrine” May Come Into Play

In June 2022, the court’s six-justice conservative majority signed an opinion in the case of West Virginia vs. EPA articulating the controversial “major questions doctrine,” which legal experts say could be a key issue in the student loan case. The doctrine holds that “administrative agencies must be able to point to ‘clear congressional authorization’ when they claim the power to make decisions of vast ‘economic and political significance.’ In a dissenting opinion, liberal Justice Elena Kagan criticized the doctrine for being newly invented and said it went against previous court decisions. Stetson law professor Jaclyn Lopez, in a commentary for the American Bar Association, said the new doctrine “inherently benefits the status quo” and that the court’s decision “has cast doubt on how agencies will be able to act on the major issues of our day.”

The states attempting to overturn student loan forgiveness have argued that the major questions doctrine applies to student loan forgiveness, while the Biden administration contends that it doesn't.

Congressional Budget Office. “ Re: Costs of Suspending Student Loan Payments and Canceling Debt .”

 White House. “ Biden-⁠Harris Administration Releases New Data Showing 26 Million People in All 50 States Applied or Were Automatically Eligible for One-Time Student Debt Relief .”

Job Creators Network. “ Fighting Against the Biden Administration’s Illegal Student Loan Bailout .”

United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division. “ Myra Brown, et. al., Plaintiffs, v. U.S. Department of Education et al., Defendants .”

Congress, Constitution Annotated.. “ Overview of Standing .”

Supreme Court. “ Reply in Support of Application to Vacate the Injunction Entered by the United States Court of Appeal for the Eighth Circuit .” “ Public Law 110–93 110th Congress .”

Supreme Court. “ Response to Application to Vacate Injunction .”

Supreme Court. “ West Virginia et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency et al .”

American Bar Association. “ The Major Questions Doctrine Post-West Virginia v. EPA .”

Supreme Court. “ Reply Brief For the Petitioners .”

Student Loans


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What Newly Released Documents in the Idaho Murder Case Reveal

Objects left for a makeshift memorial sit at the site of a quadruple murder on in Moscow, Idaho, on January 3, 2023. (David Ryder—Getty Images)

P ennsylvania search warrant documents unsealed this week revealed that authorities seized weapons and other items in a December raid of Idaho murder suspect Bryan Kohberger’s parents’ home. Kohberger is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in November.

Pennsylvania State Police and FBI arrested Kohberger in the early morning hours of Dec. 30 at his family home in the Pocono Mountains, nearly seven weeks after four students were stabbed to death on Nov. 13 in their off-campus home in the sleepy college town of Moscow, Idaho. The unsealed court records, which were released Tuesday, show that law enforcement discovered and confiscated knives, a gun and black clothing, medical-style gloves and masks—among other items—back in December.

The victims’ roommate, who was in the Moscow home at the time of the murders, described the suspect as “clad in black clothing and a mask that covered the person’s mouth and nose,” according to court documents.

Investigators also seized, searched and later dismantled a 2015 white Hyundai Elantra that Kohberger sometimes drove. Authorities said the car matched the vehicle seen in surveillance footage close to the home where murders took place, and used the footage to connect Kohberger to the murders.

Authorities also retrieved DNA swabs from Kohberger on the day of the search, according to court documents. An earlier released affidavit also said that law enforcement found a leather knife sheath at the crime scene that had Kohberger’s DNA on it.

Kohberger, 28, was a criminal justice PhD student at Washington State University, about eight miles from Moscow. He faces four counts of first-degree murder in the killings of Ethan Chapin, 20, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Madison Mogen, 21.

The violent deaths in Moscow shocked the community and sent waves of panic as the search for the suspect ensued for almost a month and a half after the murders. It was announced this week that the home where the students were killed will be demolished .

The owner of the Moscow home offered to give the property to the University of Idaho and the school accepted.

“This is a healing step and removes the physical structure where the crime that shook our community was committed,” University President Scott Green said in a memo.

A motive for the crimes has not been revealed. Kohberger has not entered a plea yet and is being held without bail in Latah County Jail in Idaho. A preliminary probable cause hearing is scheduled to begin on June 26.

Contact us at [email protected] .

what is a case in court

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What has happened with the Supreme Court student loan cases so far

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The Supreme Court had its first hearing on President Biden’s student debt relief plan on Tuesday. The Court heard oral arguments in the two cases against student debt relief- Department of Education v. Brown and Biden v. Nebraska .

Several of the Court’s conservative justices seem highly skeptical of Biden’s authority to cancel millions of dollars of federal student loan debt via the Heroes Act. The Court’s liberal justices argued in favor of the program, stating that the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting national emergency gives the administration the right to employ the Heroes Act for student debt relief. They also expressed doubts about the legal standing of the two cases brought against the debt relief plan.

The Supreme Court’s conservative justices hold a 6-3 majority, meaning that it will ultimately come down to them to decide the fate of President Biden’s student debt relief program. Experts have previously predicted that the conservative court would strike down the debt relief program. Still, a stellar performance by Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, who argued on behalf of the Biden administration, has many changing their tune.

Here are the main takeaways from this week’s oral arguments and what they mean for the future of student debt relief.

Main takeaways from the Supreme Court oral arguments

This week’s oral arguments highlighted several key questions in the legal battle over student debt relief. The most prevalent question is whether or not the Biden administration and the Department of Education have the legal authority to cancel student debt under the Heroes Act.

The Major Questions Doctrine, which specifies that executive acts with significant legal and financial implications must be authorized by Congress, was also brought up several times during the hearing. The Supreme Court has used the Major Questions Doctrine to strike down past initiatives by the Biden administration.

At the same time, both conservative and liberal justices questioned the legal standing of MOHELA, the student loan servicer in Missouri that stands to lose significant profit if the student debt relief program is implemented.

Despite the court’s serious reservations about Biden’s student debt relief program, this week’s hearing gave new hope to those who favor the program. This is largely due to arguments from the Biden administration’s legal counsel, Elizabeth Preloger.

Lawyer for the Biden administration could save student loan forgiveness

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar performed exceptionally well during this week’s oral arguments. She argued that Biden’s student debt relief plan falls well within the president’s power to relieve borrowers of significant financial burden during a national emergency. She was also sure to emphasize that Biden’s student debt relief plan is an emergency provision and a direct response to the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, countering the idea that this action is disproportionate to the harm experienced by borrowers.

Solicitor General Prelogar also argued that the plaintiffs in these two cases have not provided significant evidence that they will be directly harmed by the program.

Prelogar impressed several student loan and legal experts this week, and many have noted that she may be able to sway the justices in favor of the student debt relief plan. Her performance was contrasted by that of opposing counsel, who experts say did not argue their points nearly as well. “It was like the difference between a star quarterback and two tiddlywinks players,” student loans expert Mark Kantrowitz told CNBC.

While Prelogar’s legal skill could be enough to turn the tides in favor of student debt relief, there is still a lot of uncertainty. President Biden released a statement following Tuesday’s hearing, stating, “I’m confident we’re on the right side of the law. I’m not confident about the outcome of the decision yet.”

The Heroes Act and the Major Questions Doctrine

The Biden administration’s case relies heavily on the Heroes Act and whether or not the proposed student debt relief plan exceeds the scope of what the act is intended for. The Heroes Act gives the Secretary of Education the power to waive or modify student loan programs to protect students from the fallout of national emergencies.

Conservative justices made it clear during the oral arguments that they feel Biden’s student debt relief plan is too big a move to be considered a modification. Chief Justice John Roberts was quick to voice these concerns, saying, “We’re talking about half a trillion dollars and 43 million Americans. How does that fit under the normal understanding of modifying?”

Given the conservative-led Court’s reservations about Biden’s legal authority under the Heroes Act, it is no surprise that the Major Questions Doctrine also came into play during the arguments. This Supreme Court has a history of using the Major Questions Doctrine to strike down sweeping executive actions. The questions posed at this week’s hearing make it clear that the role of congress and perceived abuses of executive power will be a major element of the Court’s decision.

Can Missouri sue on behalf of MOHELA?

The arguments in favor of student debt relief largely focused on whether or not the plaintiffs in the two cases have the legal standing to sue over the program. In particular, justices from both sides of the aisle questioned Missouri’s decision to sue on behalf of the Higher Education Loan Authority of Missouri (MOHELA). The financial impact student loan forgiveness will have on MOHELA was a significant factor in Biden v. Nebraska making it to the Supreme Court. Yet, the company has distanced itself from the case, and the state of Missouri is suing on its behalf.

Notably, conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined liberal justices in questioning the state’s grounds to sue on behalf of MOHELA, asking why Missouri did not “strong arm” the company into bringing the case forward itself.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was highly skeptical of the state’s legal standing, saying, “It’s just very hard for me to say that there is an interest sufficient for the state to speak on behalf of an entity who has the right to sue or be sued.”

Legal counsel for the plaintiffs in Biden v. Nebraska argued that MOHELA is a state agency. Still, the justices seemed skeptical of this argument, noting that MOHELA owes money to the state of Missouri that it has not paid for over a decade.

The question of fairness 

Another major argument brought up by the Court’s conservative justices was whether or not Biden’s student debt relief plan is fair. This argument is heavily tied to Department of Education v. Brown, initially brought up by two graduate students who felt Biden’s debt relief plan did not have broad enough eligibility criteria. Some of the Court’s conservative justices, including Justice Samuel Alito, raised this question to Solicitor General Prelogar.

However, some of the Court’s liberal justices took issue with this line of questioning. Justice Sotomayor pointed out that, in a society of limited resources, there is inherent unfairness. “I think the bottom-line answer to be, everybody suffered in the pandemic. But different people got different benefits because they qualified under different programs, correct?” Justice Sotomayor said in response to the question of fairness.

Protests in support of student debt relief

As oral arguments proceeded inside the Supreme Court, hundreds of protesters rallied outside to support student loan forgiveness. The protest was organized by the NAACP, an organization that has been one of the biggest advocates for student debt relief due to the impact the decision will have on Black students. Several Democratic lawmakers appeared at the rally and addressed the protesters, including Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

The protest outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday served as an important reminder of the high stakes of this decision for the borrowers it will impact.

Justice Sotomayor made note of these high stakes and the practical implications of student debt relief during her remarks to Nebraska’s legal counsel. She outlined the significance of this decision for the 40 million borrowers who stand to benefit, as well as the financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on them. She also called into question that the Supreme Court is more qualified to decide on student debt relief than the Department of Education.

“And what you’re saying is now we’re going to give judges the right to decide how much aid to give them instead of the person with the expertise and the experience, the secretary of education who’s been dealing with educational issues and the problems surrounding student loans,” Justice Sotomayor said.

How long will the Supreme Court decision take?

Now that oral arguments have concluded, the Supreme Court justices will hold a private conference to cast tentative votes on the two challenges to Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. The court will then draft a majority opinion. There is no guarantee how long this will take, but the Court typically issues all decisions by the end of June.

Will the payment pause be extended again?

While the Biden administration indicated that its most recent pause on student loan payments will be the last, there has been speculation that the administration will extend the payment pause again if the court rules to strike down its student debt forgiveness plan. The Biden administration has not indicated that it would extend the payment pause again.

Still, such a move is not out of the question given the administration’s past extensions of the payment pause and the expected financial fallout for borrowers if the student loan forgiveness plan does not pass. While another extension is possible, borrowers should still prepare to begin making payments again this summer.

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Case law is law that is based on judicial decisions rather than law based on constitutions , statutes , or regulations . Case law concerns unique disputes resolved by courts using the concrete facts of a case. By contrast, statutes and regulations are written abstractly.

Case law, also used interchangeably with common law , refers to the collection of precedents and authority set by previous judicial decisions on a particular issue or topic. In that sense, case law differs from one jurisdiction to another. For example, a case in New York would not be decided using case law from California. Instead, New York courts will analyze the issue relying on binding precedent .  If no previous decisions on the issue exist, New York courts might look at precedents from a different jurisdiction, that would be persuasive authority rather than binding authority. Other factors such as how old the decision is and the closeness to the facts will affect the authority of a specific case in common law.

Federalism also plays a major role in determining the authority of case law in a particular court. Indeed, each circuit has its own set of binding case law. As a result, a judgment rendered in the Ninth Circuit will not be binding in the Second Circuit but will have persuasive authority. However, decisions rendered by the Supreme Court of the United States are binding on all federal courts, and on state courts regarding issues of the Constitution and federal law.

[Last updated in May of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team ]

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The U.S. Supreme Court asked lawyers in the case of Moore v. Harper to submit new briefs in the case by March 20 after the North Carolina Supreme Court granted a rehearing of the underlying redistricting case.

The high court has asked lawyers in the case to submit short briefs, no longer than 10 pages, on “the effect on this Court’s jurisdiction” following “the North Carolina Supreme Court’s February 3, 2023 order granting rehearing, and any subsequent state court proceedings.”

The request signals that the U.S. Supreme Court is considering declaring the case moot and dismissing it without issuing a decision since the North Carolina Supreme Court is hearing arguments that could alter the underlying facts. The high court originally heard arguments in the case on Dec. 7.

If the U.S. Supreme Court dismisses the case, it would save the justices from issuing a decision on the highly divisive independent state legislature theory.

North Carolina Republicans brought suit in Moore v. Harper after the North Carolina Supreme Court tossed their 2021 congressional redistricting plan as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. The state GOP argued that state courts have no right to judge actions made by state legislatures related to redistricting or election law because the U.S. Constitution states that “the Legislature” sets the “time, place, and manner” of federal elections.

Under this independent state legislature theory , state courts would have no ability to review election laws or redistricting plans passed by state legislatures. Since the U.S. Supreme Court already prevented federal courts from reviewing partisan gerrymandering complaints in a prior case involving North Carolina redistricting, this would mean that state legislatures would be unrestricted in their ability to gerrymander congressional districts. And they would only be bound by federal courts if they sought to greatly restrict voting rights or access. More extreme versions of the theory would even eliminate gubernatorial vetoes of election laws and district maps.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) speaks during a rally out in front of the Supreme Court of the United States during arguments in the Moore v. Harper case.

This theory has been widely panned by figures from across the ideological spectrum, including retired conservative judge Michael Luttig, former Attorney General Eric Holder, conservative Federalist Society co-founder Steven Calabresi, Democratic Party lawyer Marc Elias and ex-Republican National Committee lawyer Ben Ginsburg, among many others.

The case came to the U.S. Supreme Court after conservative Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh signaled their interest in the theory in the final weeks of the 2020 election.

But Republican-aligned judges won two seats on the North Carolina Supreme Court in the 2022 midterm elections, flipping control from liberals to conservatives. State GOP legislators asked the reconfigured court to rehear their case challenging the prior court’s decision striking down their congressional district map, and the new court agreed.

That put the U.S. Supreme Court in a bind. How could justices rule on a case when the underlying facts are being reheard at the same time? Or it gave the court an easy out on a thorny issue.

If the high court dismisses this case, it does not reverse the four conservative justices’ prior statements of interest in the theory. That’s enough justices to take up a similar case in the future.

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November 28, 2021

How courts work, steps in a trial.

A popular misconception is that cases are always appealed. Not often does a losing party have an automatic right of appeal. There usually must be a legal basis for the appeal an alleged material error in the trial not just the fact that the losing party didn t like the verdict.

In a civil case, either party may appeal to a higher court. In a criminal case, only the defendant has a right to an appeal in most states. (Some states give the prosecution a limited right to appeal to determine certain points of law. These appeals usually occur before the actual trial begins. Appeals by the prosecution after a verdict are not normally allowed because of the prohibition in the U. S. Constitution against double jeopardy , or being tried twice for the same crime.)

Criminal defendants convicted in state courts have a further safeguard. After using all of their rights of appeal on the state level, they may file a writ of habeas corpus in the federal courts in an attempt to show that their federal constitutional rights were violated. The right of a federal review imposes the check of the federal courts on abuses that may occur in the state courts.

An appeal is not a retrial or a new trial of the case. The appeals courts do not usually consider new witnesses or new evidence. Appeals in either civil or criminal cases are usually based on arguments that there were errors in the trial s procedure or errors in the judge's interpretation of the law.

Appeal Procedure

The party appealing is called the appellant , or sometimes the petitioner . The other party is the appellee or the respondent . The appeal is instituted with the filing of a notice of appeal . This filing marks the beginning of the time period within which the appellant must file a brief , a written argument containing that side's view of the facts and the legal arguments upon which they rely in seeking a reversal of the trial court. The appellee then has a specified time to file an answering brief. The appellant may then file a second brief answering the appellee's brief.

Sometimes, appeals courts make their decision only on the basis of the written briefs. Sometimes, they hear oral arguments before deciding a case. Often the court will ask that the case be set for oral argument, or one of the parties will request oral argument. At oral argument, each side's attorney is given a relatively brief opportunity to argue the case to the court, and to answer questions posed by the judges. In the U.S. Supreme Court, for example, an hour is set for oral argument of most cases, which gives each side's lawyers about half an hour to make their oral argument and answer questions. In the federal courts of appeals, the attorneys are often allotted less time than that - 10- or 15-minute arguments are common.

The appellate court determines whether errors occurred in applying the law at the lower court level. It generally will reverse a trial court only for an error of law. Not every error of law, however, is cause for a reversal. Some are harmless errors that did not prejudice the rights of the parties to a fair trial. For example, in a criminal case a higher court may conclude that the trial judge gave a legally improper instruction to the jury, but if the mistake were minor and in the opinion of the appellate court had no bearing on the jury's finding, the appellate court may hold it a harmless error and let a guilty verdict stand. However, an error of law, such as admitting improper evidence, may be determined to be harmful and therefore reversible error .

After a case is orally argued or otherwise presented for judgment, the appeals court judges will meet in conference to discuss the case. Appellate courts often issue written decisions, particularly when the decision deals with a new interpretation of the law, establishes a new precedent, etc. At the conference, one judge will be designated to write an opinion. The opinion may go through several drafts before a majority of the court agrees with it. Judges disagreeing with the majority opinion may issue a dissenting opinion . Judges agreeing with the result of a majority decision but disagreeing with the majority's reasoning may file a concurring opinion . Occasionally the appeals court will simply issue an unsigned opinion. These are called per curiam (by the court).

If the appeals court affirms the lower court's judgment, the case ends, unless the losing party appeals to a higher court. The lower court decision also stands if the appeals court simply dismisses the appeal (usually for reasons of jurisdiction).

If the judgment is reversed, the appellate court will usually send the case back to a lower court ( remand it) and order the trial court to take further action. It may order that

In a civil case, an appeal doesn t ordinarily prevent the enforcement of the trial court's judgment. The winning party in the trial court may order the judgment executed. However, the appealing party can file an appeal or supersedeas bond . The filing of this bond will prevent, or stay , further action on the judgment until the appeal is over by guaranteeing that the appealing party will pay or perform the judgment if it is not reversed on appeal.

>>Diagram of How a Case Moves Through the Courts >>Civil and Criminal Cases >>Settling Cases >>Pre-trial Procedures in Civil Cases >>Jurisdiction and Venue >>Pleadings >>Motions >>Discovery >>Pre-Trial Conferences >>Pre-trial Procedures in Criminal Cases >>Bringing the Charge >>Arrest Procedures >>Pre-Trial Court Appearances in Criminal Cases >>Bail >>Plea Bargaining >>Civil and Criminal Trials >>Officers of the Court >>The Jury Pool >>Selecting the Jury >>Opening Statements >>Evidence >>Direct Examination >>Cross-examination >>Motion for Directed Verdict/Dismissal >>Presentation of Evidence by the Defense >>Rebuttal >>Final Motions >>Closing Arguments >>Instructions to the Jury >>Mistrials >>Jury Deliberations >>Verdict >>Motions after Verdict >>Judgment >>Sentencing >>Appeals

How Courts Work Home | Courts and Legal Procedure | *Steps in a Trial* The Human Side of Being a Judge | Mediation

County Court

About the court.

The County Court deals with civil (non-criminal) matters.

Unlike criminal cases – in which the state prosecutes an individual – civil court cases arise where an individual or a business believes their rights have been infringed.

Types of civil case dealt with in the County Court include:

what is a case in court

Civil matters, for example, pub licensing, can also be dealt with by magistrates. More complex cases or those involving large amounts of money will appear at the High Court; the vast majority of civil cases take place in the County Court.

All County Court centres can deal with contract and tort (civil wrong) cases and recovery of land actions. Some hearing centres can also deal with bankruptcy and insolvency matters, as well as cases relating to wills and trusts (equity and contested probate actions) where the value of the trust, fund or estate does not exceed £30,000, matters under the Equality Act 2010, and actions which all parties agree to have heard in a County Court (e.g. defamation cases).

In most County Court centres, District Judges hear contested civil cases with values up to £25,000 and, in many centres, they will also deal with higher value claims with the permission of a Designated Civil Judge. Where it is only the amount in dispute, with the liability for payment having already been resolved, there is no such limit.

Some County Court centres will also have a sitting Circuit Judge who will also hear cases with values of between £10,000 and £25,000, but they are more likely to deal with higher value claims, those with complex issues or cases which may require several days of court time.

Case management of claims is undertaken almost exclusively by the District Judge.

As well as hearing cases, District Judges generally keep an overview of a case to make sure it is running smoothly. They also deal with repossessions and assess damages in uncontested cases.

County Court judgments may call for the payment or return of money or property. Successful litigants may ask the court to enforce the judgment through one of a range of procedures, including writs and warrants of control (that permit bailiffs to take control of goods).

Who sits in a County Court

Circuit judges.

Circuit Judges are appointed to one of seven regions of England and Wales, and sit in the Crown Court and County Court within their particular region.

Fee paid judges

Various fee-paid (non-salaried judges) sit occasionally in the County Court – Deputy District Judges, Deputy Circuit Judges and Recorders .

District judges

District Judges are full-time judges who deal with the majority of cases in the County Court. They are deployed on appointment to a particular circuit and may sit at any of the County Court or District Registries of the High Court on that circuit.

A judge hearing a civil case

Before trying a civil case the judge reads the relevant case papers and becomes familiar with their details.

The vast majority of civil cases tried in court do not have a jury (libel and slander trials are the main exceptions) and the judge hears them on his own, deciding them by finding facts, applying the relevant law to them – and there may be considerable argument about what that law actually is – and then giving a reasoned judgment.

Judges also play an active role in managing civil cases once they have started, helping to ensure they proceed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

This includes:

Occasionally, the parties will have agreed the relevant facts and it will not be necessary for the judge to hear any live evidence. The issues may concern the law to be applied or the terms of the judgment to be given. But more often than not, written and live evidence will be given by the parties and their witnesses and the live witnesses may be cross-examined. The judge ensures that all parties involved are given the opportunity to have their case presented and considered as fully and fairly as possible. During the case the judge will ask questions on any point they feel needs clarification. The judge also decides on all matters of procedure which may arise during a hearing.

Once the judge has heard the evidence from all parties involved and any submissions (representations) they wish to put forward, they deliver their judgment. This may be immediately, or if the case is complicated, at a later date.

Civil judges do have the power to punish parties if, for example, they are in contempt of court but, generally, civil cases do not involve the imposition of any punishment.

If the judge decides that the claimant is entitled to damages, they will have to go on to decide the amount. Or the claimant may have asked for an injunction – for example, to forbid the defendant from making excessive noise by playing the drums in the flat upstairs in the early hours of the morning, or a declaration – an order specifying the precise boundary between 2 properties about which the parties had never been able to agree. The task of the judge to is to decide on what is the appropriate remedy, if any, and on the precise terms of it.

When the judgment in the case has been delivered, the judge will usually deal with the costs of the case. This may include the fees of any lawyers, court fees paid out by the parties, fees of expert witnesses, allowances to litigants in person (those who have acted without lawyers), earnings lost and travelling and other expenses incurred by the parties and their witnesses. The general rule is that the unsuccessful party will have to pay the successful party’s costs but the judge has a wide discretion to depart from this rule. The judge’s decision on this part of the case will be very important to the parties. They may decide, for example, that the unsuccessful party should pay only a proportion of the successful party’s costs or that each party should bear their own costs. The judge may hear representations about this at the end of the case.

When the state brings charges against someone for an alleged offense, it is required to follow specific rules of criminal procedure in order to maintain consistency in the system and protect defendants’ constitutional rights . A criminal case has numerous distinct stages, only one of which is the trial.

Criminal cases usually begin with the defendant’s arrest by police. This may occur after police respond to a call or during a traffic stop, or when police identify a suspect during an investigation. Some jurisdictions require police to obtain an arrest warrant in many circumstances.

If bail is set, and the defendant can pay it, they may be free from confinement through most or all stages of the criminal case.

Once a person is in police custody, a magistrate or other judge may grant bail . In determining the amount of bail, a judge may consider factors like the severity of the alleged offense and the likelihood that the person would return to court throughout the case. A judge may order a person held without bail if the circumstances weigh substantially against letting him or her out. In some cases, such as minor offenses or a person with no criminal history, a judge may allow the defendant’s release without bail, or on his or her “own recognizance.” This requires a written agreement to return to court for all appearances.


A defendant’s first court appearance is known as the arraignment. At this appearance, the defendant has the right to have the charges against him or her read by the judge. This is also often the time when the defendant may plead “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest.” The court may set dates for future proceedings and deadlines for motions and other filings.

Indictment or Information

Prosecutors may bring formal charges in any of several different ways, depending on the jurisdiction. They may file an information or complaint, or they may seek a grand jury indictment. Federal charges require an indictment. Grand jury proceedings are typically not open to the public, and only the state may present evidence. A preliminary hearing on an information or complaint, however, is an adversarial proceeding where a defendant may present evidence to challenge the existence of probable cause.

Preliminary Hearings and Pre-Trial Motions

Depending on the volume and complexity of motions, hearings, and discovery, this phase of a criminal case may last the longest, subject to the defendant’s right to a speedy trial .

Most criminal cases involve a period of time during which each side prepares its case while also negotiating a possible plea. Either side may also bring motions seeking to dispose of certain issues before trial. A defendant might bring motions to suppress evidence obtained in violation of his or her rights, which may be inadmissible under the exclusionary rule . Shortly before trial, each side may bring motions in limine, which ask the court to exclude evidence or testimony regarding certain matters.

A defendant has the right to a trial by jury in federal criminal cases, as well as many state proceedings. They can waive jury trial and have a bench trial, in which case the judge will decide both questions of law and fact. The state presents its case first, followed by the defendant. At the close of evidence, the jury deliberates and renders a verdict of “guilty” or “not guilty.” If the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the court may declare a mistrial, in which case the state may be able to re-try the case with a new jury.

If the judge or jury finds the defendant guilty, the court will determine the punishment. Federal sentencing guidelines and similar state guidelines often define minimum and maximum sentences and identify factors the court may consider. The court may hold a separate sentencing hearing, at which the state may present evidence in support of a harsh sentence, and the defendant may request leniency by presenting evidence of mitigating factors .

A defendant may request review of his or her conviction by an appellate court. An appeal must allege specific errors or abuses of discretion by the trial court. The appellate court may affirm the conviction, reverse it, or remand the case for retrial.

Last reviewed October 2022

Criminal Law Contents   

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what is a case in court

Criminal courts

Magistrates' courts.

All criminal cases start in a magistrates’ court.

Cases are heard by either:

There is not a jury in a magistrates’ court.

Cases a magistrates’ court deals with

A magistrates’ court normally handles cases known as ‘summary offences’, for example:

It can also deal with some of the more serious offences, such as:

These are called ‘either way’ offences and can be heard either in a magistrates’ court or a Crown Court.

Find your local magistrates’ court .

Cases that magistrates pass to the Crown Court

Magistrates’ courts always pass the most serious crimes to the Crown Court, for example:

These are known as ‘indictable offences’.

Being kept in custody or granted bail

In some cases the magistrates’ court will decide if you should be kept in custody until your next court hearing, or released on bail.

This may happen if:

If you’re released on bail, you might have to follow strict conditions such as keeping away from certain people or places, staying indoors or wearing a tag.

If you do not attend court after being granted bail, you can be put in prison.

Sentences a magistrates’ court can give

The court can give punishments including:

Courts can also give a combination of punishments - for example a fine and unpaid work in the community.

If the court decides your sentence should be for longer than 6 months, it can pass your case to the Crown Court for sentencing.

Appealing a sentence or conviction

If you disagree with verdict of the magistrates’ court, you may be able to appeal .

Related content

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what is a case in court

Supreme Court signals it could sidestep ruling in major elections case

what is a case in court

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday sought additional briefings in a major elections case from North Carolina, signaling it could sidestep a ruling on a broad theory that could upend election law nationwide.

The brief court order asked the parties involved to file new court papers on the impact of recent actions by the North Carolina Supreme Court.

The case before the justices, argued in December, concerns whether the North Carolina Supreme Court had the authority last year to throw out Republican-drawn congressional districts.

Since then, the North Carolina Supreme Court has flipped from Democratic to Republican control and the new majority has moved to revisit some of the earlier rulings. Most notably, the state court last month said it would reconsider whether the Republican-drawn districts were unlawful along with another case concerning voter ID. Oral arguments in the North Carolina court are scheduled for March 14.

Thursday's order asked North Carolina Republicans, groups that challenged the maps, and the Biden administration to weigh in by March 20 on what effect the state court's actions should have on the Supreme Court's consideration of the dispute. The justices could potentially conclude that the subsequent developments in North Carolina means the case before them is now moot, meaning no decision is necessary.

The appeal brought by North Carolina Republicans led by Tim Moore, the speaker of the state House of Representatives, asked the U.S. Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, to embrace an obscure legal argument called the “independent state legislature” theory, which could strip state courts of the power to strike down certain election laws enacted by state legislatures.

The independent state legislature argument hinges on language in the Constitution that says election rules “shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof.”

Supporters of the theory, which has never been endorsed by the Supreme Court, say the language supports the notion that, when it comes to federal election rules, legislatures have ultimate power under state law, potentially irrespective of potential constraints imposed by state constitutions.

In the ruling last year, the state court ruled that the 14 congressional districts — which Republicans drew to maximize the influence of Republican voters in a state strongly contested by both main parties — were “unlawful partisan gerrymanders.”

This article was originally published on

what is a case in court

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Introduction To The Federal Court System

The federal court system has three main levels: district courts (the trial court), circuit courts which are the first level of appeal, and the Supreme Court of the United States, the final level of appeal in the federal system. There are 94 district courts, 13 circuit courts, and one Supreme Court throughout the country.

Courts in the federal system work differently in many ways than state courts. The primary difference for civil cases (as opposed to criminal cases) is the types of cases that can be heard in the federal system. Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, meaning they can only hear cases authorized by the United States Constitution or federal statutes. The federal district court is the starting point for any case arising under federal statutes, the Constitution, or treaties. This type of jurisdiction is called “original jurisdiction.” Sometimes, the jurisdiction of state courts will overlap with that of federal courts, meaning that some cases can be brought in both courts. The plaintiff has the initial choice of bringing the case in state or federal court. However, if the plaintiff chooses state court, the defendant may sometimes choose to “remove” to federal court.

Cases that are entirely based on state law may be brought in federal court under the court’s “diversity jurisdiction.” Diversity jurisdiction allows a plaintiff of one state to file a lawsuit in federal court when the defendant is located in a different state. The defendant can also seek to “remove” from state court for the same reason. To bring a state law claim in federal court, all of the plaintiffs must be located in different states than all of the defendants, and the “amount in controversy” must be more than $75,000. (Note: the rules for diversity jurisdiction are much more complicated than explained here.)

Criminal cases may not be brought under diversity jurisdiction. States may only bring criminal prosecutions in state courts, and the federal government may only bring criminal prosecutions in federal court. Also important to note, the principle of double jeopardy – which does not allow a defendant to be tried twice for the same charge – does not apply between the federal and state government. If, for example, the state brings a murder charge and does not get a conviction, it is possible for the federal government in some cases to file charges against the defendant if the act is also illegal under federal law.

Federal judges (and Supreme Court “justices”) are selected by the President and confirmed “with the advice and consent” of the Senate and “shall hold their Offices during good Behavior.” Judges may hold their position for the rest of their lives, but many resign or retire earlier. They may also be removed by impeachment by the House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate. Throughout history, fifteen federal judges have been impeached due to alleged wrongdoing. One exception to the lifetime appointment is for magistrate judges, which are selected by district judges and serve a specified term.

District Courts

The district courts are the general trial courts of the federal court system. Each district court has at least one United States District Judge, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for a life term. District courts handle trials within the federal court system – both civil and criminal. The districts are the same as those for the U.S. Attorneys, and the U.S. Attorney is the primary prosecutor for the federal government in his or her respective area.

District court judges are responsible for managing the court and supervising the court’s employees. They are able to continue to serve so long as they maintain “good behavior,” and they can be impeached and removed by Congress. There are over 670 district court judges nationwide.

Some tasks of the district court are given to federal magistrate judges. Magistrates are appointed by the district court by a majority vote of the judges and serve for a term of eight years if full-time and four years if part-time, but they can be reappointed after completion of their term. In criminal matters, magistrate judges may oversee certain cases, issue search warrants and arrest warrants, conduct initial hearings, set bail, decide certain motions (such as a motion to suppress evidence), and other similar actions. In civil cases, magistrates often handle a variety of issues such as pre-trial motions and discovery.

Federal trial courts have also been established for a few subject-specific areas. Each federal district also has a bankruptcy court for those proceedings. Additionally, some courts have nationwide jurisdiction for issues such as tax (United States Tax Court), claims against the federal government (United States Court of Federal Claims), and international trade (United States Court of International Trade).

Circuit Courts

Once the federal district court has decided a case, the case can be appealed to a United States court of appeal. There are twelve federal circuits that divide the country into different regions. The Fifth Circuit, for example, includes the states of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Cases from the district courts of those states are appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which is headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. Additionally, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has a nationwide jurisdiction over very specific issues such as patents.

Each circuit court has multiple judges, ranging from six on the First Circuit to twenty-nine on the Ninth Circuit. Circuit court judges are appointed for life by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Any case may be appealed to the circuit court once the district court has finalized a decision (some issues can be appealed before a final decision by making an “interlocutory appeal”). Appeals to circuit courts are first heard by a panel, consisting of three circuit court judges. Parties file “briefs” to the court, arguing why the trial court’s decision should be “affirmed” or “reversed.” After the briefs are filed, the court will schedule “oral argument” in which the lawyers come before the court to make their arguments and answer the judges’ questions.

Though it is rare, the entire circuit court may consider certain appeals in a process called an “en banc hearing.” (The Ninth Circuit has a different process for en banc than the rest of the circuits.) En banc opinions tend to carry more weight and are usually decided only after a panel has first heard the case. Once a panel has ruled on an issue and “published” the opinion, no future panel can overrule the previous decision. The panel can, however, suggest that the circuit take up the case en banc to reconsider the first panel’s decision.

Beyond the Federal Circuit, a few courts have been established to deal with appeals on specific subjects such as veterans claims (United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims) and military matters (United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces).

Supreme Court of the United States

The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the American judicial system, and has the power to decide appeals on all cases brought in federal court or those brought in state court but dealing with federal law. For example, if a First Amendment freedom of speech case was decided by the highest court of a state (usually the state supreme court), the case could be appealed to the federal Supreme Court. However, if that same case were decided entirely on a state law similar to the First Amendment, the Supreme Court of the United States would not be able to consider the case.

After the circuit court or state supreme court has ruled on a case, either party may choose to appeal to the Supreme Court. Unlike circuit court appeals, however, the Supreme Court is usually not required to hear the appeal. Parties may file a “writ of certiorari” to the court, asking it to hear the case. If the writ is granted, the Supreme Court will take briefs and conduct oral argument. If the writ is not granted, the lower court’s opinion stands. Certiorari is not often granted; less than 1% of appeals to the high court are actually heard by it. The Court typically hears cases when there are conflicting decisions across the country on a particular issue or when there is an egregious error in a case.

The members of the Court are referred to as “justices” and, like other federal judges, they are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for a life term. There are nine justices on the court – eight associate justices and one chief justice. The Constitution sets no requirements for Supreme Court justices, though all current members of the court are lawyers and most have served as circuit court judges. Justices are also often former law professors. The chief justice acts as the administrator of the court and is chosen by the President and approved by the Congress when the position is vacant.

The Supreme Court meets in Washington, D.C. The court conducts its annual term from the first Monday of October until each summer, usually ending in late June.

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Court Role and Structure

Federal courts hear cases involving the constitutionality of a law, cases involving the laws and treaties of the U.S. ambassadors and public ministers, disputes between two or more states, admiralty law, also known as maritime law, and bankruptcy cases. 

The federal judiciary operates separately from the executive and legislative branches, but often works with them as the Constitution requires. Federal laws are passed by Congress and signed by the President. The judicial branch decides the constitutionality of federal laws and resolves other disputes about federal laws. However, judges depend on our government’s executive branch to enforce court decisions.

Courts decide what really happened and what should be done about it. They decide whether a person committed a crime and what the punishment should be. They also provide a peaceful way to decide private disputes that people can’t resolve themselves. Depending on the dispute or crime, some cases end up in the federal courts and some end up in state courts. Learn more about the different types of federal courts.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States. Article III of the U.S. Constitution created the Supreme Court and authorized Congress to pass laws establishing a system of lower courts. In the federal court system’s present form, 94 district level trial courts and 13 courts of appeals sit below the Supreme Court. Learn more about the Supreme Court.

Courts of Appeals

There are 13 appellate courts that sit below the U.S. Supreme Court, and they are called the U.S. Courts of Appeals. The 94 federal judicial districts are organized into 12 regional circuits, each of which has a court of appeals.  The appellate court’s task is to determine whether or not the law was applied correctly in the trial court. Appeals courts consist of three judges and do not use a jury.

A court of appeals hears challenges to district court decisions from courts located within its circuit, as well as appeals from decisions of federal administrative agencies.

In addition, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has nationwide jurisdiction to hear appeals in specialized cases, such as those involving patent laws, and cases decided by the U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims .

Learn more about the courts of appeals . 

Bankruptcy Appellate Panels

Bankruptcy Appellate Panels (BAPs) are 3-judge panels authorized to hear appeals of bankruptcy court decisions. These panels are a unit of the federal courts of appeals, and must be established by that circuit. 

Five circuits have established panels: First Circuit , Sixth Circuit , Eighth Circuit , Ninth Circuit , and Tenth Circuit .

District Courts

The nation’s 94 district or trial courts are called U.S. District Courts. District courts resolve disputes by determining the facts and applying legal principles to decide who is right.  

Trial courts include the district judge who tries the case and a jury that decides the case. Magistrate judges assist district judges in preparing cases for trial. They may also conduct trials in misdemeanor cases.

There is at least one district court in each state, and the District of Columbia. Each district includes a U.S. bankruptcy court as a unit of the district court. Four territories of the United States have U.S. district courts that hear federal cases, including bankruptcy cases: Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

There are also two special trial courts. The Court of International Trade addresses cases involving international trade and customs laws. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims deals with most claims for money damages against the U.S. government. 

Bankruptcy Courts

Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases involving personal, business, or farm bankruptcy. This means a bankruptcy case cannot be filed in state court. Through the bankruptcy process, individuals or businesses that can no longer pay their creditors may either seek a court-supervised liquidation of their assets, or they may reorganize their financial affairs and work out a plan to pay their debts.

Article I Courts

Congress created several Article I, or legislative courts, that do not have full judicial power. Judicial power is the authority to be the final decider in all questions of Constitutional law, all questions of federal law and to hear claims at the core of habeas corpus issues. Article I Courts are:

Supreme Court of the United States

Case Documents

The Court makes available many different forms of information about cases. The most common way to find information about a case is to review the case’s docket -- a list of all of the filings and rulings in that case, arranged in chronological order. The docket also includes links to electronic images of most filings submitted to the court after November 13, 2017. To locate the docket for a particular case through a docket search, enter either the docket number for the case (e.g., 16-1523), or the names of one or more parties, or attorneys in the case.

The Court regularly issues orders in connection with cases. In contrast with opinions, orders are short rulings, usually resolving motions or petitions in a summary fashion. The most common type of order that the Court issues simply provides that "The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied" or "The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted." Between October and June, the Court often issues order lists on Monday mornings, resolving a large number of petitions and motions that were considered by the Justices the previous week. The Court also issues miscellaneous orders at other times when the need arises. Granted/Noted Cases Lists identify all of the cases that the Court has decided to resolve on the merits in a given Term, either by granting a petition for a writ of certiorari or by noting probable jurisdiction over an appeal. And the Court’s Journal reflects all of the official actions that the Court takes - including orders, opinions, oral arguments, and admissions to the Court’s Bar.

Case Distribution Schedule

Delivery of Documents to the Clerk’s Office

Where to Find Briefs

Special Master Reports

Special Master Dockets


Analysis: Kari Lake Takes Election Case to AZ Supreme Court

The news of today is the history of tomorrow march 3,…, true the vote’s engelbrecht says “konnech breaches must be stopped”, border security: dems miss the mark, breaking: does doj have two unrelated cases open against trump, keep the republic: william federer and dr. duke pesta speak truth…, keep the republic: top-down govt and 2000 mules, ktr: supreme court, crt, covid and leslie manookian on lawsuits for…, keep the republic: live report from the people’s convoy, updates from….

what is a case in court

Kari Lake has taken her election challenge to the Arizona Supreme Court. The filing is solid and goes through issues of real importance, not just for the 2022 election that has passed but for all elections moving forward. At issue are the lower court rulings that fundamentally change how elections are handled in Arizona, and they fundamentally change them because they ignore all of the rules. Sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and become a law nerd with me briefly.

The AZ Supreme Court has already granted the motion to expedite and set a schedule. Defendant response due 3/13. Amicus Curiae is due by 3/16 (I expect many of these.) The court will decide whether to hear argument on the case in conference on 3/21.

🚨🚨BREAKING: The AZ Supreme Court has already granted the motion to expedite and set a schedule. Defendant response due 3/13. Amicus Curiae due by 3/16 (I expect many of these.) The court will decide whether to hear argument on the case in conference on 3/21. It will be en banc,… — Tracy Beanz (@tracybeanz) March 3, 2023


Several people argue that there was “no evidence” of any fraud or issue that could render the results of the gubernatorial election uncertain. That is the standard of law that should be used when courts consider an election. The lower courts refused to use this standard, instead using the “clear and convincing” standard, which was not applicable. Even so, there WAS evidence of fraud, and there were major issues in that election.


FACT: Maricopa County DID NOT FOLLOW Chain of Custody regulations. That failure allowed 35,563 votes to be “injected” into the count.

FACT: Maricopa County did not perform Logic and Accuracy Testing as required, which led to tabulators rejecting ballots at 2/3 of the vote centers over 7k times every 30 minutes— from 6 AM to 8 PM. These are FACTS.


There has been an extraordinary amount of latitude given to those entrusted with running our elections – many times literally outside of the law – for “fear” of ruling that there was an issue with an election. People argue that rulings that affirm allegations of fraud and issues – even when they CLEARLY exist – “undermine the confidence” in our free and fair election process. I argue the OPPOSITE is true. Allowing this extraordinary latitude and criminality is rendering our elections useless.


As the filing says, courts have always ruled that election statutes are MANDATORY; otherwise, why have them at all??? Why bother if they can be ignored, followed a bit, or disposed of when inconvenient?

Remember, Liddy, attorney for Maricopa, blamed voters for voting on Election Day. In his closing arguments, he proclaimed, “you reap what you sow.”

They state what was proven at trial; failures on Election Day were deliberate. They state what Maricopa has done; Marginalize the deliberate acts with claims of “hiccups” and diminish their impact. This, even as the closing argument blamed voters (Liddy: “You reap what you sow”)


Several facts are in front of the AZ SC in this filing.

1. Did the appeals court err in what standard should be used when adjudicating election cases?


2. The EPM *requires* that ballots be counted and noted on the retrieval form “when the secure container IS OPENED.” The lower court ruled that the EPM doesn’t impose any time requirement, and an “initial estimate” is all that is required. Did the lower court make a mistake when it ruled that the language shouldn’t be interpreted as expressly written?


3. Did the lower court err when it ignored the fact that 33,563 ballots were added to the total number of ballots at a 3rd party facility – an amount far exceeding the vote margin – with the court holding that this was “insufficient” to show the outcome of the election was at least “uncertain.”


4. Did the court err when it *ignored* that Maricopa DID NOT PERFORM Logic and Accuracy testing as required?


5. Did the court err when it *ignored* the fact that because of this failure, disruptions disenfranchised thousands of Republican voters and that this rendered the outcome at least uncertain?


6. This is a big one- did the court err in dismissing the signature verification claim on laches, mischaracterizing that Kari Lake  was challenging the existing policies when in fact… She alleged they failed to follow existing policy during the election. She never argued the policy was wrong. She argued they did not follow it .


7. Did the court err in dismissing the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses as a repeat of another count without considering additional issues, like targeting Republican voters using “heat maps” in Maricopa County?

(This one can go to SCOTUS)


OK, “there’s no evidence,” people. Buckle in. We are about to provide lots and lots of it.


Chain of Custody is the cornerstone. Maricopa county admitted in its appellate brief that because of the sheer number of ballots, they didn’t follow the MANDATORY CoC procedure, and they didn’t count the ballots when they arrived at MCTEC as they were required, instead deciding to estimate how many there were and send them to Runbeck. Runbeck DID count the ballots.


When Runbeck counted, they recorded the tally on “inbound” delivery sheets at 263,379.

Then it counted the number of ballots it scanned and sent back… At 298,942.

That is a difference of 35,563 ballots inserted and scanned at Runbeck. Playing Devils Advocate- even *if* this were innocuous, we have no way to know. The count is in question because Maricopa failed to follow the mandatory  CoC procedure. That’s more than the margin of victory.

Arizona law REQUIRES that Logic and Accuracy testing be required on ALL of the counties’ deployable voting equipment. They did not do Logic and Accuracy testing. They performed stress testing. In an honest world, Logic and Accuracy testing would have picked up the issues that caused 7,000 ballots per hour to be rejected. The fact that they did not perform LA testing has not been disputed in the record. Maricopa accepts that they didn’t follow the law. Did the lower court make an error in not following it themselves?


Equal protection and due process claims are asserted due to the disproportionate number of Republican voters disenfranchised or burdened on Election Day.


As stated in my editorial for @UncoverDC:  Fraud in the Arizona Election: There’s No Evidence!! The argument coming back from Maricopa County, Hobbs, etc., is that no one was disenfranchised that day because their votes were counted when they were placed in drawer three and if they were printed with a 19” image on 20” paper, which they told us was impossible , those ballots were duplicated and cast. There’s a problem, though. There is no evidence that they were, and we know for a fact many were not .

When Clay Parikh, an expert witness for Kari Lake, visited MCTEC to sample ballots as ordered by the judge, he was standing with Jarrett, and none of the ballots that should have been duped had the duplicate ballot with it. This is required . Jarrett was unable to produce those for Parikh. Jarrett told Parikh he would have to wait at least a week . Jarrett then went on the stand and testified that there was no way a 19” ballot image could print on a 20” paper, even after he witnessed the ballots that were 19” images, and told Parikh he would have to wait for the dupes. Let that sink in.

We now get into the legal argument for the standards used, which is nuanced, but you should understand it so that you can debate with honest brokers who cross your path. Essentially, there is a dispute between courts at issue here. The appeals court used cases dissimilar to the Lake case to conclude that the “clear and convincing” evidence standard should be used to decide the facts. The cases they referenced had to do with accusations of *fraud*.


If these evidentiary standards were used to adjudicate elections, it would effectively immunize election officials from any lawsuit, even if they exercised gross negligence leading to massive issues with an election. Additionally, a lower standard of evidence is required in AZ to *remove* people from office. It doesn’t make good sense that a higher standard was intended when installing them.

The appeals court applied a presumption favoring the good faith of Maricopa County officials (I also discussed this in the editorial); however, the very moment evidence is introduced to the CONTRARY of that good faith, as in this case in a myriad of ways, that assumption dissipates.


Runbeck doesn’t get the same presumptions that Maricopa county would get because they aren’t public officials.


The appeals court narrowly interpreted a single court case to determine the definition of the “uncertainty” test, that the uncertainty must have been in great enough numbers to affect the outcome. Although Lake met that challenge, that isn’t the right standard. If unable to quantify using math, and the result is rendered uncertain, the entire vote must be rejected.


The appeals court used the incorrect standard when reviewing the CoC and L&A testing claims made and, by doing so, undermined the facts. Additionally, the panel erred by requiring “outcome-changing” results, as discussed in the last post. This is going to be where the majority of the case lies because this is a serious issue that only the upper court can rectify.


Ballots must be counted when the secure container is OPENED. It doesn’t account for the number of ballots, what time it may be, etc. Otherwise, there is no chain of custody. This point is so critical. The procedure is clear and must be followed. It isn’t ambiguous. Read it yourself. The lower court interpreted it completely wrong. Lake points out that if this is allowed to stand, it will destroy election procedure in the state.


The appeals court ignored that L&A procedure wasn’t followed (against the law), acknowledging it but using the standard “did it affect the results.” This is erroneous.


The court incorrectly viewed the challenge to signatures- again – Lake wasn’t arguing about the procedures themselves, but that they weren’t followed. I don’t understand how they did this because it was specific and clear as day and included witnesses’ testimony. It seems purposeful, in my opinion.


And finally, the due process claims are valid because such a large percentage of Republicans were affected by all of this that there is no way it was unintentional. (See heat map column)


Now, we wait to see if the AZ Supreme Court will hear this case and decide on it. There are many VERY important issues at play here that will ripple far outside of the Lake election.

“Gold-Standard” RCT from Gates-Funded Company Proves Ivermectin Works Against COVID

Call to action: health freedom florida & ending vaccine discrimination, uap report reveals 171 ufos that seem to defy natural laws, anti-rivian residents stand strong as gov. kemp touts ga as nation’s..., congressional report: fda inappropriately “collaborated” with biogen.

Delhi Court Sends AAP Leader Manish Sisodia To Judicial Custody Till 20 March

Besides this, sisodia had filed a bail plea before the rouse avenue court, which is slated to be heard on 10 march..

Delhi Court Sends AAP Leader Manish Sisodia To Judicial Custody Till 20 March

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Delhi's Rouse Avenue Court, on Monday, 6 March sent Delhi's former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to judicial custody in Tihar jail till 20 March, in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.

The arrest: The CBI had arrested the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader after questioning him for over seven hours on 26 February.

Nine senior Opposition leaders wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Sunday, 5 March, condemning what they termed the "witch-hunt" of AAP leader Manish Sisodia and "the blatant misuse of central agencies against the members of the opposition."

Bail?: The apex court had on 28 February refused to entertain Sisodia’s bail plea. The court asked Sisodia to approach the High Court, availing the alternative remedy under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code instead. 

"We are here but why don't you go to Delhi High Court?" the CJI asked.

Following this, Sisodia had filed a bail plea before the Rouse Avenue Court, which is slated to be heard on 10 March.

‘Witch-Hunt on Sisodia’: Akhilesh, KCR, Mamata & Top Oppn Leaders Write to Modi

‘Witch-Hunt on Sisodia’: Akhilesh, KCR, Mamata & Top Oppn Leaders Write to Modi

On 27 February, the Rouse Avenue Court had remanded Sisodia to CBI custody  till 4 March in connection with the alleged liquor excise policy scam. This was extended till 6 March later on Saturday, 4 March.

Manish Sisodia has been booked under sections 120B read with 477A of the Indian Penal Code and Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

( At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a membe r . Because the truth is worth it. )

Read and Breaking News at the Quint, browse for more from news and law

Topics:    manish sisodia arrest  .

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Nikki Yadav Murder Case: Court Extends Judicial Custody Of Six, Including Sahil Gehlot By 14 Days

A court here on Monday extended the judicial custody by 14 days of Sahil Gehlot, accused of killing his girlfriend Nikki Yadav and stuffing her body into a fridge in southwest Delhi before being caught.


Image: Nikki Yadav murder case (ANI)

The link court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samiksha Gupta also extended the judicial custody of other five co-accused by 14 days.

Earlier on February 22, the court had remanded Gehlot (24) to 12 days judicial custody while five other co-accused were sent to 14 days judicial custody on February 20.

Gehlot was arrested on February 14, while his father Virender Singh, cousins Naveen and Ashish and friends Lokesh and Amar were arrested three days later.

Police had initially said Gehlot confessed to having killed Yadav because she was pressuring him to marry her.

In a twist in the case, police said Yadav was the wife of Sahil Gehlot and the couple had tied the knot in 2020.

Yadav, according to a top Delhi Police officer, was opposed to the impending marriage of Gehlot his family had fixed. He killed Yadav after he could not convince her to allow him to go ahead with the wedding. 

(Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed; only the image & headline may have been reworked by )

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