LAW 521-002 – Civil Procedure I
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Unlike states, with their ability to any kind of case via their general jurisdiction, federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.
Subject matter jurisdiction is governed by Article III Section 2 of the Constitution.
Federal Jurisdiction is:
- Can only hear cases under Article III Section 2.
- Federal Court share most of their jurisdiction with state courts.
- Exclusive federal jurisdiction is where only the federal courts can hear a case, not the state courts.
- Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction in the following types of cases:
- Bankruptcy [28 U.S.C. § 1334]
- Patent and Copyright [28 U.S.C. § 1338]
- IRS [28 U.S.C. § 1340]
- Postal Matters [28 U.S.C. § 1339]
- Securities [15 U.S.C. § 1340]
- Antitrust [15 U.S.C. § § 1-27]
- Misc not on test:
- Admiralty [Art III; § 1333; but exclusivity only re: limitation of liability and “in rem” matters]
- Miscellaneous cases where U.S. is involved, i.e. cases involving fines/forfeitures under federal law, torts or crimes against U.S.; customs review.
As well as:
Federal limited jurisdiction is granted in three cases: