Questions tagged [federal-courts]

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50
votes
4answers
18k views

A man killed my son and married one of the witnesses. Can the witness's statements still be used in court against him?

In Florida a career felon, who is a complete stranger to my son, killed my son. He is being prosecuted for this crime in a state court in Florida. There are two witnesses. One of them is the the ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

Government's standing in criminal trials

There's an answer on politics SE that has some upvotes (but more downvotes) claiming (even more adamantly in subsequent comments) that standing is issue of substantial importance in criminal trials; ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

Can lawyers ask about, and discriminate based on, iPhone ownership during a case involving Apple?

In the lawsuit(s) between Epic and Apple, assuming it ends up in front of a (federal) jury, are the lawyers for each side allowed to ask potential jurors whether they have iPhones or Android phones; ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

Can prosecutors change or add additional charges once you plead guilty?

Suppose you are charged with theft of trade secrets. If you decide to plead guilty, can the government add further charges or change the existing ones after seeing that you've pleaded guilty? For ...
10
votes
6answers
7k views

In the US, can the courts intervene if an extremely destructive (but constitutional) law is passed?

If the US Congress were to pass an extremely destructive (but constitutional) law that the president then signed, what would the result be and would there be any recourse from the courts or the states?...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What happens if Federal Courts contradict each other?

Regarding the recent travel ban, federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland both ruled against the ban. What would have happened if one of those judges ruled against the ban and the other did not?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Gorilla glue, when does a court decide to permit a trial

If a plaintiff brings a civil suit against another party (aka say the Gorilla glue hair suit), what role does the court play in whether to permit a trial, how has that role changed over the decades, ...
7
votes
2answers
672 views

Getting away with murder in Yellowstone National Park?

http://www.vice.com/read/theres-a-50-square-mile-section-of-yellowstone-where-you-can-get-away-with-murder Is there something to the idea explained on the page linked above? It says portions of ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

What if an American state ratified an article to its constitution that blocked judicial review?

Basically, if an American state added an article to its constitution, via the relevant mechanism that allows it to do so, that proscribed state and federal courts from striking down its legislation, ...
5
votes
1answer
91 views

Default judgement when the court can't provide the requested relief

Bravo v. Pelosi is the latest attempt to overturn the 2020 US Presidential and Congressional elections. The plaintiffs are suing everyone they think is even remotely related to the election, and a ...
4
votes
1answer
180 views

How should I prepare in terms of dress and language to testify at a bail hearing?

So there's this situation, where a relative of mine has been arrested and caged up with charges of a white collar crime. In order for us to fight the prosecutors, we must bail him/her out first. I ...
4
votes
2answers
129 views

Does accused always plead not guilty in federal court?

I've recently been following the case of boxer Felix Verdejo, who pleaded not guilty yesterday in killing of Keishla Rodríguez. Cádiz Martínez, a second person indicted in the killing, also pleaded ...
4
votes
1answer
216 views

AG's and indictments

I'm curious, let's say that a prosecutor has taken a case before a grand jury. That grand jury has chosen to indict. Can the AG withdrawal those indictments? I've been trying to find out here, but I'...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

Why does the District of Columbia have its own Court of Appeals?

Geographically, it looks like DC should be part of the Fourth Circuit. With such a small population, only about 3% of what the other Circuits have jurisdiction over, why does it get its own?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Under what circumstances is the writ of mandamus normally used?

Currently the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia are pursuing a case against the President of the United States regarding alleged violations of the emoluments clause. As described by ...
3
votes
1answer
672 views

What law grants life tenure to federal judges in the US?

In the United States, what law grants life tenure to federal judges? The Good Behaviour Clause of the Constitution says: The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their ...
3
votes
1answer
421 views

Citing federal court cases as authorities in state court

Do federal court rulings (non-appeal) function as estoppel or persuasive authority for them to be cited as authorities in state court civil complaints when the question at stake relates to state laws?
3
votes
2answers
132 views

Technical basis for the binding nature of precedent or stare decisis

I understand that US district courts are generally required to follow precedent set by the appeals court directly superior to the district court, while opinions of other appeals courts may be ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

How to refer to a section of a US law in a lawsuit filed at a US federal court?

I want to refer to sections of US laws in a lawsuit filed at a US federal court. For example, I look at the INA 1965 (Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965). The different parts of the law are ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How can two separate federal judges rule on the same question at basically the same time?

In relation to Trump's executive orders, both the first version and the new watered down one, it seems that two (or more) separate judges were asked to rule on its constitutionality. How can this be ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

What's the punishment for false rape accusations in the US?

Is there currently any federal or state laws that punish false rape accusations?
3
votes
1answer
88 views

How soon after relocating is it possible to file a lawsuit in a federal district court?

In the US, if I relocate from one judicial district to another judicial district in another state — how soon after relocating is it possible to file a lawsuit in a federal district court? (I plan to ...
3
votes
0answers
40 views

Can a denied motion to intervene be appealed in itself?

From Wikipedia's article on intervention: Rule 24(b) provides for permissive intervention, which is subject to the discretion of the judge hearing the case. If the judge hearing the case denies a ...
2
votes
2answers
156 views

Can a federal judge impose a higher sentence than the prosecutor proposed in the US?

Suppose a US federal attorney/prosecutor brought a case before a US federal court and the defendant is accused of committing a federal crime. The law says that the defendant can be imprisoned up to 5 ...
2
votes
1answer
609 views

What if someone put a non-lethal "bomb" im a package addressed to them to get back at a mail stealing thief

Already I know this is a bad idea. Someone keeps stealing my friends packages that were left on their doorstep. They had the bright idea of rigging a smoke bomb or itching powder bomb or something ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

Service of Process to the Deceased

Hypothetically speaking; One party to a lawsuit is dismissed. A year later Notice of Appeal if filed and service of same is sent to the dismissed party via standard mail. Then a month later the ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

Filing a Federal Criminal (not Civil) Complaint

I want to file a Federal criminal (not civil) complaint in California under... Conspiracy against rights - https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/241 Frauds and swindles - https://www.law....
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Does a case continue if class certifcation is denied?

If a Motion for Class Certification is denied by the court, does the case continue? I'm trying to research litigation against a specific US company and I've come across some cases in which the court ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

What happens when a federal government Defendant who is sued in his official capacity is being replaced shortly after the civil complaint was filed?

A civil lawsuit is filed against several federal government officials. The officials are specified in the complaint by their names as defendants, however they are sued in their official capacity. What ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

Multiple "not more than"-style offenses in sentencing guidelines

Federal sentencing guidelines tend to use 'not more than' x amount of time in what I assume is a reverse mandatory minimum, disallowing a judge from 'throwing the book' at the offender. However, some ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

In a Civil Case Complaint, does "Demand $" in Civil Cover Sheet (JS44) also apply to refund of legal fees through EAJA (Equal Access to Justice Act)

In a Civil Case Complaint against the US Federal Government, it is possible for the plaintiff in certain circumstances to get a refund of his attorney fees and other expenses. As explained on a ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Can Rule 15(c)(1) be used by original parties to defeat a timely claim?

I am currently in a scenario analogous to this one: Can this hypothetical sequence of events occur in the Federal Arena (particularly 9th cir). 1.) Plaintiff brings a suit against party A before ...
2
votes
3answers
263 views

What is law of the case in the us federal court system for district court judges?

Someone recently brought up the apple fbi phone unlock case and I, not being a lawyer, got curious about whether, if a final decision had been reached by that judge, what exactly that would mean. That ...
2
votes
0answers
124 views

Federal courts under the Articles of Confederation

This is meeting with silence at history.stackexchange.com, so I'm trying it here: The ninth Article of Confederation establishes federal judicial jurisdiction in some cases, including "disputes and ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

Forum shopping in US Federal courts: is scheduling a factor

In filing a hypothetical federal civil case, it seems like some forum shopping may be possible. Might one of the reasons to select a particular court be to seek a speedier or slower trial? How would ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

In which United States District Court should a permanent resident file a lawsuit against the USCIS?

A US permanent resident has recently moved to western VA. VA has two United States District Courts: Western and Eastern. The permanent resident would like to file a lawsuit against the USCIS. One of ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Temporarily Stopping a Lawsuit for Medical Reasons

If the entity prosecuting a lawsuit or the entity defending a lawsuit becomes unable to do the necessary work in that lawsuit due to medical reasons: What is the proper way to let the court know? ...
1
vote
1answer
274 views

moving to dismiss a count in an amended complaint although "answered" in the original complaint

Hypothetical scenario: Plaintiff files a complaint having three counts A, B, and C. Defendant files an answer to counts A & B and moves to dismiss count C for "failure to state a claim." ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

Are there any circumstances under which a federal court order may be lawfully ignored?

Question is in the title. Another formulation: Are there any circumstances under which a defendant may lawfully decline to comply with a federal court order? A sort of mini-appeal process, if you will?...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

some aspects of the Steven Avery case

As many others all over the world, I follow the Steven Avery case. Can you explain to me this matter? According to an article on the internet, "a federal judge has overturned the 1st Degree ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

Filed each actions at once, could you move the court to conclude one or more actions for relief before moving to other actions?

18 U.S.C. 1915 (f)(1) "Judgment may be rendered for costs at the conclusion of the suit or action [...]" This strikes me as one action may be obtained summary of judgement or other forms of ...
1
vote
1answer
263 views

Do complaints under the Privacy Act of 1974 need to be made in local court first?

In cases where a complaint involves a US Federal law, like the Privacy Act of 1974, does the petitioner need to file the complaint first in a local (state) court, or can the petitioner file ...
1
vote
1answer
399 views

Are lawyers allowed to keep charging money after termination?

I was wondering if attorneys are allowed to keep charging money even after termination. The situation is this: a lawyer has been terminated. A new lawyer has been retained and he/she has filed notice ...
1
vote
2answers
109 views

Universal 2 factor authentication (U2F) and pleading the fifth amendment

Back in 2013, WIRED stated that using fingerprint authentication on a phone may not prevent authorities (in the US at least) to gain access to one's phone without their agreement, whereas a memorized ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

In a Civil Cover Sheet, what would be the right "Nature of Suit" Code for lawsuit due to Fed Gov't's failure to adjudicate Naturalization Application?

In a civil lawsuit, the cover sheet that accompanies the complaint usually requires to select the "Nature of Suit". The US Courts website provides a document called "Nature of Suit ...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

Standing in court to collect based on "assignment of judgment" not filed in Court of Origin

Can private counsel or a collection agency "Register" a California state judgment in Federal Court for collection, and use an affidavit of "assignment of judgment" as proof of ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

What percentage of a Qui Tam is recovered?

In the case of a Qui Tam filing with the United States attorneys office what percentage of the recovered damages go to the person that filed with the office?
1
vote
1answer
410 views

Amending Motions

CM/ECF (The Electronic Filing System used by federal courts) has a section for "amended motions". What are the circumstances under which a party could amend a motion? In federal court, can one amend a ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

What Are Mooted Motions

Are "mooted" motion(s) a part of the record for hearing FRCP 12(c) motions? Can a party incorporate their previous motion(s) to dismiss into their current motion to dismiss even though those ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Appying for positions on the federal bench?

In the U.S.A. when a federal judgeship is vacant, do candidates apply to the president for it, or must they simply wait for him to ask them? Does that include vacancies on the Supreme Court? (Things ...