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2.州法院体系

2.State Court System

   尽管 联邦制允许美国各州建立一个适合自身需要的法院体系,因而并不存在一个“典型”的州法院体系 ,但一般而言,州法院体系 包括几个层级,或者说几个审级。州法院可能包括(1)具有有限管 辖权的初审法院,(2)具有一般管 辖权的初审法院,(3)上诉法院和 (4) 州最高法院  。通常来说,案件的任何一方当事人都有向初审法院陈述案情的机会,如果他/ 她败诉,至 少还可向其中一级上诉法院陈述案情。最后需要指出,如果州最高法院 的判决涉及联邦法律或者联邦宪 法问题,那 么此项判决可进一步被上诉至联邦最高法院.
   Although there is no “typical” state court system because federalism allows each state to adopt a court system fitted to its individual needs, a state court system usually includes several levels, or tiers, of courts. State courts may include trial courts of limited jurisdiction, trial courts of general jurisdiction, appellate courts,and the state’s highest court(often called the state supreme court). Generally , and person who is a party to a lawsuit has the opportunities to plead the case before a trial court and then, if he or she loses, before at least one level of appellate court. Finally, if a federal stature or federal constitutional issue is involved in the decision of the state Supreme Court, that decision may be further appealed to the United States Supreme Court. 
   有限 管辖权法院
     (1) Courts of limited jurisdiction
   所有 州法院的管辖权都在某种程度上受到了限制。任何法院的管辖权都系来自州宪法或者州立法机关通过的制定法,或同时来自上述二者的授权。顾名思义,有限管辖权法院主要用于处理种类有限的案件或专门案件。有限管辖权法院 是一级初审法院。
   All state courts have had their jurisdiction limited in some way. The jurisdiction of any court comes from the state constitution or from statutes passed by the state legislature, or both. Courts of limited jurisdiction, as their name implies, are created to handle cases of limited or special nature. Court of limited jurisdiction is the first set of state trial courts.
   最常 见的有限管辖权法院是市镇法院。市镇法院通常仅限于处理轻微的违法案件或者轻罪案件。市镇法院通常被称为“交通法院”,因为它们 的主要职能就是听审一个城市范围内的涉及交通违法的案件。市镇法院通常对涉及违反城市条例的案件具有管辖权。
   One of the most common courts of limited jurisdiction is the municipal court. Municipal courts are often limited to minor offenses or misdemeanors. Municipal courts are often referred as”traffic courts”because their main function is to hear cases involving traffic violations within the city limits. Municipal courts frequently have jurisdiction over cases involving violations of city ordinances.
  另外一 类有限管辖权法院是县法院。正如市镇法院仅在城市的范围行使管辖权,县法院在一个县的范围行使管辖权。县法院通常比市镇法拥有更广泛的管辖权。比如说,在刑事案件中,对于可判处长达一年监禁刑和可判处相对较高罚金※※※ 刑的犯罪行为,县法院都可能拥有管辖权。
   Another category of courts of limited jurisdiction includes county courts. Like municipal courts,which are limited to exercising their jurisdiction within city limits, county courts’ jurisdiction is limited to county lines. County courts typically have a greater expanse of jurisdiction than municipal courts. In criminal cases, for example, county courts may have jurisdiction over offenses with penalties as great as one year in prison and relatively high fines.
(2)—般管辖权法 院
 Courts of general jurisdiction
    在大多数州的法院系统中,第二层级的法院是指一般管辖权法 院。一般辖权法院有权审理属于州一般司法管辖权范围内的任何案件。换言之,一般管辖权法 院可根据州宪法和法律,对任何可通过司法解决的案件作出裁决。一般管辖权法 院是州的主要初审法院。它们可能亦被称为高等法院、地区法院、巡回法院,或最高法院(在纽约州如此)。一般管辖权法 院是又一级初审法院。
   A second level of courts in most state judicial system consists of courts of general jurisdiction. A court of general jurisdiction has the power to hear any case that falls within the general judicial power of the state. That is , a court of general jurisdiction has the authority to render a verdict in any case capable of judicial resolution under the constitution and laws of the state. Courts of general jurisdiction are the major trial courts of the state. They may be called superior courts, district courts, circuit courts, as in the case of New York, supreme courts. Court of general jurisdiction is another set of state trial courts.
上诉法院
   所有 的州都有某种上诉机制,初审法院中败诉的诉讼当事人可在此级法院提起上诉。大多数州在初审法院和州最高上诉法院之间设置了中间上诉法院。中间上诉法院的设置既可保证诉讼当事人至少有一次上诉的权利,又可使一州最高 法院无须“诉必亲躬”。中间上诉 法院筛选审理常规案件,州最高法院 则仅审理最为重要的案件.
Appellate courts
   All states have some kind of appeals mechanism available for litigants who were unsuccessful at the trial-court level. Most states have created an intermediate appeals courts between the trial courts and the states highest court of appeal. The purpose of intermediate appeals is to guarantee the litigants the right to at least one appeal while preventing the state’s highest court from having to hear “routine”appeals. These intermediate appellate courts screen out the routine cases so that only the most important cases reach the states’s highest court.
  (4)州最高法院
   每个州都有州最高上诉法院,通常被称为州最高法院 。在大法官的数量、法院的程序等方面,很多州选择按照美国最高法院的模式去设立其最高法院。州最高的上诉法院通常被称作最高法院,但也可能有其他叫法。例如,纽约州和马里兰州的州最高法院 都被称为“上诉法院”。州最高法院 对涉及本州法律的所有问题所作的判决均为终审判决。只有涉及联邦法律问题时,州最高法院 的判决才有可能被联邦最高法院推翻。
State Supreme(Highest) Courts
   Every state has a highest appellate court, usually called the state supreme court. Many states have chosen to pattern their state’s highest court after the U.S. Supreme Court in the number of justices, procedures, and so forth. The highest appellate court in a state is usually called the Supreme Court but many be called by some other names. For example,in both New York and Maryland, the highest state court is called the court of appeals. The decisions of each state’s highest court on all questions of state law are final. Only when issues of federal law are involved can a decision made by a state’s highest court be overruled by the United States Supreme Court.
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