district court

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A district court, in the United States federal judicial system, refers to one of the 94 trial courts throughout the nation that determine facts and apply legal principles to both civil and criminal cases. At least one district court sits in each state, including in the United States’ four territories. Additionally, each district includes a bankruptcy unit. District court judges are appointed to the bench for life terms by the President of the United States and are subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

At the state level, a district court may refer to the geographic area of a state trial court’s jurisdiction. See, e.g., New York State Judicial Districts in the Fourth Department  

[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team