Types of Jurisdiction
3/10/17 Types of Jurisdiction
Where a court has exclusive jurisdiction over a territory or a subject matter, it is the only court that is authorized to address that matter. Where a court has concurrent or shared jurisdiction, more than one court can adjudicate the matter. In cases where concurrent jurisdiction exists, a party may attempt to engage in forum shopping, by bringing the case to a court which the party presumes will rule in its favor.
In the United States, jurisdiction is conceptually divided between jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case (subject matter jurisdiction) and jurisdiction over the person of the litigants (personal jurisdiction). When the court exercises jurisdiction over property located within the perimeter of its powers without regard to personal jurisdiction over the litigants, it is called jurisdiction in rem.
The subject-matter jurisdiction of certain courts is limited to certain types of controversies (for example, suits in admiralty or suits where the monetary amount sought is less than a specified sum). These are referred to as courts of special jurisdiction or courts of limited jurisdiction.
A court whose subject-matter is not limited to certain types of controversy is referred to as a court of general jurisdiction. In the United States, all states have courts of general jurisdiction; most states also have some courts of limited jurisdiction. For example, federal courts in the United States are courts of limited jurisdiction.
Original jurisdiction and appellate jurisdiction are also other types of jurisdiction. A court of original jurisdiction hears cases as they are first initiated by a plaintiff, but a court of appellate jurisdiction may only hear an action after the court of original jurisdiction (or a lower appellate court) has heard the matter.