Locality-Plus Test Law and Legal Definition

Locality plus test is a test applied in maritime law to determine whether the tort committed is maritime and thus within the admiralty jurisdiction of the federal courts. Traditionally this determination was based on the locality of the wrong. If the wrong occurred on navigable waters, the action is within admiralty jurisdiction; if the wrong occurred on land, it is not. However, the U.S Supreme Court in Exec. Jet Aviation v. City of Cleveland, 409 U.S. 249 (U.S. 1972), held that in order for a federal court to exercise admiralty tort jurisdiction, the alleged wrong should not only occur on navigable waters, but it must also relate to a traditional maritime activity. It was felt that in determining whether there is admiralty jurisdiction over a particular tort or class of torts, reliance on the relationship of the wrong to traditional maritime activity is often more sensible and more consonant with the purposes of maritime law than is a purely mechanical application of the locality test.

Locality plus test is also known as maritime connection doctrine.