The federal and state courts exist and operate side-by-side in all of the states and most of the U.S. territories. Generally, federal courts apply and interpret laws, rules and regulations passed by Congress and the federal government, while the state courts apply and interpret state laws, rules and regulations. Both federal and state trial courts must follow the principals of law established by precedents in similar cases previously decided by the courts which have appellate jurisdiction over the trial courts. In addition to several specialized courts, the federal court system includes the U.S. District Courts (the federal trial courts), the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Suprem Court, the highest court in the United States. The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington is located in Seattle (with a branch court located in Tacoma) and has federal jurisdiction in Washington state west of the Cascade Mountains, including Snohomish County. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington is based in Seattle and sits once a month in Everett; however, no federal courts are physically located in Snohomish County.
United States Federal Court System Links