In this unit, you are studying the judicial branch of government and the rules that apply to all cases that are filed with a court, such as jurisdiction and the justiciability doctrine. With these rules in mind, analyze the following fact patterns.
- Billy, a resident of Dallas, Texas, was having trouble paying his bills. Billy, along with his best friend Edward, decided that they would rob a bank in neighboring Wichita Falls to raise some funds. During the robbery, things went horribly wrong, and Billy and Edward ended up taking a hostage and driving to nearby Randlett, Oklahoma, where they took refuge in Edward’s grandmother’s home. Both Billy and Edward eventually were apprehended in Randlett, and the hostage was released. Which court would possess jurisdiction over this case—state or federal? Explain your answer.
- Newlyweds Malia and Kevin were honeymooning in Hawaii. They were on their way to a Hawaiian luau when they were rear-ended by a local resident who lived in Honolulu. Malia and Kevin were both hospitalized and required extensive surgery for back and neck injuries. Malia and Kevin wish to sue the local resident. Which court would possess jurisdiction over their cases—state or federal? Explain your answer.
- Jane recently discovered that she is pregnant. When she shared the happy news with her coworkers at a local law firm, everyone was overjoyed—especially her good friend, Chiquita. Unfortunately, the very next week, Jane was fired from her position, despite receiving stellar annual reviews. Her supervisor said that they were downsizing because they had lost a big case. Jane believes that she was fired because she is pregnant. Jane does not want to call any attention to her firing, so she has decided not to do anything about the firing; however, Jane’s friend Chiquita, who is a paralegal, is furious with the attorney. She has decided to file the case on behalf of her friend, Jane. In what court would this case be filed—state or federal? Would Chiquita face any problems with filing the lawsuit? If so, what? Explain your answer.
In a 2–3-page paper, answer the questions associated with each fact pattern, and also complete the following:
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- Identify the federal district in which you reside and the specific district, such as the Northern District of Alabama, the Middle District of Alabama, or the Southern District of Alabama.
- Identify the branch of government that created these lower courts.
- Review the Web site for your local state circuit court and your local federal. district court, and provide the citation to each.