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What are the five kinds of cases heard by the federal courts?

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Lynnette Wofford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The types of cases heard by federal courts are divided into two types. First, any cases involving "diversity of citizenship" in which the parties are from different states within the United States is heard by a federal court. Also, a case where two parties are from different countries would be heard by a federal court. A third type of case would be one that has been decided by a lower court but is being appealed. A fourth type of case would be one involving the US government, constitutional questions, or federal laws. These cases can be criminal, civil, or bankruptcies. 

Another way of dividing up federal cases into types is as follows:

Federal questions, including federal crimes, military issues, and intellectual property.

Diversity: Cases from people resident in different states or when two states are suing each other.

Treaties and Diplomats: Cases involving US relationships with foreign countries

Admiralty: Cases that are related to waterways, including oceans, lakes, and rivers.

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mwestwood, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Other examples of cases tried in federal court are bank robbery when the robbery occurs in a bank insured by a federal agency.  Income tax evasion is another, any crimes committed on federal reservations, air piracy, racketeering, discrimination cases, white slavery, interstate banking fraud, international and interstate transportation of illegal drugs.  Finally, crimes committed that cross state lines involve multiple jurisdictions, so the FBI becomes involved and the case goes to federal court.

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are many types of cases which can be adjudicated by the Federal court system.  Any federal crime can be handled and a few examples are: Appeals from lower courts, Disputes between the states, Immigration issues, Federal Crimes ( insider trading, stock fraud) Tax Fraud, US Law, Treaties with Foreign Governments and cases interpreting the Constitution.

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krcavnar | Student

The federal courts are courts of "limited" jurisdiction because they may only decide certain types of cases.  These are provided by Congressional authority or as identified in the Constitution. Federal courts decide cases concerning the constitutionality of a law, cases involving the laws and treaties of the U.S.; ambassadors and public ministers; disputes between two or more states; admiralty law (law of United States coastal waters) and bankruptcy cases.  Also, certain legal disputes may be resolved in special courts that are part of federal administrative agencies.