What are the differences between litigating a breach of contract case, personal injury case, or any other type of case in a Tennessee federal district court as opposed to a Tennessee state trial court? Which court is better for your case? When can your case be filed in federal court as opposed to state court?
The first thing to consider is whether or not your case can be filed in federal court. The federal trial courts in Tennessee, which are referred to as federal district courts, are courts of “limited jurisdiction,” as we lawyers say. By “limited jurisdiction” what we mean, in a very general sense, is that, of all of the cases that can be filed in a Tennessee state court, only a limited number of those could also be filed in a Tennessee federal district court.
A federal district court has jurisdiction over two broad categories of cases: (1) Diversity jurisdiction cases; and (2) federal subject matter jurisdiction cases. A federal court in Tennessee can hear a case (because it has jurisdiction to do so) where the case involves citizens of different states and where the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.00. A Tennessee federal court also has jurisdiction over cases brought under federal laws and statutes which specifically provide for federal court jurisdiction like overtime pay cases under the FLSA, or age discrimination cases under the ADEA.