Interactive slideshow from the Federal Judicial Center covers the difference between Federal and State cases. From the Federal Judicial Center
In State Courts, You Need to Know the Type of Case
In New York State, the court that handles juvenile delinquency is the family court.
Juvenile records are usually not available, unless convicted in Supreme Court as an adult – called a “juvenile offender.” Youthful offender records are sealed. Some kids are classified as “juvenile delinquents.”
You need to know these legal terms. A complete glossary of legal terms from New York State is linked below.
jurisdiction: the geographical, subject matter, and monetary limitations of a court. Civil or Criminal – State or Federal – Misdemeanor or Felony – Etc.
index number: a number issued by the county clerk, which is used to identify a case – in civil matters there is usually a charge
docket: a document which summarizes a case, provides a list of actions/events in a case
caption: in a pleading, deposition or other paper connected with a case in court, it is the heading or introductory clause which shows the names of the parties, name of the court, number of the case on the docket or calendar, etc
complaint: initial pleading in an action formally setting forth the facts and reasons on which the demand for relief is based. In a civil case a plaintiff files the complaint. In a criminal case that is a misdemeanor, the state files the complaint. In felony criminal cases, the grand jury indicts the defendant
answer: a paper submitted by a defendant in a civil case in which s/he responds to and/or denies the allegations of the plaintiff
plaintiff: the party bringing a civil action
pleadings: complaint or petition, answer, and reply
motion: an oral or written request to the court made by a party for a ruling or order