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Federal Judiciary: Special Courts

Federal courts

REFERENCE DESK

Tax Court

"The United States Tax Court is a court of record established by Congress under Article I of the U.S. Constitution. When the Commissioner of Internal Revenue has determined a tax deficiency, the taxpayer may dispute the deficiency in the Tax Court before paying any disputed amount. The Tax Court’s jurisdiction also includes the authority to redetermine transferee liability, make certain types of declaratory judgments, adjust partnership items, order abatement of interest, award administrative and litigation costs, redetermine worker classification, determine relief from joint and several liability on a joint return, review certain collection actions, and review awards to whistleblowers who provide information to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue on or after December 20, 2006."

Tax Court opinions and memoranda are available from 1995.

Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

"The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims is a national court of record, established under Article I of the Constitution of the United States. The Court has exclusive jurisdiction to provide judicial review of final decisions by the Board of Veterans' Appeals, an entity within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"The Court provides veterans an impartial judicial forum for review of administrative decisions by the Board of Veterans' Appeals that are adverse to the veteran-appellant's claim of entitlement to benefits for service-connected disabilities, survivor benefits and other benefits such as education payments and waiver of indebtedness. In furtherance of its mission, the Court also seeks to help ensure that all veterans have equal access to the Court and to promote public trust and confidence in the Court."

Decisions are available through the official webpage from 1989-present.

Court of International Trade

"In addition to certain specified types of subject matter jurisdiction, the US Court of International Trade [an Article III court] has a residual grant of 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." Opinions from 1999 to the present are available here.  Older opinions, going back to 1939, can be found in Westlaw.

Military Court

"The United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces exercises worldwide appellate jurisdiction over members of the armed forces on active duty and other persons subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  The Court is composed of five civilian judges appointed for 15-year terms by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate."

"The official decisions of the Court have been published since 1976 by West Group in the Military Justice Reporter.  These reports also contain the Daily Journal of the Court's filings, summary disposition orders, and other day-to-day actions of the Court, as well as selected opinions of each of the Courts of Criminal Appeals.  West Group also publishes annotations in the Military Justice Digest.  Shepard's/McGraw-Hill publishes a citator, Shepard's Military Justice Citations.  The Court’s opinions also are available through private electronic media, such as WESTLAW and LEXIS.  Since October 1996 opinions of the Court also have been available on the Court’s website.

Prior to 1976, the opinions of the Court and the intermediate courts were published by Lawyers Co-operative Publishing Company in the Court-Martial Reports (C.M.R.) also available electronically.  The 50 C.M.R. volumes are accompanied by a two-volume cumulative citator-index.  The opinions of the Court from that era also were bound separately in 23 volumes entitled United States Court of Military Appeals (U.S.C.M.A.)."

Court of Federal Claims

The US Court of Federal Claims has "jurisdiction to render judgment upon any claim against the United States founded either upon the Consitutiton, or any Act of Congress or any regulation of an executive department, or upon any express or implied contract with the United States, or for liquidated or unliquidated damages in cases not sounding in tort" (28 USC 1491).

Decisions from 1997 (both published and unpublished) can be accessed from the official site.  Decisions going back to 1788 can be found in Westlaw.

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