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Chapter2and3 - JURISDICTION Jurisdiction The authority of a...

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JURISDICTION Jurisdiction: The authority of a court to hear and decide a specific action. Jurisdiction has many dimensions, including: Personal Jurisdiction: The authority of a court to hear and decide a dispute involving the particular parties before it. Subject Matter Jurisdiction: The authority of a court to hear and decide the particular dispute before it. Original Jurisdiction: The authority of a court to hear and decide a dispute in the first instance. Generally speaking, trial courts are courts of original jurisdiction, although the Supreme Courts of the United States and many of the states have original jurisdiction over a few types of disputes. Appellate Jurisdiction: The authority of a court to review a prior decision in the same case made by another court.
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PERSONAL JURISDICTION Personal (or in personam ) jurisdiction is generally a geographic concept. Courts have personal jurisdiction over persons residing and/or doing business within a particular county, district, state, or, in some cases, anywhere within the United States. All states, as well as the United States, have one or more long-arm statute(s) which dictate under what terms a nonresident person or entity, who would otherwise not be subject to the court’s jurisdiction, may nonetheless be required to appear before the court. The key to whether a nonresident will be subject to a court’s jurisdiction is the quantity and nature of the nonresident’s contacts with the state within which the court sits. A related concept is jurisdiction over property (or in rem ), pursuant to which a court’s jurisdiction depends on whether the property in question resides within the county, district, or state.
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SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION A court’s subject matter jurisdiction is usually defined in the statute or constitution creating the court. In both the federal and state court systems, a trial court’s subject matter jurisdiction may be limited by: the amount in controversy , the basis for the relief sought , and/or in a criminal case, whether the crime alleged is a misdemeanor or felony . A court whose jurisdiction is limited by one or more of these factors is considered to have limited jurisdiction ; otherwise, a court has general jurisdiction . When one or more federal court(s) and one or more state court(s) have subject matter jurisdiction over the same dispute, those courts are said to have concurrent jurisdiction . When a case may be tried only in state court or only in federal court, then the court in which jurisdiction lies is said to have exclusive jurisdiction .
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JURISDICTION OF FEDERAL COURTS Federal Question Jurisdiction arises if a case involves an alleged violation of the U.S. Constitution, federal statute or regulation, or a treaty between the U.S. and one or more foreign country(-ies).
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