Admiralty Court/Maritime Court Law and Legal Definition

Admiralty Courts are courts that exercise jurisdiction over all maritime contracts, torts, injuries, or offenses. Generally, admiralty courts jurisdiction embraces civil actions relating to ships and the sea. Official jurisdiction for admiralty cases in the U.S. is given to federal district courts. In U.S the federal courts are referred to as admiralty courts when they exercise admiralty jurisdiction, conferred by the U.S. Constitution (art. III, § 2, cl. 1). These federal courts do not use juries and have unique rules of court. The principal matters arising in admiralty court concern shipping, boating, insurance matters, and collisions at sea, civil matters involving seamen, passengers and cargo, salvage claims, and marine pollution. Moreover, admiralty courts issues maritime lien against ships, by which court can seize ship in satisfaction of claims.