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Calif. S.Ct. on Jurisdiction

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  • Legalbear
    [3] We now proceed to a consideration of the meaning of the term jurisdiction in its relation to the granting of a writ of prohibition. The term, used
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 18, 2012
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      [3] We now proceed to a consideration of the meaning of the term "jurisdiction" in its relation to the granting of a writ of prohibition. The term, used continuously in a variety of situations, has so many different meanings that no single statement can be entirely satisfactory as a definition. At best it is possible to give the principal illustrations of the situations in which it may be applied, and then to consider 288*288 whether the present case falls within one of the classifications.

       

      Lack of jurisdiction in its most fundamental or strict sense means an entire absence of power to hear or determine the case, an absence of authority over the subject matter or the parties. (See generally, 14 Am. Jur. 363, sec. 160.) Familiar to all lawyers are such examples as these: A state court has no jurisdiction to determine title to land located outside its territorial borders, for the subject matter is entirely beyond its authority or power. (See Taylor v. Taylor, 192 Cal. 71 [218 P. 756, 51 A.L.R. 1074].) A court has no jurisdiction to adjudicate upon the marital status of persons when neither is domiciled within the state. (See Restatement, Conflict of Laws, sec. 111; Ryder v. Ryder, 2 Cal.App.2d 426 [37 PaCal.2d 1069].) A court has no jurisdiction to render a personal judgment against one not personally served with process within its territorial borders, under the rule of Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714 [24 L.Ed. 565]. (See Doherty & Co. v. Goodman, 294 U.S. 623 [55 S.Ct. 553, 79 L.Ed. 1097], discussing modern exceptions to the rule.) A court has no jurisdiction to hear or determine a case where the type of proceeding or the amount in controversy is beyond the jurisdiction defined for that particular court by statute or constitutional provision. (See Cambra v. Justice's Court, 4 Cal.2d 445 [49 PaCal.2d 1121].) Other examples of lack of jurisdiction in this fundamental sense will readily occur.

       

      But in its ordinary usage the phrase "lack of jurisdiction" is not limited to these fundamental situations. For the purpose of determining the right to review by certiorari, restraint by prohibition, or dismissal of an action, a much broader meaning is recognized. Here it may be applied to a case where, though the court has jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties in the fundamental sense, it has no "jurisdiction" (or power) to act except in a particular manner, or to give certain kinds of relief, or to act without the occurrence of certain procedural prerequisites. Thus, a probate court, with jurisdiction of an estate, and therefore over the appointment of an administrator, nevertheless acts in excess of jurisdiction if it fails to follow the statutory provisions governing such appointment. (Texas Co. v. Bank of America, 5 Cal.2d 35, 39 [53 PaCal.2d 127].) The superior court may have jurisdiction over a cause of action 289*289 and the parties to a suit for libel, but in the case of non-residents, a bond for costs is required by statute, and unless such bond is filed, it is without jurisdiction to proceed, and will be restrained by writ of prohibition. (Shell Oil Co. v. Superior Court, 2 Cal.App.2d 348 [37 PaCal.2d 1078]; see, also, Carter v. Superior Court, 176 Cal. 752, 757 [169 P. 667].) A court with jurisdiction over a cause may hear and determine it and give judgment, but it cannot award costs in a situation not provided by statute. (Michel v. Williams, 13 Cal.App.2d 198 [56 PaCal.2d 546].) The superior court may have jurisdiction over a particular cause, but a disqualified judge may not sit and hear it if objection to his qualifications is raised, and prohibition will lie to prevent him from trying it. (Hall v. Superior Court, 198 Cal. 373, 387 [245 P. 814].) Where an injunction is sought against enforcement of a public statute, the court, despite its general equitable powers, has no jurisdiction to issue it. (Loftis v. Superior Court, 25 Cal.App.2d 346, 352 [77 PaCal.2d 491]; Reclamation Dist. v. Superior Court, 171 Cal. 672 [154 P. 845].) A court may have jurisdiction to grant a new trial after motion based upon proper statutory grounds, but has no jurisdiction to make the order unless the moving party has given his notice of intention within the prescribed statutory time. (See Peters v. Anderson, 113 Cal.App. 158 [298 P. 76].) The court has power under section 473 of the Code of Civil Procedure to set aside its judgment or order on motion where it was entered against a party through inadvertence, excusable neglect, or mistake; but that power is wholly lost at the end of the six months' period prescribed by statute. (Estate of Hunter, 99 Cal.App. 191, 196 [278 P. 485].) An appellate court may have power to hear and determine a particular case on appeal, but is without jurisdiction to do so unless the procedural step of notice of appeal within the prescribed statutory time is taken. (Aregood v. Traeger, 94 Cal.App. 227 [270 P. 1002].) And if the notice is given before judgment is actually rendered, the premature appeal will be dismissed (Aspegren & Co. v. Sherman, Swan & Co., 199 Cal. 532 [250 P. 400]), or a lower appellate court may be prevented from hearing it by writ of prohibition. (Shriver v. Superior Court, 48 Cal.App. 576, 582 [192 P. 124].) After reversal of a judgment with directions to the lower court, it has jurisdiction to enter judgment, 290*290 but is limited by the directions of the appellate court and is without jurisdiction to permit amended pleadings to raise new issues; hence prohibition will lie to prevent it from retrying the case. (Lial v. Superior Court, 133 Cal.App. 31 [23 PaCal.2d 795].) The same is true where the superior court, in an appeal from a justice's court on questions of law alone, attempts to try the cause de novo. (Sour v. Superior Court, 1 Cal.2d 542 [36 PaCal.2d 373].)

       

      On a number of occasions the courts of this state have recognized the conflicting senses in which the term "jurisdiction" is used, and have emphasized the point that in applications for prohibition or certiorari, the broader meaning is involved. In our own recent decision, Rodman v. Superior Court, 13 Cal.2d 262 [89 PaCal.2d 109], we said: "... some confusion exists with reference to what constitutes an excess, and what constitutes an error, in the exercise of jurisdiction. However, it seems well settled (and there appears to be no case holding to the contrary) that when a statute authorizes prescribed procedure, and the court acts contrary to the authority thus conferred, it has exceeded its jurisdiction, and certiorari will lie to correct such excess." In Spreckels S. Co. v. Industrial Accident Com., 186 Cal. 256, 260 [199 P. 8, 9], where the commission made an award larger than the statute authorized and certiorari was sought, the court said: "The difficulty arises from the different shades of meaning which the word 'jurisdiction' has. As sometimes used, it means simply authority over the subject matter or question presented. In this sense the commission undoubtedly had jurisdiction in this case, and its award was not without jurisdiction on its part. But the word is frequently used as meaning authority to do the particular thing done, or, putting it conversely, a want of jurisdiction frequently means a want of authority to exercise in a particular manner a power which the board or tribunal has, the doing of something in excess of the authority possessed." (See, also, Weintraub v. Superior Court, 91 Cal.App. 763, 769 [267 P. 733]; State v. Reynolds, 209 Mo. 161 [107 S.W. 487, 491, 123 Am.St.Rep. 468, 14 Ann. Cas. 198, 15 L.R.A. (N. S.) 963], reviewing authorities on prohibition and quoting from Appo v. People, 20 N.Y. 531: "... The writ lies to prevent the exercise of any unauthorized power in a case or proceeding of which 291*291 the subordinate tribunal has jurisdiction, no less than when the entire cause is without its jurisdiction.")

       

      [4] The foregoing observations, while by no means a complete description of the term, nevertheless serve as a warning against a too restricted meaning. The concept of jurisdiction embraces a large number of ideas of similar character, some fundamental to the nature of any judicial system, some derived from the requirement of due process, some determined by the constitutional or statutory structure of a particular court, and some based upon mere procedural rules originally devised for convenience and efficiency, and by precedent made mandatory and jurisdictional. Speaking generally, any acts which exceed the defined power of a court in any instance, whether that power be defined by constitutional provision, express statutory declaration, or rules developed by the courts and followed under the doctrine of stare decisis, are in excess of jurisdiction, in so far as that term is used to indicate that those acts may be restrained by prohibition or annulled on certiorari. And, as a practical matter, accuracy in definition is neither common nor necessary. Though confusion and uncertainty in statement are frequent, there is a surprising uniformity in the application of the doctrine by the courts, so that sound principles may be deduced from the established law by marshalling the cases and their holdings in this field. Abelleira v. District Court of Appeal, 17 Cal. 2d 280, 287-291 - Cal: Supreme Court 1941

       

       

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    • The Handyman
      Bear, while this research is fresh on your mind I wonder if you or anyone found a case where status of a defendant caused lack of jurisdiction. I am working on
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 18, 2012
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        Bear, while this research is fresh on your mind I wonder if you or anyone found a case where status of a defendant caused lack of jurisdiction. I am working on a small claim court's service of a petition and trying to avoid litigation therein because in my state the defendant must pay $75.00 up front to move it to another court where there is a record and right of appeal.If you lose in the small claims court here you have no right of appeal and if you request transfer to another court you must first pay an advance cost of $75.00. The rules of evidence do not apply but jurisdiction surely does. Just how they can charge a defendant any cost before judgment seems to be a due process issue. As far as I know a court that denies due process loses jurisdiction.  If you don't transfer the court will proceed without you and ...no appeal.
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Legalbear
        Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2012 5:15 PM
        Subject: [tips_and_tricks] Calif. S.Ct. on Jurisdiction

         

        [3] We now proceed to a consideration of the meaning of the term "jurisdiction" in its relation to the granting of a writ of prohibition. The term, used continuously in a variety of situations, has so many different meanings that no single statement can be entirely satisfactory as a definition. At best it is possible to give the principal illustrations of the situations in which it may be applied, and then to consider 288*288 whether the present case falls within one of the classifications.

        Call me at: 720-675-7230

        On Skype: legalbear

        Best times to call: 8:30 am to 9:00 pm MST

        Join my Yahoo Group Tips & Tricks for Court by sending an email to:

        tips_and_tricks-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

        My blog: legalbearsblog.com

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      • Gary- D
        Here in Pa the same procedure, however the court have ruled this in and of itself does not confirm jurisdiction, when it is well settled on the record by
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 18, 2012
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          Here in Pa the same procedure, however the court
          have ruled this in and of itself does not confirm
          jurisdiction, when it is well settled on the record
          by objection, as noted, while one wades through to
          get the relief sought.

          My brief to the Superior Court of Pa as attachment
          for learning.

          Kindest regards, Gary  


           

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          To: tips_and_tricks@yahoogroups.com
          From: ebobie@...
          Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2012 18:05:36 -0500
          Subject: Re: [tips_and_tricks] Calif. S.Ct. on Jurisdiction



          Bear, while this research is fresh on your mind I wonder if you or anyone found a case where status of a defendant caused lack of jurisdiction. I am working on a small claim court's service of a petition and trying to avoid litigation therein because in my state the defendant must pay $75.00 up front to move it to another court where there is a record and right of appeal.If you lose in the small claims court here you have no right of appeal and if you request transfer to another court you must first pay an advance cost of $75.00. The rules of evidence do not apply but jurisdiction surely does. Just how they can charge a defendant any cost before judgment seems to be a due process issue. As far as I know a court that denies due process loses jurisdiction.  If you don't transfer the court will proceed without you and ...no appeal.
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Legalbear
          Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2012 5:15 PM
          Subject: [tips_and_tricks] Calif. S.Ct. on Jurisdiction

           

          [3] We now proceed to a consideration of the meaning of the term "jurisdiction" in its relation to the granting of a writ of prohibition. The term, used continuously in a variety of situations, has so many different meanings that no single statement can be entirely satisfactory as a definition. At best it is possible to give the principal illustrations of the situations in which it may be applied, and then to consider 288*288 whether the present case falls within one of the classifications.

          Call me at: 720-675-7230

          On Skype: legalbear

          Best times to call: 8:30 am to 9:00 pm MST

          Join my Yahoo Group Tips & Tricks for Court by sending an email to:

          tips_and_tricks-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

          My blog: legalbearsblog.com

          Tax sites: IRSTerminator.com IRSLienThumper.com IRSLevyThumper.com

          (formatted like this so this email doesn't end up in your spam folder)




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