Jurisdictional Amount Law and Legal Definition

Jurisdictional amount refers to the dollar amount of a lawsuit that a court has the authority to hear. It is the range between the minimum and maximum amount of money or value in dispute in a lawsuit, which determines which court has jurisdiction to try the case. The amount or value of a lawsuit is generally determined by the amount asked for by the plaintiff.

For example, a small claims court has jurisdiction over cases that have a relatively low dollar amount claimed. If the small claims court's jurisdiction is over cases up to $10,000, then a plaintiff filing a lawsuit claiming $11,000 is damages would exceed the jurisdictional amount of small claims court and be required to file the lawsuit in a general jurisdiction, or higher level court. Jurisdictional amounts are set by statutes, and vary according to jurisdiction.