The Courts in a Nutshell

Federal District Courts

The federal court system is one, big court system for the entire United States. Only certain types of cases can be heard in federal court. Just like in state court systems, most federal cases start in a trial court.

Federal trial courts are called district courts. Why? Because the federal court system is divided into districts! Dividing it up keeps things organized by letting people know which district court they need to go to. (Usually, you go to the court in the district where your problem happened.)

There are 94 districts. That means 94 district courts! A district is either an entire state (the District of Wyoming) or part of a state (the Northern District of Georgia).

Follow the link to see a map of the United States federal court system. See how some states are divided by gray dashed lines? These lines show district boundaries. Some states are divided into regional districts and some are not.


Response Question: 
  • Scroll down on the page and find the table that shows U.S. District Courts. How are the districts inside a state named?
  • Is your state divided into districts, or is it one big district?
  • Use the map and other information on this page to help you complete this sentence: I live in the _____ District of _[your state]_. (If your state isn't divided into regions, you won't put anything in the first blank.)


Response required