Explain what is meant by a dual court system, and describe the effects it has on how cases are handled and appealed.
The US has a dual court system in that it has state courts and federal courts. The state courts handle cases that involve state laws, such as those with divorce, contracts, custody cases, real estate, etc. The federal courts handle only cases that involve federal law (such as immigration, use of federal property, eminent domain for federal lands, etc.) and cases between people who live in different states sometimes.
State court cases are heard first in trial courts, then state appelate courts, then state supreme courts. The state supreme court is the last court for a state law case. Federal courts begin at the district court level, then move to the federal courts of appeal in the circuits, and then, if the US Supreme Court agrees, they are heard by the Supreme Court. A state case can never be heard by a federal court unless a federal law issue is also involved and a state court can never hear a federal court issue.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).