Both the plaintiff (the person suing) and the defendant (the person being sued) have a right to appeal to a higher court if they think there was a legal error in the trial. Generally, a notice of appeal has to be filed within 30 days after the trial court enters a judgment in the lawsuit. Most states have a two-tier system for appellate review of a judgment. The federal court system also has two different levels of appellate review. The appeal is first filed in an intermediate appellate state or federal court or court of appeals. After the court of appeals reviews the judgment, a further appeal is possible to a court of last resort, the state supreme court for state court appeals or the Supreme Court of the United States for federal court appeals.
Protective orders are orders issued by a judge to protect a victim of domestic abuse, stalking, harassment, or intimidation. A protective order can only be used against someone related to the victim or with whom the victim has had an intimate relationship. This would include a spouse, sibling, parent, or boyfriend/girlfriend.
Jurisdiction refers to the authority of a court to hear and decide a case. A federal court has subject matter jurisdiction in two broad categories of cases. The federal court has federal question jurisdiction, which is the authority to hear legal disputes involving the U.S. Constitution, federal laws, and treaties. The federal court also has diversity jurisdiction, which means lawsuits between two states or between citizens of two different states in a case in which at least $75,000 of damages is sought.
The U.S. Congress passed a law authorizing the federal judiciary to adopt rules of practice and procedure for federal court proceedings. Congress also created a body called the Judicial Conference of the United States to administer the federal courts. The Supreme Court of the United States can prescribe federal procedural rules, and the Judicial Conference has authority to recommend changes to the rules. Any rules adopted by the Supreme Court are subject to congressional review.
State legislatures have passed laws setting up various state administrative agencies. Some examples of state administrative agencies include public utilities commissions, worker’s compensation bureaus, motor vehicle bureaus, and natural resources departments. State agencies exercise powers delegated to them by the state legislature.