View random article

What Is a District Court?

The US court system is comprised of a hierarchy of courts, from the lower local courts to the highest Supreme Court. These various levels of court address matters that directly correlate with the court’s scope and function. A district court is a court that operates within the federal court system, and handles mostly all cases brought to trial.

There are 91 district courts that exist within the US jurisdiction. Such district courts are tasked to hear and decide upon all types of cases, whether civil or criminal. It is possible for a district court to hear cases involving maritime jurisdiction, wherein the dispute occurred at sea. It is also possible for a district court to hear cases involving litigants who reside in different states or wherein one litigant is a foreign national. The last type of dispute involving people of different domiciles can only be settled by a district court if the dispute involves an amount of or more than 75,000 US dollars. A district court also has jurisdiction over cases that are considered under the federal jurisdiction. For example, one litigant is a citizen and the other litigant is a federal employee or agency.

Judges who preside over matters within the district court system are appointed by the president of the US. Such appointments have no term limitations as they are for life. However, as much as the president has appointing power, the Congress has the legal right to determine the number of district court judges there can be.


Featured in Politics