Courts
Overview and Types of Cases Heard in Federal Courts

​Federal Courts 

The federal courts are made up of many different kinds of courts. The courts that make up the federal courts in New Jersey are:

  • The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

  • The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

  • The United States Supreme Court.

Nationally, the federal courts are divided into groups of states called circuits. Each circuit has a number. New Jersey is a part of the Third Circuit, along with Pennsylvania, Delaware and the Virgin Islands.

The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

Lawsuits involving certain types of federal laws and lawsuits against federal government agencies begin in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (USDC). Examples of the kinds of cases that are decided in the United States District Court are:

  • Cases filed against a federal agency

  • Cases involving bankruptcy

  • Cases involving federal tax issues

  • Cases involving federal criminal laws

  • Cases involving federal constitutional laws

  • Cases involving federal consumer laws such as:

    • The Consumer Fraud Act or

    • The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

  • Cases involving the Americans with Disabilities Act

See the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey website for more information. See How do I file a new suit in Federal Court? (from U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey) for information about how to file a complaint on your own.

United States Bankruptcy Court

There is also a special United States Bankruptcy Court where only cases involving bankruptcy are decided. See the United States Bankruptcy Court District of New Jersey website for more information.

The United States Court of Appeals For The Third Circuit

An appeal of a District Court of New Jersey decision is filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. See the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit website for more information.

The United States Supreme Court

A decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit may be appealed by filing a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. See the United States Supreme Court website for more information.