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ADMIRALTY. A court which has a very extensive jurisdiction of maritime causes, civil and criminal. See Note, admiralty law, maritime.

Note: Admiralty courts, i.e. Municipal Court, Superior Court,’etc., comprise the only jurisdiction that can enforce a criminal penalty for a civil offense. No other type of jurisdiction has this capability. This is why people must post bail prior to arraignment or trial and are sometimes sentenced to jail time (two aspects of criminal procedure) for civil “offenses,” such as traffic citations, wherein no party is injured and no property damaged. All courts in America operate as admiralty courts.