A court is competent to hear and decide only those cases whose subject matter fits within the court’s scope of authority. Courts of “limited” jurisdiction may be competent to hear only certain matters, such as those involving probate or juvenile cases. Even courts of broad or general jurisdiction may have certain matters removed from their jurisdiction (by statute or state constitution), such as divorce or custody matters, to be handled by other courts. If the controversy involves a parcel of real estate instead of a person, the property must be located within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.
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