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Ninth Circuit Civics Contest


Contest submission deadline extended to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 18, 2016. 

The United States District and Bankruptcy Courts for the Central District of California invite interested high school students to participate in an essay and video contest with cash prizes (District Contest).  The theme of the District Contest is “50 Years After the Miranda Decision: How Federal Courts Defined the Rights of the Accused.”  

In this landmark case, the Supreme Court ruled that someone taken into police custody must be informed—prior to questioning—of their right to remain silent and their right to an attorney.  This decision became the basis for what is now called a “Miranda Warning” or a recitation of “Miranda Rights.”  

The essay contest is open to individual students only.  Individuals or teams of up to three students may participate in the video contest.  Students may choose to participate in one or both contests. The top three finishers of the District Contest automatically move forward to compete with students in the nine western states, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands (Ninth Circuit Contest).  

The District Contest begins January 1, 2016, and ends April 15, 2016. To be eligible to participate, students must be sophomores, juniors, or seniors who live in one of the following counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, or Ventura.   

Winners of the District Contest in each category will receive the following prizes:

First Place - $1,000
Second Place - $750
Third Place - $500

Additional Recognition:  First place winners of the District Contest and a parent/guardian will receive round-trip airfare and one night’s lodging to attend the July 2016 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference in Big Sky, Montana, where the Ninth Circuit Contest winners will be announced.

Cash prizes for the Ninth Circuit Contest, which are in addition to the prizes for winners of the District Contest, are as follows:

First Place - $2,000
Second Place - $1,000
Third Place - $500

Complete rules and entry instructions are available at:

To speak with someone regarding the District Contest,
please contact Blake Francois at (213) 894-2766

Relatives of the United States District and Bankruptcy Courts' employees are not eligible to participate in the District Contest or the Ninth Circuit Contest.

Printable version available here