Jurisdiction of Federal Courts

No federal court has general jurisdiction, meaning that the court could hear any type of case brought before it in a particular location. The authority of a federal court to hear a case must be based on a federal law, whether it is the United States Constitution or a federal statute. Courts created by Congress with specialized jurisdiction are, of course, the most limited to hear a particular case because Congress permits these courts only to hear certain prescribed cases. The jurisdiction of constitutional courts is usually limited to one of two types of cases: cases involving a federal question and cases with parties with diversity of citizenship.


Inside Jurisdiction of Federal Courts