Territorial Courts

Territorial Courts

Federal tribunals that serve as both federal and state courts in possessions of the United States—such as Guam and the Virgin Islands—that are not within the limits of any state but are organized with separate legislatures and executive and judicial officers appointed by the president.

Territorial courts are legislative courts created by Congress pursuant to its constitutional power under Article I, Section 8, Clause 9, to create tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court. They are not constitutional courts created by Article III of the Constitution. Congress vests territorial courts with jurisdiction comparable to that exercised by federal district courts. Congress can, however, impose restrictions and duties on territorial courts that cannot be imposed on federal district courts, such as limiting the tenure of the members of the bench. Once a territory is admitted to the Union as a state, the jurisdiction of its territorial court is extinguished. Pending cases are transferred to the appropriate tribunals according to the nature of the particular action.

The Supreme Court reviews decisions rendered by territorial courts if they satisfy certain requirements.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

TERRITORIAL COURTS. The courts established in the territories of the United States. Vide Courts of the United States.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Part I covers courts of general jurisdiction: Spanish courts, British courts, territorial courts, and Confederate courts.
territorial courts, Confederate courts, Seminole courts, Miccosukee courts, military courts, and religious courts.
For discussion of criminal cases involving slaves that were heard by the territorial courts and evidence that disproportionately harsh sentences were given slaves, see KNEIP, supra note 7, at 27-29.
courts; and there was no Supreme Court appellate review in criminal cases coming out of territorial courts. Against this backdrop, it is conceivable that section 25 nevertheless authorized Supreme Court appellate review of state criminal prosecutions.
Sheldon was fined for writing articles critical of territorial courts, and jailed when he refused to pay.
These courts were created outside of Article III, as were all future territorial courts. (27)
When Congress finally recognized the value of resources near Valdez and reorganized the Alaska territorial courts to seat a judicial division at Valdez, the town became a center of judicial administration in the territory, dispatching judges on a floating circuit court.
He also stressed that although government provides the resources, the newer process is independent and is supervised by the nine provincial and territorial courts whose approval had been required by the agreement.
Ottawa -- On March 8, 2007 nine provincial and territorial courts approved a revised Indian Residential Schools Settlement.
Phillips said the notice program that will start, once all nine provincial and territorial courts have officially approved the final version of the compensation agreement, will be the biggest ever.

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