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Several different courts in the United States do not use a jury:

  • In many cases and in most jurisdictions, a defendant may chose to be tried solely in front of a judge, rather than by a jury. While not always optional (in particular, capital cases are almost never allowed to be done except with a jury), it is certainly an option for most criminal (and all civil) cases.
  • The US Supreme Court, even when holding cases under Original Jurisdiction, does not use a jury - rather, the panel of judges themselves act as the jury.
  • US Federal Appellate Courts (e.g. Court of Appeals), which exercise appellate jurisdiction, use a panel of judges.
  • US Administrative Law Courts never have juries.
  • The Supreme Court of each State does not have a jury, in the same manner as the US Supreme Court
  • Appeals Courts in each State never use a jury, as they act solely in an appellate (review) manner.
  • Small Claims Courts never use juries, and most prohibit lawyers
  • Traffic Courts never use juries

In general, any court exercising Appellate jurisdiction (i.e. review) rather than Original (i.e. trial) jurisdiction will never have a jury, as they are not concerned with whether the defendant is guilty or not, but rather than if all points of law are correctly followed.

In addition, if the Court in question is dealing with a type of infraction known as summary offense, then there is no jury, by definition. Typical summary offenses are: traffic tickets, parking or building code citations, etc. Generally speaking, a summary offense is something that incurs a fine but never imprisonment.

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11y ago
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11y ago

Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court

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Q: What court has a judge but no jury?
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