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What Is Original Jurisdiction?

A court’s right to hear a case before any other court is referred to as original jurisdiction. Federal and state courts have original jurisdiction, as compared to appellate courts that review cases already heard by lower courts.

In the US legal system, there are 3 types of courts who fall under the category of original jurisdiction. These 3 courts are courts of no record, courts of general jurisdiction, and appellate jurisdiction. Courts of no record refer to courts that do not have permanent records of any of the proceedings it has undertaken. An example of such a court is a peace court. Appellate jurisdiction is usually characteristic of the Supreme Court, which reviews a case that has already been decided upon by a lower court. However, the Supreme Court may have original jurisdiction over matters that concern those of 2 or more states. These cases commonly involve boundaries and other property issues. The ability of the Supreme Court to assert original jurisdiction over a case is provided for in Article III, Section 2 of the US Constitution as well as the statute found in the US Code Title 28, Section 1251, which specifically outlines the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction.

For a federal court to exercise original jurisdiction over a certain case, the case must fulfill certain conditions. These conditions are as follows— that the parties concerned are from different states or countries and that a federal law is being contested. For the latter to be considered, federal statues or constitutional law must be in question.

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