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Overview of the Federal Court System

The federal courts are divided into three levels: the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals, and the United States District Courts.

The United States District Court for the District of Maryland is the only district court in the state of Maryland, and it was established in 1789 by the federal Judiciary Act of 1789. The District of Maryland has two divisions - Northern and Southern - sitting in Baltimore and Greenbelt, respectively.

Appeals from this Court go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and then to the United States Supreme Court.

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts created the following guides to explain the federal court system: