ju·ris·dic·tion /ˌju̇r-əs-'dik-shən/ n [Latin jurisdictio, from juris, genitive of jus law + dictio act of saying, from dicere to say]
1: the power, right, or authority to interpret, apply, and declare the law (as by rendering a decision)
to be removed to the State having jurisdiction of the crimeU.S. Constitution art. IV
a court of competent jurisdiction see also situs; international shoe co. v. washington in the important cases section compare venue
◇ Jurisdiction determines which court system should properly adjudicate a case. Questions of jurisdiction also arise regarding quasi-judicial bodies (as administrative agencies) in their decision-making capacities.
ancillary jurisdiction: jurisdiction giving a court the power to adjudicate claims (as counterclaims and cross-claims) because they arise from a cause of action over which the court has original jurisdiction; specif: supplemental jurisdiction acquired by a federal court allowing it to adjudicate claims that are based on state law but that form part of a case brought to the court under its diversity jurisdiction compare pendent jurisdiction in this entry
◇ Ancillary jurisdiction allows a single court to decide an entire case instead of dividing the claims among several courts and proceedings, and allows a federal court to decide a claim that would otherwise be properly brought to a state court.
appellate jurisdiction: the jurisdiction granted to particular courts to hear appeals of the decisions of lower tribunals and to reverse, affirm, or modify those decisions compare original jurisdiction in this entry
concurrent jurisdiction: jurisdiction that is shared by different courts and that may allow for removal
two states may have concurrent jurisdiction over crimes committed on boundary rivers — W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr.
diversity jurisdiction: the jurisdiction granted to federal courts over civil disputes involving parties having diverse citizenship (as in being from different states) where the matter in controversy exceeds a statutory amount (as $50,000) see also article iii of the constitution in the back matter
◇ The diversity jurisdiction of the district courts requires that there be complete diversity of the parties, which means that no party on one side has the same citizenship as a party on the other side. Interpleader in federal district courts, however, requires only minimal diversity, which means that at least one party has citizenship that differs from the others. The federal courts have traditionally refused to exercise their diversity jurisdiction over cases involving domestic relations and probate.
exclusive jurisdiction: jurisdiction granted only to a particular court to the exclusion of others
federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases
federal question jurisdiction: the jurisdiction granted to federal courts over civil actions arising under the Constitution, federal laws, or treaties of the U.S.: federal jurisdiction over cases involving a federal question see also well-pleaded complaint rule
◇ The federal courts have usually interpreted the statutory phrase “arising under” rather strictly. U.S. Supreme Court decisions have held that the plaintiff's pleading must establish that the cause of action raises an issue of federal law (as by depending on construction or application of a federal law).
general jurisdiction: jurisdiction that is not limited (as to a particular class of cases); specif: the personal jurisdiction granted a court over a party allowing the court to adjudicate a cause of action that does not arise out of or is not related to the party's contacts within the territory of that court
in per·so·nam jurisdiction /ˌin-pər-'sō-nəm-, -per-'sō-näm-/: the jurisdiction granted a court over persons before it that allows the court to issue a binding judgment: personal jurisdiction in this entry
in rem jurisdiction /in-'rem-/: the jurisdiction granted a court over property that allows the court to issue binding judgments (as an order for partition) affecting a person's interests in the property compare personal jurisdiction in this entry
jurisdiction in personam: in personam jurisdiction in this entry
jurisdiction in rem: in rem jurisdiction in this entry
limited jurisdiction: jurisdiction that is restricted (as to a type of case)
original jurisdiction: the jurisdiction granted a court to try a case in the first instance, make findings of fact, and render a usu. appealable decision
the district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United StatesU.S. Code
pendent jurisdiction: supplemental jurisdiction that allows a federal court to adjudicate state law claims which form part of a case that was brought to it under its federal question jurisdiction; also: pendent party jurisdiction in this entry compare ancillary jurisdiction in this entry
pendent party jurisdiction: supplemental jurisdiction that allows a federal court to adjudicate a state law claim asserted against a third party which is part of a case brought to it under its original jurisdiction
personal jurisdiction: the jurisdiction granted a court over the parties before it that allows it to issue a binding judgment see also doing business statute, fair play and substantial justice, long-arm statute, minimum contacts compare subject matter jurisdiction in this entry
◇ The U.S. Supreme Court has held in a series of decisions that the exercise of personal jurisdiction must meet the requirements of due process and must not violate notions of fair play and substantial justice. The constitutional standard to determine whether a party is subject to the personal jurisdiction of a court is whether that party has had minimum contacts within the territory (as a state) of that court.
primary jurisdiction: the jurisdiction granted by a judicially created doctrine to an administrative agency to decide certain controversies initially before relief is sought in the courts compare exhaustion of remedies
quasi in rem jurisdiction: the jurisdiction of a court over a person which is based on the person's interests in property under the court's jurisdiction and which allows the court to issue a binding judgment against the person see also sequestration; compare personal jurisdiction in this entry
specific jurisdiction: personal jurisdiction granted a court over a party that allows it to adjudicate only a cause of action that arises out of or is related to the party's contacts within the territory of that court compare general jurisdiction in this entry
sub·ject mat·ter jurisdiction: the jurisdiction of a court over the subject, type, or cause of action of a case that allows the court to issue a binding judgment
housing court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate fraudulent conveyance actionsNational Law Journal compare personal jurisdiction in this entry
◇ Diversity jurisdiction, federal question jurisdiction, and jurisdiction over admiralty and bankruptcy cases are examples of the federal courts' subject matter jurisdiction. Subject matter jurisdiction is generally established by statute.
sup·ple·men·tal jurisdiction: jurisdiction granted federal courts over claims that could not be heard in a federal court on their own but that are so closely related to claims over which the court has original jurisdiction that they form part of the same case see also ancillary jurisdiction and pendent jurisdiction in this entry
◇ Supplemental jurisdiction was created by a federal statute that codified the judicially created doctrines of ancillary and pendent jurisdiction.
2: the authority (as of a state) to govern or legislate
the trade bill was within the Ways and Means committee's jurisdiction
whether a foreign state shall be subject to the jurisdiction of another; broadly: the power or right to exercise authority
the department of consumer affairs has jurisdiction over such complaints
3: the limits or territory within which authority may be exercised
no new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other StateU.S. Constitution art. IV – called also territorial jurisdiction;
ju·ris·dic·tion·al /-shə-nəl/ n
ju·ris·dic·tion·al·ly adv

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I noun authority, authority to hear and decide a case, capacity to decide the matter in issue, capacity to hear the controversy, command, control, decisionmaking power over the case, domain, domination, dominion, extent of authority, grasp, iurisdictio, legal authority, legal power, legal power to decide a case, legal right, power, province, purview, range, reach, realm, reign, sovereignty, sphere, superintendence, supervision, territorial range of authority, territory associated concepts: basis jurisdiction, civil jurisdiction, concurrent jurisdiction, court of competent jurisdiction, equity jurisdiction, exclusive jurisdiction, forum non conveniens, in personam jurisdiction, in rem jurisdiction, inherent jurisdiction, jurisdiction of the court, jurisdiction over the person, jurisdictional amount, jurisdictional defect, jurisdictional dispute, jurisdictional facts, jurisdictional plea, jurisdictional requirement, jurisdictional statement, lack of jurisdiction, limited jurisdiction, original jurisdiction, pendent jurisdiction, primary jurisdiction, quasi in rem jurisdiction, subject matter jurisdiction, submission to jurisdiction, venue, want of jurisdiction foreign phrases:
- Est boni judicis ampliare jurisdictionem. — It is the duty of a good judge to extend the jurisdiction
- Extra territorium jus dicenti impune non paretur. — One exercising jurisdiction outside of his territorial limits cannot be obeyed with impunity
- jurisdictio est potestas de publico introducta, cum necessitate juris dicendi. — jurisdiction is a power introduced for the public good, on account of the necessity of administering justice
- Quaellbet jurisdictio cancellos suos habet. — Every jurisdiction has its own bounds
- Qui habet jurisdictionem absolvendi, habet jurisdictionem ligandi. — He who has jurisdiction to release, has jurisdiction to bind
- Rerum ordo confunditur si unicuique jurisdictio non servetur. — The order of things is confused if everyone does not give heed to his own jurisdiction
- Ubi est forum, ibi ergo est jus. — Where the forum is, there the law is accordingly
- judici officium suum excedentl non paretur. — No obedience is to be given to a judge exceeding his office or jurisdiction
- Est boni judicls ampllare jurisdictionem. — It is the duty of a good judge to interpret his jurisdiction liberally
- In personam actio est, qua cum eo agimus qui obligatus est nobis ad faciendum allquld vel dandum. — The action in personam is that in which we sue him who is under obligation to us to do something or give something
- In omni actione ubi duae concurrunt districtiones, videlicet, in rem et in personam, ilia distrlctio tenenda est quae magis timetur et magis ligat. — In every action where two distresses concur, that is to say, in rem and in personam, that is to be chosen which is most dreaded, and which binds more firmly
- Cui jurisdictio data est, ea quoque concessa esse videntur, sine quibus jurisdictio explicari non potest. — Those things without which jurisdiction could not be exercised are held to be given to each to whom jurisdiction has been granted
- Debet quis juri subjacere ubi dellnquit. — Everyone ought to be subject to the law of the place where he commits an offense
- Nihil habet forum ex scena. — The court has nothing to do with what is not before it
- Judicium a non suo judice datum nullius est momenti. — A judgment rendered by one who is not the proper judge is of no force
II index agency (legal relationship), ambit, area (province), authority (right), bailiwick, capacity (authority), capacity (sphere), charge (custody), circuit, control (supervision), custody (supervision), department, direction (guidance), domain (sphere of influence), dominion (supreme authority), generalship, government (administration), judicature, occupation (possession), power, predominance, primacy, province, realm, supervision, venue

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

The power to make judicial decisions; a court’s or judge’s power to investigate the facts of a matter, apply law to them, and declare a judgment.
(2) The territory in which a particular court can exercise its authority; the system of courts within a particular area.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

the power of a court or other body to hear and decide a case or make an order. In civil cases in the European Communities a degree of uniformity and coherence has been achieved by the European Convention on Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters 1968, adopted by the UK in the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982. In carriage of goods by air cases (See carriage by air), the Warsaw Convention makes residence the factor in deciding questions of jurisdiction. Therefore, in an action arising from a contract of international carriage that is subject to the Warsaw Convention, English courts would have jurisdiction if the residence or main place of business of the carrier is in England. A similar principle applies in carriage of goods by road cases (See carriage by road) where the Carriage of Goods by Road Act 1965 provides that an action may be brought in the courts of the country where the defendant normally resides or has his chief place of business. Alternatively, jurisdiction may lie in the country where the contract was made.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

The authority of a court to hear and decide a case. To make a legally valid decision in a case, a court must have both "subject matter jurisdiction" (power to hear the type of case in question, which is granted by the state legislatures and Congress) and "personal jurisdiction" (power to make a decision affecting the parties involved in the lawsuit, which a court gets as a result of the parties' actions). For example, a state court's subject matter jurisdiction includes the civil and criminal laws passed by its own state, but doesn't include patent disputes or immigration violations, which Congress allows to be heard only in federal courts. And no court can hear or decide a case unless the parties agree to be there or live in the state (or federal district) where the court sits, or have enough contacts with the state or district that it's fair to make them answer to that court. (Doing business in a state, owning property there, or driving on its highways will usually be enough to allow the court to hear your case.) The term "jurisdiction" is also commonly used to define the amount of money a court has the power to award. For example, small claims courts have jurisdiction only to hear cases up to a relatively low monetary amount — depending on the state, typically in the range of $2,000 to $10,000. If a court doesn't have personal jurisdiction over all the parties and the subject matter involved, it "lacks jurisdiction," which means it doesn't have the power to render a decision.
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

1) In the context of dispute resolution, either:
• The power of a court or judge to entertain an action or other proceeding; or
• The district or limits within which the judgments or orders of a court can be enforced or executed.
2) A jurisdiction clause in a contract specifies which country's courts will hear any disputes about the contract. Ideally this should be the same as the governing law.

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

1 The power wielded by a government over its subjects, their property, and the land and natural resources within its boundaries.
2 A court's authority over persons or property brought before or appearing before it.
3 The geographical area within which a government's or a court's power may be applied.
@ ancillary jurisdiction
The authority of a court to decide secondary or subsidiary claims raised by a case properly before it.
=>> jurisdiction.
@ appellate jurisdiction
The authority of a court to decide secondary or subsidiary claims raised by a case properly before it.
=>> jurisdiction.
@ concurrent jurisdiction
The overlapping jurisdiction of two or more courts over the same cause of action.
=>> jurisdiction.
@ exclusive jurisdiction
The sole court or forum in which an action may be heard or tried, as no other courts or tribunals have authority over the person or the subject matter.
The provision, made in the United States Constitution, in legislation, or in a contract, that a particular court is the sole forum in which a certain type of case may be brought.
=>> jurisdiction.
@ federal question jurisdiction
The authority of the federal district courts to try cases that raise an issue of federal or constitutional law.
=>> jurisdiction.
@ in personam jurisdiction
The court's authority over an individual who resides or is found within the court's geographical area.
=>> jurisdiction.
@ in rem jurisdiction
The court's authority to adjudicate rights in real or personal property located within the court's geographical area.
=>> jurisdiction.
@ jurisdictional amount
The minimum or maximum amount to invoke a particular court's jurisdiction over the matter; in some lower courts, e.g., small claims court, there may be a limitation above which relief must be sought in a higher court; in federal court, a minimum amount in controversy is required in certain cases, e.g., diversity cases.
=>> jurisdiction.
@ limited jurisdiction
Jurisdiction over only certain types of cases, or claims under certain financial limits or subject to other restrictions.
=>> jurisdiction.
@ original jurisdiction
A court's status as the first court that has authority to hear a particular claim.
=>> jurisdiction.
The ability and authority to decide cases based on hearing testimony and viewing evidence, rather than on appeal. The distinction separates trial courts from appellate courts. When an appellate court tries a case de novo on appeal, it is said to be exercising its original jurisdiction rather than its appellate jurisdiction. State-and-county level trial courts have original jurisdiction. The federal courts have original jurisdiction in certain matters, as Congress expressly provides.
@ pendent jurisdiction
A court's authority over claims that would not ordinarily be brought before it, but that are secondary or subsidiary to claims properly before it.
=>> jurisdiction.
@ subject matter jurisdiction
A court's power of review of cases or of relief.
=>> jurisdiction.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

The geographic area over which authority extends; legal authority; the authority to hear and determine causes of action.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

The geographic area over which authority extends; legal authority; the authority to hear and determine causes of action.
II The power or authority of a court to hear and try a case; the geographic area in which a court has power or the types of cases it has power to hear.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   the authority given by law to a court to try cases and rule on legal matters within a particular geographic area and/or over certain types of legal cases. It is vital to determine before a lawsuit is filed which court has jurisdiction. State courts have jurisdiction over matters within that state, and different levels of courts have jurisdiction over lawsuits involving different amounts of money. For example, Superior Courts (called District or County Courts in several states) generally have sole control of lawsuits for larger sums of money, domestic relations (divorces), probate of estates of deceased persons, guardianships, conservatorships and trials of felonies. In some states (like New York) probate and certain other matters are within the jurisdiction of so-called Surrogate Courts. Municipal courts (or other local courts) have jurisdiction over cases involving lesser amounts of money, misdemeanors (crimes not punishable by state prison), traffic matters and preliminary hearings on felony charges to determine if there is sufficient evidence to warrant a trial by the Superior Court. Some states have police courts to handle misdemeanors. Jurisdiction in the courts of a particular state may be determined by the location of real property in a state (in rem jurisdiction), or whether the parties are located within the state (in personam jurisdiction). Thus, a probate of Marsha Blackwood's estate would be in Idaho where she lived and died, but jurisdiction over her title to real estate in Utah will be under the jurisdiction of the Utah courts. Federal courts have jurisdiction over lawsuits between citizens of different states, cases based on federal statutes such as fair labor standards and antitrust violations, charges of federal crimes, appeals from bankruptcy proceedings, maritime cases or legal actions involving federal constitutional questions. Sometimes regulatory agencies have the initial jurisdiction before any legal action may be filed in court. More than one court may have concurrent jurisdiction, such as both state and federal courts, and the lawyer filing the lawsuit may have to make a tactical decision as to which jurisdiction is more favorable or useful to his/her cause, including time to get to trial, the potential pool of jurors or other considerations. Appellate jurisdiction is given by statute to appeals courts to hear appeals about the judgment of the lower court that tried a case, and to order reversal or other correction if error is found. State appeals are under the jurisdiction of the state appellate courts, while appeals from federal district courts are within the jurisdiction of the courts of appeal and eventually the Supreme Court. Jurisdiction is not to be confused with "venue," which means the best place to try a case. Thus, any state court may have jurisdiction over a matter, but the "venue" is in a particular county.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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  • jurisdiction — jur‧is‧dic‧tion [ˌdʒʊərsˈdɪkʆn ǁ ˌdʒʊr ] noun [uncountable] LAW the official right and power to make decisions about something: jurisdiction over • The bankruptcy court now has jurisdiction over the company s assets. • This matter is outside my …   Financial and business terms

  • jurisdiction — JURISDICTION. s. f. (l S ne se prononce point,) & beaucoup écrivent Juridiction. Pouvoir du Juge, de celuy qui a droit de juger. Jurisdiction Ecclesiastique. Jurisdiction Laïque. Jurisdiction ordinaire. cela est de vostre jurisdiction, sous… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • jurisdiction — Jurisdiction, Iurisdictio. Petites jurisdictions et destroicts estans en Italie, où les Romains envoyoient tous les ans quelqu un pour les gouverner et dire droict, Praefecturae. Exercer jurisdiction, Dicere ius. Exercice de la jurisdiction,… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Jurisdiction — Ju ris*dic tion, n. [L. jurisdictio; jus, juris, right, law + dictio a saying, speaking: cf. OF. jurisdiction, F. juridiction. See {Just}, a., and {Diction}.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Law) The legal power, right, or authority of a particular court to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • jurisdiction — (n.) early 14c. administration of justice (attested from mid 13c. in Anglo Latin), from O.Fr. juridiccion (13c.) and directly from L. iurisdictionem (nom. iurisdictio) administration of justice, jurisdiction, from ius (gen. iuris; see JURIST (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • Jurisdiction — (v. tat), 1) im Allgemeinen die Befugniß, Recht zu sprechen; daher so v.w. Gerichtsbarkeit (s.d.); 2) im alten Rom die Befugniß zu dem, was der Magistrat im ordentlichen Verfahren zur Einleitung des Processes zu thun hatte. Die J. kam nur den… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • jurisdiction — *power, authority, control, command, sway, dominion Analogous words: limits, bounds, confines (see singular nouns at LIMIT): *range, scope, compass, reach: circuit, periphery (see CIRCUMFERENCE): province, office, *function, duty: domain,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • jurisdiction — [n] area of authority administration, arbitration, area, authority, bailiwick, bounds, circuit, command, commission, compass, confines, control, discretion, district, domination, dominion, empire, extent, field, hegemony, influence, inquisition,… …   New thesaurus

  • jurisdiction — ► NOUN 1) the official power to make legal decisions and judgements. 2) the territory or sphere over which the legal authority of a court or other institution extends. 3) a system of law courts. DERIVATIVES jurisdictional adjective. ORIGIN Latin …   English terms dictionary

  • jurisdiction — [joor΄is dik′shən] n. [ME jurisdiccioun, altered (infl. by L) < OFr juridiction < L jurisdictio, administration of the law < jus (gen. juris,), law + dictio: see JURY1 & DICTION] 1. the administering of justice; authority or legal power… …   English World dictionary

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