Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    The name of a system of courts of the United States, invested with general original jurisdiction of such matters and causes as are of Federal cognizance, except the matters specially delegated to the district courts. The United States circuit courts are held by one of the justices of the supreme court appointed for the circuit, (and bearing the name, in that capacity, of circuit justice,) together with the circuit judge and the district judge of the district in which they are held. Their business is not only the supervision of trials of issues in fact, but the hearing of causes as a court in banc; and they have equity as well as common-law jurisdiction, together with appellate jurisdiction from the decrees and judgments of the district courts. 1 Kent, Comm. 301-303. In several of the states, circuit court is the name given to a tribunal, the territorial jurisdiction of which comprises several counties or districts, and whose sessions are held in such counties or districte alternately. These courts usually have general original jurisdiction. In re Johnson, 12 Kan. 102.