General Jurisdiction

General Jurisdiction refers to a court that holds the authority to hear all types of cases except those prohibited by the laws in that state. Case types include civil, criminal, family, probate, and others. While each state has a system that establishes trial courts of general jurisdiction, federal courts do not have general jurisdiction, as they are limited to hearing […]

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Plaintiff is the term used to describe a party who initiates a court action, whether a lawsuit in civil court, or charges in criminal court, in order to seek a legal remedy. The party responding to the lawsuit, or the person being charged with a crime, is known as the Defendant. In criminal court proceedings, the plaintiff can refer to […]

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Grand Jury

Since colonial times, America has embraced the custom of the grand jury in criminal law. This panel of 12 to 23 ordinary citizens reviews evidence, hears sworn testimony, and otherwise conducts an investigation into alleged criminal conduct, to determine whether criminal charges should be brought against the accused. This method of establishing “probable cause” to charge a person with a […]

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