A court must have jurisdiction to enter a valid, enforceable judgment on a claim. Where jurisdiction is lacking, litigants, through various procedural mechanisms, may retroactively challenge the validity of a judgment.
Jurisdiction may be broken down into two categories: personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction. Personal jurisdiction is the requirement that a given court have power over the defendant, based on minimum contacts with the forum.
Subject-matter jurisdiction is the requirement that a given court have power to hear the specific kind of claim that is brought to that court. While litigating parties may waive personal jurisdiction, they cannot waive subject-matter jurisdiction. In federal court, under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction is considered a favored defense and may be raised at any point in the litigation process, even if the parties had previously argued that subject-matter jurisdiction existed. In fact, the court may dismiss a case sua sponte (on its own) for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. See, e.g., Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 12(b)(1).
Jurisdictional Case Law
“Once jurisdiction is challenged, the court cannot proceed when it clearly appears that the court lacks jurisdiction, the court has no authority to reach merits, but, rather, should dismiss the action.” Melo v. US, 505 F2d 1026.
“The law requires proof of jurisdiction to appear on the record of the administrative agency and all administrative proceedings.” Hagans v. Lavine, 415 U. S. 533.
If it [jurisdiction] doesn’t exist, it can not justify conviction or judgment. …without which power (jurisdiction) the state CANNOT be said to be “sovereign.” At best, to proceed would be in “excess” of jurisdiction which is as well fatal to the State’s/ USA ‘s cause. Broom v. Douglas, 75 Ala 268, 57 So 860 the same being jurisdictional facts FATAL to the government’s cause ( e.g. see In re FNB, 152 F 64).
A judgment rendered by a court without personal jurisdiction over the defendant is void. It is a nullity. [A judgment shown to be void for lack of personal service on the defendant is a nullity.] Sramek v. Sramek, 17 Kan. App. 2d 573, 576-77, 840 P.2d 553 (1992), rev. denied 252 Kan. 1093 (1993).
“A court cannot confer jurisdiction where none existed and cannot make a void proceeding valid. It is clear and well established law that a void order can be challenged in any court”. OLD WAYNE MUT. L. ASSOC. v. McDONOUGH, 204 U. S. 8, 27 S. Ct. 236 (1907).
“There is no discretion to ignore lack of jurisdiction.” Joyce v. U.S. 474 2D 215.
“Court must prove on the record, all jurisdiction facts related to the jurisdiction asserted.” Latana v. Hopper, 102 F. 2d 188; Chicago v. New York, 37 F Supp. 150.
“The law provides that once State and Federal Jurisdiction has been challenged, it must be proven.” Main v. Thiboutot, 100 S. Ct. 2502 (1980).
“Jurisdiction can be challenged at any time.” and “Jurisdiction, once challenged, cannot be assumed and must be decided.” Basso v. Utah Power & Light Co., 495 F 2d 906, 910.
“Defense of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter may be raised at any time, even on appeal.” Hill Top Developers v. Holiday Pines Service Corp., 478 So. 2d. 368 (Fla 2nd DCA 1985)
“Once challenged, jurisdiction cannot be assumed, it must be proved to exist.” Stuck v. Medical Examiners, 94 Ca 2d 751. 211 P2d 389.
“The burden shifts to the court to prove jurisdiction.” Rosemond v. Lambert, 469 F2d 416.
“A universal principle as old as the law is that a proceedings of a court without jurisdiction are a nullity and its judgment therein without effect either on person or property.” Norwood v. Renfield, 34 C 329; Ex parte Giambonini, 49 P. 732.
“Jurisdiction is fundamental and a judgment rendered by a court that does not have jurisdiction to hear is void ab initio.” In Re Application of Wyatt, 300 P. 132; Re Cavitt, 118 P2d 846.
“Thus, where a judicial tribunal has no jurisdiction of the subject matter on which it assumes to act, its proceedings are absolutely void in the fullest sense of the term.” Dillon v. Dillon, 187 P 27.
“A court has no jurisdiction to determine its own jurisdiction, for a basic issue in any case before a tribunal is its power to act, and a court must have the authority to decide that question in the first instance.” Rescue Army v. Municipal Court of Los Angeles, 171 P2d 8; 331 US 549, 91 L. ed. 1666, 67 S.Ct. 1409.
“A departure by a court from those recognized and established requirements of law, however close apparent adherence to mere form in method of procedure, which has the effect of depriving one of a constitutional right, is an excess of jurisdiction.” Wuest v. Wuest, 127 P2d 934, 937.
“Where a court failed to observe safeguards, it amounts to denial of due process of law, court is deprived of juris.” Merritt v. Hunter, C.A. Kansas 170 F2d 739.
“the fact that the petitioner was released on a promise to appear before a magistrate for an arraignment, that fact is circumstance to be considered in determining whether in first instance there was a probable cause for the arrest.” Monroe v. Papa, DC, Ill. 1963, 221 F Supp 685.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction Can Be Challenged At Any Time And It Is Not Subject To The Thirty-Day Time Limit Required by 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c)