, fall 1998 - Professor Clermont
Proper Court and Multiple Parties
Selecting a Proper Court - Division of Business Between State and Federal Court Systems
II. The Judicial Power of the States
III. Tenth Amendment “ the power not delegated to the United States by the
Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States
respectively or to the people.”
Judicial power is not prohibited to the states.
IV. Article III - federal judicial power extends to ‘cases and controversies’ enumerated,
representing a small fraction of disputes requiring adjudication.
V. States have jurisdiction over many of these cases and controversies as
well, resulting in concurrent jurisdiction, or a choice of venue.
VI. Other cases and controversies are handled exclusively by federal courts,
e.g. bankruptcy under federal anti-trust laws.
VII. Subject matter jurisdiction
VIII. General/Limited: State courts have general jurisdiction, which can hear
any type of action unless prohibited by statute.
Also, states have
courts of limited jurisdiction, which are inferior and can only hear
types of action specifically consigned to them (e.g. probate, small
IX. Original/Appellate: State constitutions designate in which courts a matter
can begin - original jurisdiction - and to which court decisions can be
appealed - appellate jurisdiction.
X. Exclusive/Concurrent: State courts have exclusive jurisdiction over a
majority of cases.
A fewer number of cases can also be heard in
federal court - concurrent jurisdiction, and a tiny number of cases
belong exclusively in federal court.
XI. The Judicial Power of the United States
XII. Article III section 1: establishes Supreme Court and lower ‘inferior courts as the
Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.’
XIII. Article III section 2: jurisdiction
XIV. part 1: judicial power extends to: cases in law and equity, laws and
treaties of the U.S., cases involving Ambassadors, Ministers and
Consuls, admiralty and maritime cases, cases in which the U.S. is a
party, controversies between two or more states, citizens of different
states, state and citizens of another state, claiming land under grants
from different states.
XV. part 2: Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in cases involving
Ambassadors, Ministers and Consuls, and cases in which a State is a
party. In other cases it has appellate jurisdiction.
XVI. part 3: trial of all crimes (except impeachment) shall be trial by jury.
XVII. Article III section 3 defines treason (consists only in times of war) must have two
witnesses, charge only applies during the life of the accused.
XVIII. Subject-matter jurisdiction
XIX. Limited/General: federal courts have limited jurisdiction to general
federal questions, with exceptions and modifications outlined in 28
Plaintiff must show that his complaint falls
within federal jurisdiction [Rule 8(a)(1)] Court can notice lack of
jurisdiction on its own [Rule 12(h)(3)]