What Does "Circuit Court" Mean?

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Circuit court, supreme court, appellate court… there are a number of different types of courts, and it can be difficult to keep them all straight. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to tell circuit courts from other types of courts.

Definition of a "Circuit Court"

Up until 1911, the traditional definition of a circuit court was that it was a court that served more than one jurisdiction. This was a necessity because travel was so difficult in the U.S., so the courts themselves moved from place to place.

That being said, the term “circuit court” is now used to describe the federal court of appeals. There are thirteen of these in the U.S. court of appeals system, and each circuit court covers a number of states in the U.S. For example, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (the largest of the thirteen) covers nine states and two territories.

Circuit Courts and the FDCPA

Circuit courts could be relevant to your FDCPA claim if you feel that there was important evidence that wasn’t brought up at your first trial, ultimately resulting in you losing your case. For example, perhaps you discover additional audio evidence to support your claims of harassment; maybe you didn’t recognize the significance of certain pieces of evidence the first time around and want to present your case again.

If you choose to do this, you’ll be presenting your case at a circuit court, and having an FDCPA lawyer will put you in the best position to win the second time around.