Court Law and Legal Definition

A court is a governmental body consisting of one or more judges who adjudicate disputes and administer justice in accordance with law. The room in which a law court sits is called a court room. A court must have both personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction.

The term Court could also mean the building where the judge or judges convene to adjudicate disputes and administer justice. In this sense it referred to as courthouse.

Each State will have a court system for the territory under its control. Each State will have a Supreme Court which is the highest court of appeal in that State. Apart from Supreme Court there appellate courts, District courts, Probate courts, Juvenile courts, Family courts etc. The lowest courts in a State are the courts of inferior jurisdiction like the court of common pleas, small claims court etc. Usually litigation begins at the trial courts which are usually the District courts.

Apart from the state courts there are federal courts also. The federal courts are comprised of:

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals
  • U.S. District Courts
  • Bankruptcy Courts

There are also several Article I or legislative courts that do not have full judicial power. Article I courts are U.S. Court of Military Appeals, U.S. Tax Court, and U.S. Court of Veterans' Appeals were established under Article I of the Constitution.