Jurisdiction means to have the power, right and authority to interpret and apply law.
Jurisdiction gives the court the power over you or to hear you in order to decide on the outcome of a legal case.
There are two types of jurisdiction. One is subject matter jurisdiction and the other is personam or personal jurisdiction.
With subject matter jurisdiction, a court has only the power to decide on a particular class of case.
With personal jurisdiction (personam), a court has the power to force a person to appear in from of it to decide how to deal with their rights. For a court to have personal jurisdiction over you it must have a meaningful connection to you by way of residency (jurisdictional territory) or that a transaction or controversy took place in their jurisdiction.
Local judicial courts can only handle minor criminal or non-criminal cases where the amount at stake is less than $8000. This varies from state to state.
Courts of Limited Jurisdiction
Where as a Bankruptcy Court only has jurisdiction to decide on cases brought under title 11 of the US code. A Probate Court only has the power to hear and decide probate matters and a criminal court can only hear and decide on criminal matters brought before it.
Other Types of Jurisdiction
The power to correct errors of another lower court is a power granted to the Appellate Court. Federal courts have the power to hear cases where the parties are from different states.
In order to establish jurisdiction the court must make sure that they have jurisdiction over the person, the subject matter and the jurisdiction to render the judgement sought
The US Constitution states that jurisdiction (power) must be exercised judiciously.