The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was passed in 1986, creating a vaccine court in the United States. The vaccine court cannot hear a bankruptcy case or a murder case. It does not have subject matter jurisdiction to hear any case other than those related to vaccine injuries.
Subject matter jurisdiction is the authority of a court to hear a particular type of claim. It is important because it limits the power of a court.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction in Federal Courts
Federal courts are courts or limited and exclusive jurisdiction. They have authority over a small percentage of cases, like copyright cases, lawsuits involving the military, and bankruptcies. If a case is brought against the United States, a federal court will hear the case. The vaccine court mentioned above is a federal court. Federal courts cannot overturn a decision made by a state court. In fact, the only way a federal court can review a decision from a state court is if there is a federal issue involved. Cases regarding state law are heard in federal courts if the issue at hand is that the state law violated the Constitution.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction in State Courts
State courts have the authority to hear nearly any claim that arises under federal or state law, except those that fall under exclusive jurisdiction of the federal courts. State courts are usually separated into divisions – criminal, civil, family, and probate, but the state’s superior court has general jurisdiction. This means it can hear any case over which no other state court has exclusive jurisdiction.
Under the eyes of the law, motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction are seen as a strong defense. Attorneys often file the motion, but courts reserve the right to dismiss a case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction as well.
Where to file your personal injury claim depends on the type of accident you were involved in, where the accident occurred, and where the other party lives. For example, if you were in a car accident that occurred in Washington D.C., and you live in Washington D.C., but the other party lives in Maryland, you would likely file your case in Washington D.C.
It is important that you file in the right location to avoid unnecessary expenses, and the possibility that your case will be dismissed due to “improper venue.”
If you were injured in a car accident or were the victim of negligence or wrongful conduct, the attorneys at Cohen & Cohen can help you ensure you follow the rules of jurisdiction and get the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free case evaluation.