This term represents the authority of a court, tribunal or other empowered person or persons (such as an arbitrator) to hear and decide a case. In the context of court, a state of federal court must have both subject matter jurisdiction and personal jurisdiction. Subject Matter Jurisdiction represents the authority to hear the type of case presented, for example, a landlord-tenant court is not empowered or authorized to hear and decide matters on divorce or criminal matters. Personal Jurisdiction means the power to make authoritative decisions over the parties to the lawsuit. The parties must either reside within the state or jurisdiction of the court or have minimum contacts with the state or jurisdiction so that power over the person is fair. Personal jurisdiction is either In Rem (over the property of a person located in the jurisdiction), In Personam (over the person) or Quasi In Rem. Jurisdiction may also refer to limits of the courts, for example, the jurisdiction of small claims courts only applies to disputes requesting money damages of $7,500 or less.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
The power and authority constitutionally conferred upon (or constitutionally recognized as existing in a court or judge to pronounce the sentence of the law, or to award the remedies provided by law, upon a state of facts, proved or admitted, referred to the tribunal for decision, and authorized by law to be the subject of Investigation or action by that tribunal, and in favor of or against persons (or a res) who present themselves, or who are brought, before the court in some manner sanctioned by law as proper and sufficient. Jurisdiction is a power constitutionally conferred upon a judge or magistrate to take cognizance of and determine causes according to law, and to carry his sentence into execution. U. S. v. Arredondo, 6 Pet. 691, 8 L. Ed. 547; Yates v. Lansing, 9 Johns.