The Courts in a Nutshell

Federal Courts of Appeals

Just like in state courts, there’s action you can take if you think the federal district court made the wrong decision in your case. So what do you do? Appeal! That means asking a higher court to review and change the decision.

To appeal a decision from a federal district court, you go to a federal Court of Appeals. Remember how the country is divided into districts for trial courts? Well, the country is divided into circuits for appellate courts. To appeal your case, you go to the Court of Appeals in the circuit where your district is located.

There are 13 circuits all together — 11 numbered circuits, plus the District of Columbia Circuit and a circuit called the Federal Circuit, which hears certain kinds of appeals from all over the country.

Follow the link to the same map you just looked at. This time, focus on the big numbers. See how different areas of the country are shaded different colors? Those are the circuits!

Response Question: 

Which circuit do you live in? (Hint: Nobody lives in the Federal Circuit.)

Response required