State Courts (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
Judicial tribunals established by each of the fifty states.
Each of the fifty state court systems in the United States operates independently under the constitution and the laws of the particular state. The character and names of the courts vary from state to state, but they have common structural elements.
State governments create state courts through the enactment of statutes or by constitutional provisions for the purpose of enforcing state law. Like the federal court system, the judicial branch of each state is an independent entity, often called "the third branch" of government (the other two being the executive and legislative branches). Though independent, state courts are dependent on the state legislatures for the appropriation of money to run the judicial system. Legislatures also authorize court systems to establish rules of procedure and sometimes direct the courts to investigate problems in the legal system.
Most states have a multilevel court structure, including a trial court, an intermediate court of appeals, and a supreme court. Only eight states have a two-tiered system consisting of a trial court and a supreme court. Apart from this general structure, the organization of state courts and their personnel are determined by the laws that created the court system and by the court's own rules.
State courts are...
(The entire section is 854 words.)
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