court of appeals-12 or 13 of them?

in my govt class we are being taught that there are 12 courts of appeals +1-that 13 is technically not an acceptable answer but saying 12 doesnt say enough-why is this? also is this just for state courts of appeals or federal courts of appeals as well?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are 12 Circuit Courts of Appeal in the Federal System (11 numbered + the District of Columbia Circuit) that hear the majority of appeals from the U.S. District Courts and some state court matters. In addition, there is a specialized Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which hears appeals from all lower courts IF they are on a certain few specialized legal issues.

    As to the states, there are many different so-called intermediate courts (those between the trial courts and the State Supreme Court); it would take an immense amount of work to come up with a comprehensive answer for these.

    Source(s): Former government professor
  • 1 decade ago

    There are 11 circuits. DC has its own circuit making 12. Then there is a Federal court of appeals, things like Bankruptcy and Military court appeals go here. In the other circuits the appeals come from the lower circuit courts or from the states that are in those circuits.

    So the answer is there are 12 circuits that operate in the same manner and 1 circuit that is completely different.

  • Teekno
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    OK, there are 11 numbered districts -- 1 through 11 -- that cover defined geographical areas, generally several states. There is a 12th court of appeals specifically for DC, and then there is another court called the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. It is a full appellate court in its own right, but it's specifically to appeal decisions from some specified government bodies:

    United States Court of Federal Claims

    United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

    United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

    United States Board of Appeals and Interferences of the United States Patent and Trademark Office

    Boards of Contract Appeals (for government contracts)

    United States Merit Systems Protection Board (federal employment and employment benefits)

    United States International Trade Commission

    United States Court of International Trade

    United States District Courts (for patent and certain other appeals)

    So, this "13th Appellate Court" is different from the others because it's not a matter of where (geographically) the legal action began, but in which federal agency the decision was made.

  • 1 decade ago


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