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Courts And Community: State And Federal Courts

In our country, we have both federal courts and state courts. But what's the difference?

The U.S. Constitution creates a system of government in which power is shared between federal and state government, so the two have their own separate court systems. Many laws that affect our daily lives are passed by state governments, so state courts handle these types of cases, like traffic violations, broken contracts, robberies or murders, and family disagreements.

More than 90% of all legal disputes take place in state court. Meanwhile, federal courts decide disagreements between citizens of different states, cases in which the United States is a party, and cases involving specific federal laws. Federal courts sometimes hear cases concerning state laws if the issue is whether a state law violates federal law.