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Court Rules Research Guide: U.S. Courts of Special Jurisdiction

Court rules govern the procedures of a court and how matters before a court are handled and processed. This guide identifies resources for locating court rules.

United States Courts of Special Jurisdiction

In addition to the Supreme Court of the United States, United States Courts of Appeals, United States District Courts and United States Bankruptcy Courts, the federal courts system also includes courts referred to as the United States Courts of Special Jurisdiction. These courts cover the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the Court of Federal Claims, the Court of International Trade, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and the Tax Court.. Each of these courts are responsible for handling specific types of cases and have their own court rules.

Rules for the courts of special jurisdiction are published in the United States Code, United States Code Annotated and United States Code Service and are also found on the individual court's website. Lexis and Westlaw may also be searched for the court rules. Acces is restricted to members of the Marquette University Law School community.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces has appellate jurisdiction over members of the armed forces on active duty and those subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Five civilian judges appointed for 15-year terms by the President comprise the court. The court's cases address legal issues such as constitutional law, criminal law, ethics, administrative law and national security law.  Decisions by the court are subject to review by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court has a significant impact on discipline in the armed forces, military readiness and the rights of service members.  A brochure about the court is available online.

The court has issued Rules of Practice and Procedure.

U.S. Court of Federal Claims

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims consists of sixteen judges nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate for a term of fifteen years. The court is authorized to hear primarily monetary claims founded upon the Constitution, federal statutes, executive regulations, or contracts with the United States.

Rules of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims are available online.

U.S. Court of International Trade

The U.S. Court of International Trade is made up of nine justices appointed by the President.  The jurisdiction of the court extends throughout the United States and is also authorized to hold hearings in foreign countries. The court has exclusive jurisdictional authority to decide any civil action against the United States, its officers, or its agencies arising out of any law pertaining to international trade.

The Court of International Trade has its own rules prescribing the practices and procedures before the court. These rules are patterned after and follow the arrangement and numbering used in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Similarly, with certain limited exceptions, the Federal Rules of Evidence govern the trial of cases before the court.

U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

The U.S.  Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has exclusive jurisdiction over decisions of the Board of Veterans' Appeals (Board or BVA). The court reviews board decisions appealed by claimants who believe the board erred in its decision. The court's review of board decisions is based on the record before the agency and arguments of the parties. The court is authorized to have seven permanent, active judges and two additional judges as part of a temporary expansion provision. Judges generally are appointed for 15-year terms.

The court has its own Rules of Practice and Procedure.

 

U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation determines whether civil actions pending in different federal districts involve one or more common questions of fact should be transferred to one federal district for coordinated pretrial proceedings. The Court also selects the judge or judges and court assigned to conduct such proceedings. 

Rules of Procedure of the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation are available online.

U.S. Tax Court

The U.S. Tax Court is composed of 19 appointed members. Taxpayers may dispute tax issues determined by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in the Tax Court before paying the disputed amount. The court's jurisdiction also includes transferee liability, certain types of declaratory judgments, administrative and litigation costs and the review of certain collection actions, etc.

The court has its own Rules of Practice and Procedure online.