Civil and criminal cases that fall under federal jurisdiction are generally heard in federal district courts. In the federal system, these courts are considered the lower courts.
Information about the structure and jurisdiction of federal courts:
Ohio Federal District Courts
When a federal district court issues a decision a party may be able to obtain some relief from that court in certain circumstances without resorting to filing an appeal to a higher court. Relief could come in the form of a new trial, a stay of judgment enforcement or other option listed below.
In a civil case a party may find relief in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Some civil rules which may be useful include, but are not limited to:
See Rule 53(f): Action on the Master's Order, Report, or Recommendations
See Rule 50: Judgment as a Matter of Law in a Jury Trial; Related Motion for a New Trial; Conditional Ruling
See Rule 59: New Trial; Altering or Amending a Judgment
See Rule 60: Relief from a Judgment or Order
See Rule 62: Stay of Proceedings to Enforce a Judgment
See Rule 62.1: Indicative Ruling on a Motion for Relief That is Barred by a Pending Appeal
In a criminal case a party may find relief pursuant to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Some criminal rules which may be useful include, but are not limited to:
Rule 29: Motion for a Judgment of Acquittal
Rule 33: New Trial
Rule 34: Arresting Judgment
Rule 37: Indicative Ruling on a Motion for Relief that is Barred by a Pending Appeal
Rule 38: Staying a Sentence or Disability
Rule 59: Matters before a Magistrate Judge
The Southern and Northern Districts also have local rules which apply to cases heard in those courts. Click the link for the Southern District Local Rules and the Northern District Local Rules.
Parties wishing to appeal a final judgment from a lower court may generally file in the appropriate appellate circuit court. The government can generally only appeal the decision of the lower court in civil matters. Federal circuit courts consist of three-judge panels.
Rules and procedures for the Sixth Circuit include:
Information about circuit courts and the appeals process:
U.S. Supreme Court jurisdiction, authority and rules:
In certain circumstances parties may appeal decisions of the federal circuit courts to the U.S. Supreme Court by making a petition for a writ of certiorari. After a party makes a petition for a writ of certiorari, the Court then generally can choose to agree or decline to hear the case.
28 U.S.C. Chapter 81 provides detailed information about the Court's jurisdiction.
Information about the U.S. Supreme Court: