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Jurisdiction and Venue

15 January, 2016 - 09:29

The place of filing is equally important, and there are two issues regarding location. The first is subject matter jurisdiction, as already noted. A claim for breach of contract, in which the amount at stake is $1 million, cannot be brought in a local county court with jurisdiction to hear cases involving sums of up to only $1,000. Likewise, a claim for copyright violation cannot be brought in a state superior court, since federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over copyright cases.

The second consideration is venue—the proper geographic location of the court. For example, every county in a state might have a superior court, but the plaintiff is not free to pick any county. Again, a statute will spell out to which court the plaintiff must go (e.g., the county in which the plaintiff resides or the county in which the defendant resides or maintains an office).