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Concurrent jurisdiction exists when more than one court has jurisdiction over a matter. This means that more than one court has the authority to hear a case and make a determination on the outcome of the case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists in court systems where there are multiple courts.
In the United States, there are two distinct court systems: the federal court system and the state court system. Other court structures and systems exist in other countries as well. For example, in England, the court system consists of the Court of Appeals, a High Court, Crown Court, Magistrates Court and County Court.
In order for any court to hear a matter, it must have jurisdiction over the parties involved. Jurisdiction is a legal term that means the court has authority over the parties and an interest in governing the manner. A person cannot simply be called before any court in the world; the court must have some authority over him, which usually exists because he has enjoyed some benefit provided by the state and thus subjected himself to the state authority vested in the court.
In the United States, state courts are courts of general jurisdiction. This means state courts have broad authority to hear disputes involving their residents and/or involving state laws. The state courts have this power under Separation of Powers and rules set forth in Article III and the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The federal court system in the US, on the other hand, has limited jurisdiction. Federal courts can only hear cases arising out of federal laws or out of diversity jurisdiction. Cases arising out of federal laws are cases where the causes of action are based on some type of federal statute.
Diversity jurisdiction exists when parties from different states are having a dispute and the amount in controversy is above $10,000 US Dollars (USD). This means that if the two parties are having a dispute at which more than $10,000 USD is at stake, diversity jurisdiction exists when the parties are citizens of different states or when one party is a citizen and another is a resident alien. This type of jurisdiction was created because of the belief that states would be biased for their own citizens.
Concurrent jurisdiction exists when the federal courts obtain jurisdiction as a result of diversity jurisdiction. The reason that concurrent jurisdiction exists in this case is because both the federal and state court have the authority to resolve the matter. The parties can elect to bring the case in either state or federal court.
As a result of concurrent jurisdiction, forum shopping can occur. Forum shopping refers to choosing the court that seems most likely to have the most favorable outcome. Both the plaintiff and defendant can engage in forum shopping, since both the plaintiff and the defendant have the right to either bring a case in federal or state court, or to remove a case to federal court when it was originally brought in state court.