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Personal Jurisdiction

Definition - What does Personal Jurisdiction mean?

Personal jurisdiction grants a court the power to adjudicate lawsuits when the defendant maintains certain minimum contacts in the place where the court resides.

Personal jurisdiction protects parties from being sued in distant jurisdictions and functions as a fundamental organizing principle in the civil law system.

If a defendant can prove that the court lacks personal jurisdiction, the case is generally dismissed.

Justipedia explains Personal Jurisdiction

In order for a plaintiff to bring a cause of action in any court, the plaintiff must establish that the court holds personal jurisdiction over the defendant. The plaintiff can show that the court has personal jurisdiction by proving that the defendant has certain minimum contacts in the court’s jurisdiction. Certain minimum contacts include the defendant residing in the jurisdiction or the defendant conducting business in the jurisdiction.

If a defendant can prove that there is no personal jurisdiction, the defendant may have the case dismissed before the court hears the merits of the case.

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