THE JUDICIARY OF TEXAS

CHAPTER 10 THE JUDICIARY

 

MULTIPLE CHOICE :  CORRECT ANSWERS IN BOLD

 

     1.   Which of the following would not be considered a judicial matter?

a.

What the level of privacy we should expect in our cars.

b.

What treatment should people of different racial, gender, or age groups expect.

c.

With which divorced parent should the children reside

d.

Creation of a budget for the state courts.

 

     2.   Which of the following statements about the Texas judicial system is incorrect?

a.

Texas has been found to rank eighteenth among the states in terms of litigation.

b.

Texas has 337 citizens per attorney.

c.

Texas has more than 2,700 courts and approximately 3,300 justices or judges.

d.

Texas courts dealt with over 24 million cases in 2009, or an average of one case for every resident of the state.

 

     3.   Which of the following is not true about civil cases?

a.

The plaintiff and defendant are often private parties.

b.

The dispute is usually set out in a petition.

c.

The final court remedy is relief from or compensation for the violation of legal rights.

d.

There are tougher rules of procedure to balance or weigh the evidence.

 

     4.   A criminal case does not involve

a.

a lawbreaker who may be punished by a fine or imprisonment or both.

b.

action by the state against the accused.

c.

a violation of penal law.

d.

cases that deal primarily with individual or property rights.

 

     5.   To prove a defendant guilty in a criminal case, the state must provide

a.

a preponderance of the evidence.

b.

enough evidence that at least three-fourths of the jurors agree to guilt.

c.

more evidence than the defense.

d.

sufficient evidence that jurors will believe the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

     6.   One of the most important distinctions between civil and criminal cases involves the issue of

a.

jury selection.

c.

burden of proof.

b.

original jurisdiction.

d.

appellate jurisdiction.

 

     7.   The burden of proof standard used in civil cases is

a.

reasonable doubt.

c.

beyond a reasonable doubt.

b.

probable doubt.

d.

a preponderance of the evidence.

 

     8.   A court that hears a case for the first time has what type of jurisdiction?

a.

first instance

c.

appellate

b.

de novo

d.

original

 

     9.   Original jurisdiction of a court involves all of the following except

a.

the viewing of material evidence.

b.

the examination of evidence to determine guilt in criminal cases or responsibility in civil cases.

c.

a trial that involves the determination of fact and the application of law.

d.

a review of the record.

 

   10.   Courts with appellate jurisdiction

a.

have the responsibility determine guilt in criminal cases.

b.

cannot determine responsibility in civil cases.

c.

have the responsibility to review the decisions of a lower court.

d.

weigh evidence to determine whether verdict was justified.

 

   11.   Appellate proceedings are based on

a.

burden of proof.

b.

documentary evidence.

c.

witnesses.

d.

review of law as applied in the original court.

 

   12.   Which of the following statements about legal briefs is incorrect?

a.

A brief summarizes the facts of the case.

b.

A brief is a written argument prepared by a judge.

c.

A brief summarizes the pertinent laws that relate to the case.

d.

A brief summarizes the application of laws to the facts supporting a counsel’s position.

 

   13.   ___________ is the constitutional protection that the state cannot prosecute a person twice for the same offense.

a.

Writ of habeas corpus

c.

Double jeopardy

b.

Indictment

d.

Nolo contendere

 

   14.   Which of the following courts is included in a city’s charter?

a.

municipal

c.

justice of the peace

b.

district

d.

appeals

 

   15.   Which court has exclusive jurisdiction to try violations of city ordinances?

a.

municipal

c.

justice of the peace

b.

district

d.

appeals

 

   16.   The vast majority of cases heard by municipal courts involve

a.

minor lawsuits.

c.

traffic and parking violations.

b.

class B misdemeanors.

d.

violations of county ordinances.

 

   17.   A ___________ trial is a new trial conducted in a higher court (as opposed to an appeal).

a.

true bill

c.

de novo

b.

court of record

d.

no bill

 

   18.   The justice of the peace courts are authorized by

a.

a city charter.

c.

a state statute.

b.

the commissioners’ court.

d.

the Texas Constitution.

 

   19.   Duties of the justice of the peace may include all of the following except

a.

criminal cases where the fine in less than $500.

b.

perform marriages.

c.

act as coroners.

d.

civil cases where the dispute involves less than $100,000.

 

   20.   The only constitutional qualification to become a justice of the peace is

a.

being a registered voter.

c.

being a practicing attorney.

b.

having a law license.

d.

having prior experience on the bench.

 

   21.   Texas has how many county courts?

a.

300

c.

125

b.

254

d.

25

 

   22.   The Texas Constitution requires that the county judge be elected by voters for a four year term and be

a.

a practicing lawyer.

b.

well informed in the law of the state.

c.

willing to complete forty hours of legal course work.

d.

over 35 years of age.

 

   23.   County courts-at-law have jurisdiction for all of the following except

a.

the handling both civil and criminal cases.

b.

civil jurisdiction involving cases over $100,000.

c.

criminal jurisdiction includes misdemeanors not handled in justice of the peace and municipal courts.

d.

probate of wills.

 

   24.   Which courts are often described as the chief trial courts of the state?

a.

district

c.

municipal

b.

county

d.

justice of the peace

 

   25.   Which of the following is not a qualification to become a district court judge?

a.

must be at least 25 years of age

b.

must be a resident of the district for two years

c.

must be a resident of Texas for 10 years

d.

must be a licensed practicing lawyer or judge for four years

 

   26.   District court jurisdiction extends to all of the following except

a.

felony cases.

c.

juvenile cases.

b.

civil cases exceeding $200.

d.

original jurisdiction for traffic cases.

 

   27.   Negotiations between the prosecution and the defense to obtain a lighter sentence or other benefits is known as

a.

plea bargaining.

c.

pleading no contest.

b.

de novo.

d.

a writ.

 

   28.   Which of the following statements about court of appeals judges is incorrect?

a.

They must be at least 35 years of age.

b.

They must have a minimum of ten years experience as a lawyer or judge.

c.

They must have lived in their district five years prior to the election.

d.

They must be elected from their districts for six-year terms.

 

   29.   The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has one presiding judge and ___ judges?

a.

five

c.

seven

b.

six

d.

eight

 

   30.   Which of the following is not an original jurisdiction of the Texas Supreme Court?

a.

conduct of proceedings for involuntary retirement or removal of judges

b.

issuance of writs

c.

rules governing licensing of members of the state bar

d.

death penalty cases

 

   31.   In 2009 the court of criminal appeals judges issued more than 76% of which type of opinions?

a.

rehearing

c.

dissents

b.

concurrences

d.

determinative

 

   32.   Which court has exclusive jurisdiction over automatic appeals in death penalty cases?

a.

Court of Criminal Appeals

c.

United States Supreme Court

b.

Court of Appeals

d.

Texas Supreme Court

 

   33.   Which of the following statements about execution in Texas is correct?

a.

Texas has executed far more individuals than any other state

b.

Texas has executed fewer individuals than any other state.

c.

Texas has executed about the same number of individuals as any other state.

d.

The death penalty is not legal in Texas.

 

   34.   The duties of the Texas Supreme Court involve all of the following except

a.

conduct of proceedings for involuntary retirement or removal of judges.

b.

to establish rules for the administration of justice.

c.

death penalty matters.

d.

makes rules governing the licensing of members of the state bar.

 

   35.   The Supreme Court consists of one chief justice and ___ associate justices.

a.

three

c.

eight

b.

five

d.

two

 

   36.   The majority of the cases heard by the Texas Supreme Court are from a

a.

writ of certiorari.

c.

bill of attainder.

b.

petition for review.

d.

habeas corpus.

 

   37.   Grand juries in Texas have how many members?

a.

twenty

c.

ten

b.

twelve

d.

six

 

   38.   An alternative to a grand jury indictment is _______, which is used for minor offenses.

a.

a writ of error

c.

an affidavit

b.

an arraignment

d.

an information

 

   39.   The purpose of a grand jury is to

a.

determine if an individual is guilty or not guilty of a crime.

b.

determine if there is sufficient evidence to bring the accused to trial.

c.

select individuals to serve on a trial jury.

d.

issue information.

 

   40.   Which of the following statements about indictments in Texas is incorrect?

a.

If an indictment is not returned, the conclusion of the grand jury is a no bill.

b.

The vote of all of the twelve grand jurors is needed to indict.

c.

An indictment is the responsibility of the grand jury.

d.

An indictment is sometimes referred to as a true bill.

 

   41.   Which of the following statements about grand jurors is incorrect?

a.

At times a grand jury may return indictments simply because the district attorney asks for them.

b.

Grand juries return true bills in about 95 percent of the situations brought before them.

c.

The accused can have an attorney in the room during questioning.

d.

Some grand juries, known as “runaway” grand juries, may consider matters independent of the district attorney’s recommendation.

 

   42.   Some Texas grand jurors are selected by which method?

a.

a grand jury commission

c.

appointment by the district judge

b.

a jury wheel

d.

election by citizens

 

   43.   When an individual is not indicted by a grand jury, a _________ is issued.

a.

no bill

c.

habeas corpus

b.

true bill

d.

verdict

 

   44.   Trial by jury in criminal cases is a right guaranteed by the Texas Constitution and which of the amendments to the U.S. Constitution?

a.

Fourth Amendment

c.

Sixth Amendment

b.

Fifth Amendment

d.

Eighth Amendment

 

   45.   Which of the following statements about petit (trial) juries is correct?

a.

County courts have six-person juries, whereas there are twelve people on juries at the district court level.

b.

County courts have nine-person juries, whereas there are twelve people on juries at the district court level.

c.

In a civil case only the plaintiff can opt for a jury trial.

d.

In a criminal case only the prosecutor can opt for a trial by jury.

 

   46.   Which method is used to select a jury panel?

a.

driver’s license lists.

c.

telephone books

b.

tax rolls

d.

all of these

 

   47.   Under Texas law, who of the following are not automatically exempt for jury service?

a.

custodians of children under 10

c.

actively attending students

b.

persons over 70 years of age

d.

college professors

 

   48.   When a perspective juror is dismissed with a reason acceptable to the judge in the case, it is called a

a.

preemptory challenge.

c.

judicial veto.

b.

challenge or cause.

d.

nolo accepto.

 

   49.   The only limitations of a peremptory challenge occurs when the judge believes that prospective jurors are being eliminated solely because of their

a.

religion or age.

c.

race or creed.

b.

sexual preference or age.

d.

race or sex.

 

   50.   Which of the following occurs when a jury is unable to agree on a verdict after a suitable period of deliberation?

a.

true bill

c.

no bill

b.

hung Jury

d.

de novo

 

   51.   The merit plan for selecting judges is sometimes referred to as the

a.

Texas plan.

c.

Alabama plan.

b.

Missouri plan.

d.

New Jersey plan.

 

   52.   Texas officially uses which method to select state judges?

a.

non partisan election

c.

partisan election

b.

merit plan

d.

appointment by governor

 

   53.   Since voters know so little about judicial candidates, they may use which of the following as a cue to determine how to vote?

a.

political socialization

c.

backgrounds of the candidates

b.

incumbency of the candidate

d.

party identification

 

   54.   Most states use the __________ system to select their judges.

a.

partisan elections

c.

gubernatorial appointment

b.

non-partisan election

d.

merit

 

   55.   Which of the following is not a criticism of the Texas method of selecting judges?

a.

Citizens vote for the party without knowing whose running.

b.

Large contributions to judges give the appearance of justice being bought.

c.

Too much advantage is given to incumbency.

d.

Judges elections are non-partisan.

 

   56.   In the case of _________________ the United States Supreme Court upheld disclosure requirements for corporate campaign contributions but removed many financial restrictions on those contributions.

a.

Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Company

b.

Bexar v. Texas Secretary of State

c.

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

d.

Texas Tort Reform v. Perry

 

   57.   Which of the following statements about minorities and the state judicial system is correct?

a.

The system continues to be harshly criticized by representatives of minority groups.

b.

The system continues to be praised by representatives of minority groups.

c.

The system continues to form coalition with representatives of minority groups.

d.

The system continues to be highly represented by minority groups.

 

   58.   According to Brent Boyea, with the rising costs of judicial elections, the public in states with elective courts are

a.

strongly in favor switching to the merit system.

b.

strongly in favor of their elective system.

c.

less in favor of the elective system.

d.

becoming more inclined towards an appointed system.

 

   59.   According to Brent Boyea the conservative, pro-business preferences among Texas judges are influenced by

a.

judicial elections.

c.

campaign laws.

b.

public opinion.

d.

all of these