Английский язык. Учебное пособие. Бабушкин А.П - 15 стр.


the same nationwide. However, the authority of state courts is not always so clear. To
make things more confusing, state and federal courts often may hear the same types
of cases.
Overlapping Jurisdiction
Overlapping jurisdiction occurs when more than
one court in the same judicial system may hear a particular case. This occurs most
often in the states where new trial courts of limited jurisdiction were added often over
the years without much consideration to the possible overlapping authority of new
and old courts. Often, court jurisdiction was only vaguely spelled out in state law so
that overlapping authority practically was guaranteed. The result was that more than
one type of court or a number of identical courts in a particular geographic area could
hear the same case.
Besides creating much confusion, overlapping jurisdiction makes it possible
for both sides in a lawsuit to try to locate a court in which they believe the rules of
procedure, the workload of the court, or the attitudes of judges and perhaps
prosecutors may be most beneficial to them. Part of their legal strategy may include
trying to transfer a case from one court to another in order to delay a judicial
decision, or in hopes of getting a more favorable decision.
Concurrent Jurisdiction
Not only do the jurisdictions of some state courts
overlap, but state and federal courts also may hear many of the same cases. This is
called concurrent jurisdiction. In these instances, citizens find that frequently it is
possible to choose between state or federal courts as part of a strategy to win their
case. For example, Congress has given the federal courts the authority to hear cases
citizens of different states (diversity cases)
when the sum of money
involved is over $10,000. But state courts
may hear these same cases. State
courts have the exclusive authority to hear cases involving less than this amount.
Concurrent jurisdiction gives the litigants in a case a number of options. For
example, if the money involved is close to, but less than, $10,000, the person
initiating the lawsuit
may claim $10,000 or more in order to get the case
into a federal district court; or, the plaintiff may keep the claim under $10,000 in the
belief that state courts will be more favorable. Another example is a case in which the
claim for money is over $10,000, but since the case is against an individual or
corporation in a state far away from the plaintiff, the case may be filed in the home
state court with hopes of making a defense expensive and inconvenient for the
defendant and to gain the sympathy of a judge and jury from the plaintiff’s home
A defendant in a case like this may try to have the case transferred to a federal
district court by convincing a federal judge that the case involves an important or
substantial federal question,
which is an additional basis of federal court jurisdiction.
Exactly what is a federal question depends on which federal statute or provision of
the Constitution is cited and how it is made into an issue by lawyers. Raising a
federal question sometimes requires an imaginative legal argument, since it is
primarily a strategy to get a case into the federal courts. However, if a case already
has begun in a state court, federal judges are likely to defer to state authority and
permit state courts to decide them unless there is a very compelling reason to