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The geographic area or type of case a court has authority to hear and decide a case on. For example, a bankruptcy case can only be heard in federal bankruptcy court. If a case meets certain criteria, then it can be heard in both state and federal courts. The party initiating the action typically chooses the jurisdiction, but a defendant can seek to change the jurisdiction when they can show the new jurisdiction is better suited to hear the case.


Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
jurisdiction (noun)
the power, right, or authority to interpret and apply the law
a) the authority of a sovereign power to govern or legislate
b) the power or right to exercise authority - control
the limits or territory within which authority may be exercised power
Merriam-Webster Online Thesaurus
jurisdiction (noun)
lawful control over the affairs of a political unit (as a nation)
administration, authority, governance, government, jurisdiction, regime ( régime), regimen
reign; dominion, power, sovereignty ( sovranty), supremacy, sway; command, leadership; direction, management, regulation, superintendence, supervision; autocracy, dictatorship, domination, hegemony, mastery, oppression, subjugation, tyranny
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