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Court History and Purpose Paper Essay

The Superior Court of Los Angeles County is the largest single unified court in the United States. This court serves over 40 courthouses and operates about 600 courtrooms and staffs approximately 5,400 employees. The Municipal court is devoted to resolving and recording legal matters while upholding values of Integrity, Accessibility, and fairness. Growing up in Los Angeles has always fascinated me with how the court system processes so many criminals in the amount of time they have, with the amount of employees they staff. How do they do it (Hansen, 1998)? The traffic court handles cases that start off with citations or tickets written by a law enforcement officer. Parking tickets are not process at traffic division courts, only by local city or Los Angeles Parking Violations Bureau. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) cases are handled in criminal court division.

When cases the State has filed against one or more persons involved in criminal offenses such as, infractions, felonies, and misdemeanors the criminal court handles these cases. Criminal division also handles warrants, fugitive warrants and extradition proceedings, and grand jury indictments. The policy makers of the U.S. Constitution requested that the federal government have limited power, to regulate the kind of cases federal courts would have. Most of the laws that are passed are decided by usually the state which allows the state court to handle most disputes that govern our lives on day to day bases. The federal courts defend our freedom of speech and our equal protection under the law. Federalism is the significant idea of a government dividing the power amongst a national government and a state or regional government. State courts primarily handle all cases that the federal court will not take.

When federal courts portray federal laws, state court interprets a state law which is called “General Jurisdiction”. The federal court system only hears special cases under certain circumstances. Basically, the federal court hear two types of cases; those that raise a “federal question” and those that involving “diversity of citizenship” (Gray, Ritter & Graham, 2012). A common law legal system is a system of law identified by case law which is developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals. Common law systems also include images enacted by legislative frame. In comparison to common law systems, civil law systems are created on a set of legal codes, which are organized laws that pursue to cover exhaustively the various legal domains. It is characterized by an absence of precedent in the judicial application of these codes. Common law courts have had the authority to make law where no legislative statute exists, and statutes mean what courts interpret them to mean. By contrast, in the civil law jurisdictions the legal tradition that prevails or is combined with common law is statured.

The criminal justice system is made up of sets of agencies and processes that are established by governments to control crime and impose penalties on those who violate the law. The criminal justice system operates differently depending on the jurisdiction it is in charge of, whether it be city, county, state, federal or tribal government or military installation. Different jurisdictions have various laws, agencies, and ways of managing the criminal justice process. The justice system is the mechanism that upholds the rule of the law. The courts provide a forum to resolve disputes and to test and enforce laws in a fair and rational manner.

The courts are an impartial forum, and judges are free to apply the law without regard to the government’s wishes or the weight of the public’s opinion. Court decisions are based on what the law says and what the evidence proves. There is no place in the courts for suspicion, bias or favoritism. This is why justice is often symbolized as a blindfolded figure balancing a set of scales, oblivious to anything that could detract from the pursuit of an outcome that is just and fair. Though a number of rights derived from the Constitution protect the accused from abuses and overreaching from law enforcement officers, the arguably most important of these rights are the Miranda advisement and the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles_County_Superior_Court http://judiciallearningcenter.org/state-courts-vs-federal-courts

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