Here at CourtReference, we’ve quite familiar with the court systems in every state. Unless you have business with courts in many different states, you may not be aware of how different court systems can be from state to state.
The basic structure is not so different; each state usually has a trial court in which the parties argue both the facts and the law in front of a judge or jury. The judge decides how to apply the law, and the judge or jury decides which facts are true and which are not – in other words, which party … Read More
Last month we discussed judges (Justices of the Peace and Magistrates) who are not required to have law degrees, and whose courts have jurisdiction over areas larger than a city or town. Judges of city, town, village, and other municipal courts in many states are also not required to have law degrees or be practicing lawyers. These judges only have geographical jurisdiction over their own municipality, and in many states their subject-matter jurisdiction is limited to violations of the municipality’s ordinances.
“Justice of the Peace” is an imposing title. Almost like Justice of the Supreme Court? Not quite; A Justice of the Peace presides over a court of limited territorial and subject-matter jurisdiction, and is addressed as “Judge” more often than “Justice”. Justices of the Peace were originally English quasi-judicial officers who volunteered to preserve the “king’s peace” in their local county or borough. Important qualifications for the position were land ownership and connections with the monarchy (and later, with the Lord Chancellor and Parliament).
American colonists brought the Justice of the Peace system with them, and it persisted throughout the … Read More
Do you need to find a physician that specializes in a certain field? Are you new to an area and want to find a doctor within a certain distance from home? Has your doctor ever been cited for disciplinary actions or do you wish to file a complaint? These are all questions that can be answered using the links on our “Professional License Records Resources” website.
Most states provide a search of physician licenses; although the type of information and the amount provided varies by state. Some of the states providing physician searches are: “California Medical Board… Read More
Among the many types of public information available on our “Free Public Records Search Directory” you can access the salaries of various federal, state, and county employees. Some of the databases are maintained by newspapers from around the country. Others are maintained by State agencies. Some of the sites provide an accounting of federal or state expenditures, while others allow a salary search of individual employees or positions.
As you know, real estate values have declined in recent years. Are you wondering about the value of the homes in your neighborhood? One way to check the value of your property or the property down the street is to review the “assessed value.” Although the assessed value of property is not the same as the appraised value or market value, it can be useful for comparison purposes.
All states have a system for establishing the value of land and buildings referred to as the “assessed value.” The “assessed value” is used for the purpose of calculating property taxes. Property … Read More
Specialized courts, whether separate entities or divisions of other courts, handle specific types of cases. They are designed to dispense justice efficiently by maintaining expertise in a particular area, following a procedure tailored to their subject matter, collaborating with other government agencies, or a combination of these approaches.
Specialized courts may be set up not to simply to determine guilt and punishment, but to arrange and supervise treatment for people with mental health or substance abuse problems. Examples of these “accountability” or “collaborative” courts are Drug Courts, Mental Health Courts, and Veterans Courts.
Are you looking for local ordinances for your town, city, or county? Local ordinances used to be very difficult to find, but as more and more local governments are putting their laws online, access has become much easier. City and county laws apply to many aspects of our daily lives. Many local laws deal with maintaining public safety, health, and general welfare. Ordinances are generally organized into local codes, such as traffic code, business regulation and taxation code, general offenses code, and building code. This can make your search for a particular law much easier.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and various public records laws throughout the States have done much to expand the type of information the public has access to. Having access to public records allows citizens an opportunity to review and investigate what their elected officials are doing with their time in office. However, one roadblock encountered by many is that some government agencies may be less than forthcoming when presented with records requests. Or, there may be so many hoops to jump through before one can gain access to a record, that obtaining that record may not seem worth the … Read More