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Greetings from a grateful for rain Community. Sadly, it’s still extremely dry,

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Greetings from a grateful for rain Community. Sadly, it’s still extremely dry, but it will help stop fires. Let’s segue from the complexities of Texas state governing entities, into the enforcing, 3rd branch of Texas government, the state Judiciary–the place one goes to resolve a dispute, or to correct wrongdoing (especially if we have been charged with said wrong doing!) In the past decade or so, especially, it’s been where GOVERNMENT politicians go (I’m done calling them Executives, they don’t deserve the perks)
We will then finish with Chapter 13 or 9, Local Governments in Texas. FYI Exam 2 will be available from 11-14 August, same format. If you want to return or sell text (a students in this section asked) you can use the e-text and Texas.gov for references. Meanwhile…Texas Justice/law enforcement.
Local government and Judicial enforcing concepts flow very well with the material on the state’s judicial system for two essential reasons:
1. Local government starts with the county–because all Texas’ public, civil and common law must be upheld, enforced, practiced, etc through Texas’ 254 county governments. Even the TX Dept. of Public Safety must request cases, tickets etc be adjudicated through a counties’ judicial system. and,
2. Because all of these entities are reflected and accessible to us every day–sheriffs, justices of the peace, county road crew, taxes on your vehicle purchase, fines for texting in a school zone, marriage license, home appraisal, on and on!
Courts themselves are a very convenient way of studying legal systems, because learning about the Court system any government adopts brings out all the other terms, concepts and principles applicable to that government’s LEGAL system. It’s the playing field, the stage where the system is put into action. We pay a great deal of attention to state and local courts, because (again) MOST LAW HAPPENS AT THE STATE & LOCAL LEVEL. In fact, over 98% of all litigation happens in these courts. Despite the fact that federal and state law may apply to a crime or dispute, often it’s the state’s higher courts that get the case. Thats because of our legal system principles, that one be tried by a jury of ones peers, that juries bring the community into the judgement/outcome.
As always, definitions are very important. Chapter 9/8 is full of legal jargon–some of you may have taken criminal justice or a “poli sci” (government) course, and will likely see some familiar terms. However, unless you have been around the courts for a criminal or civil action, you will need to hone up on these Latin-derived and Latin terms.
For assignment, please submit the following:
stare decisis
adversary process
plaintiff
civil law
criminal law
standing to sue
grand jury
petit jury
preemptory challenge
original jurisdiction
appellate jurisdiction
court of record
probate court
Next, we need to start analyzing and categorizing the various terms and concepts. In part 2 of WEEK 15, you will apply them to 2 different issues in current events. Central to this phase of learning is understanding how politics affects policy, especially in lawsuit-happy America.
In state government, the judicial setting is a major center, as well as a “slice” of the legal system, by virtue of the crossroads of jurisdictions physically present.
For this part of the assignment, look over some of the most important jurisdictional notions:
1. In chapter 9 or 8, find the discussion of civil/criminal law, and publish a a brief comparison of these, based on the following:
-purpose–what does each type of law attempt to do (note: in legal processes, the simplest way to understand purpose of law is to start with the outcome possible–a fine, a fee, jail, settlement $$, etc.)
-who is the plaintiff in each?
-different standard of guilt (what has to be proved)
-outcomes of each
2. Next, please briefly compare/contrast procedural Jurisdiction, that is, original and appellate.
-what is the purpose of each?
-what processes happen in each?
-what is the title of the court which hears each of these? (no need to list numbers, just what are these courts called)

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