State Jurisdiction Law and Legal Definition

State jurisdiction refers to exercise of state court authority. The state court has the right to make a legally binding decision that affects the parties involved in a case. It can also refer to a court's power to hear all matters, civil and criminal, arising within its territorial boundaries. State jurisdiction exists over any matter in which the state has a vested interest. For example, divorce of individuals within the state, the sale of property within the state, or the breach of a contract made within the state. Most state courts are courts of general jurisdiction and therefore has jurisdiction over wide variety of cases. The only types of case that cannot be brought in state court are those that the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over.