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The original jurisdiction of a court is the power to hear a case for the first time, as opposed to appellate jurisdiction, when a court has the power to review a lower court's decision.
The lowest civil court of France, the tribunal de première instance (literally, "Court of First Instance"), has original jurisdiction over most civil matters except areas of specialist exclusive jurisdiction, those being mainly land estates, business and consumer matters, social security, and labor. All criminal matters may pass summarily through the lowest criminal court, the tribunal de police, but each court has both original and limited jurisdiction over certain separate levels of offences:
- juge de proximité ("Magistrate Court"): petty misdemeanors and violations;
- tribunal de police ("Police Court"): gross misdemeanors or summary offences (summary jurisdiction);
- tribunal correctionnel ("Criminal Court"): felonies or indictable offences generally;
- cour d'assises ("Court of Sessions"): capital and first-degree felonies or major indictable offences, high crimes, crimes against the State.
For the administrative stream, any administrative court has original jurisdiction. However, while the Council of State has supreme appellate jurisdiction for administrative appeals, it also has original jurisdiction on a number of matters brought against national governmental authorities including cases against statutory instruments (executive and ministerial orders) and certain types of administrative decisions. These decisions are made up out of 2/3 Congress's vote.
In India, the Supreme Court has exclusive original jurisdiction on all cases between the Government of India and the states and union territories, or cases between different states and union territories. In addition, Article 32 of the Constitution of India grants original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court on all cases involving the enforcement of fundamental rights of citizens.
In the United States, courts having original jurisdiction are referred to as trial courts. In certain types of cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has original jurisdiction concurrently with lower courts. The original jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court is governed by Article III, Section 2 of the United States Constitution and Title 28 of the United States Code, section 1251.
In the federal court system and most U.S. states, there is not one type of trial court, but several. That is, there are several specialized courts with original jurisdiction over specific types of matters, and then a court with original jurisdiction over anything not reserved to more specialized courts. In some states, the latter type of trial courts often also have appellate jurisdiction from the more specialized courts, and are therefore called superior courts to distinguish them from inferior courts.
- "Jurisdiction of The Supreme Court". Supreme Court of India. Retrieved 2012-06-23.