The United States Court System
Courts provide a platform to determine what happened in a reported case. Moreover, it decides on the fate and sentence of the convicted if found guilty. In that case, courts help in making a decision where parties involved fail to come into a peaceful accord (“Court Role and Structure”, n.d.). The superior court decides on various types of cases. The court handles cases such as criminal record clearance, eviction, guardianship and adoption, debts resulting from unpaid bills, child support, and custody, as well as domestic wrangles. The United States court system is, therefore, comprised of several divisions to handle the diverse types of cases. The Chancery and the Law divisions are some of the components of the superior court system.
On the one hand, the chancery division deals with compensation cases such as divorce and guardianship, which do not involve money. On the other hand, the law division handles various cases such as criminal record clearance and name changing procedures. Each of these divisions comprises various components that handle specific lawsuits.
The chancery division
Three court parts generally make up the chancery division. These are the family, the general equity, and the probate parts. The family part addresses claims concerning matters revolving around family members. These may include divorce domestic wrangles, neglect, and divorce. The probate part incorporates the Surrogate’s court as part of its judicial system. At times, the surrogate acts as a judge in the probate. However, in most cases, the surrogate only acts as a clerk in this part of the chancery division. In this case, it only handles lawsuit files, which are later addressed in the family part. The general equity handles any other case that the family and probate parts do not address. Foreclosure cases are some of the cases addressed in this part of the Chancery division.
The law division
This division of the superior court also comprises three parts including the civil, special civil, and criminal parts. The civil part handles cases such as individual name changes, injuries and property damage, clearance of all criminal records, as well as negligence damages involving money. The civil part also handles lawsuits involving money damages exceeding $15,000. The special civil part handles cases involving refunds of money used as a security deposit. These deposits may range between $5,000 and $15,000. Additionally, this part of the law division addresses matters of property destruction, unpaid rent, and other bills of any amount of money below $3,000. The criminal part hears cases of individuals convicted of serious crimes, which upon sentencing, these individuals spend long periods of incarceration behind bars. It is important to note that less serious crimes are handled by municipal courts.
Contested and uncontested cases are usually common among married couples seeking a divorce. In a contested divorce, the parties involved tend to find themselves in situations where they cannot come to a consensus on particular matters before divorcing. In this case, the court has to intervene and settle these differences before finalizing the divorce process. For the case of an uncontested divorce, the couples agree on all the major issues by the time they are appearing before the judge or judges in a court of law.
Municipal courts handle cases involving the violation of codes of conduct of a particular city or town. Such violations include shoplifting and pickpocketing, disturbing the city’s peace, and breaking traffic rules within the municipality. The main difference between municipal and superior courts is often the magnitude of seriousness in the cases handled in each of these courts. The municipal courts handle the less serious cases that are only within that municipality. Superior courts handle more serious crimes that may not be limited to a specific city or town.
Court Role and Structure. United States Courts. Retrieved 10 March 2021, from https://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/court-role-and-structure.