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Definition - What does Jurisdiction mean?

Jurisdiction is the decision-making power afforded to a court to try cases and deliver rulings on legal matters. It usually refers to the geographical area or a class of people. Jurisdiction is what determines which court (and enforcement body such as FBI or local police) has the authority to handle a particular legal matter and it must be determined before initiating any legal proceedings.

SureHire explains Jurisdiction

The courts are bestowed with either special or general jurisdiction. Special jurisdiction empowers the courts to hear certain kinds of cases such as those heard in drug court or traffic court. General jurisdiction grants the court the authority to preside over all cases except those deemed to fall under special jurisdiction. For a court to have jurisdiction over a legal matter, it must be shown to have jurisdiction over the parties involved – personal jurisdiction – as well as jurisdiction over the subject matter of the legal proceeding – subject matter jurisdiction.

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