Circuit Court Law and Legal Definition

A circuit court is an intermediate appellate court of the United States federal court system. A circuit court sits in one of the 11 circuits the country is divided into. A circuit court decides appeals from the district courts within its federal judicial circuit, as well as certain other federal courts and administrative agencies.

Historically, circuit courts were originally courts that would hold sessions in multiple locations within its judicial district. Circuit judges would travel long distances to hear cases in far-flung areas. Most of these local judicial circuits have disappeared now that local areas have a large enough caseload to establish a judiciary system.