Pendent Jurisdiction Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Pendent Jurisdiction, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Pendent Jurisdiction?

n.right given to a federal court to judge cases that should have been tried in state court but because of ceratin common facts or evidences fall under federal court jurisdiction.

History and Meaning of Pendent Jurisdiction

Pendent jurisdiction is a legal term that refers to the power of a federal court to hear and decide on state law claims that are closely related to federal law claims in the same case. The concept of pendent jurisdiction developed in the United States during the 20th century as a way to avoid the inefficiency and inconvenience of having multiple lawsuits on the same issue brought in different courts.

The term "pendent jurisdiction" comes from the Latin word "pendere," which means "to hang" or "to be suspended," and refers to the idea that the state law claims are "pendent" or "hanging" during the federal court proceeding.

In order for pendent jurisdiction to apply, the state law claims must arise from the same facts or circumstances as the federal law claims and must be part of the same case or controversy.

Examples of Pendent Jurisdiction

  1. A person brings a federal lawsuit against their employer for violating federal employment laws. The same person also includes a claim under state law for breach of contract arising from the same employment relationship.

  2. A car accident involving a federal employee is brought to federal court, where the victim sues for personal injury damages. The same lawsuit also includes a claim for property damage based on state law.

  3. A copyright lawsuit is brought to federal court. The plaintiff alleges that the defendant has infringed on their copyrighted material, and also includes a claim under state law for unfair competition based on the same set of facts.

Legal Terms Similar to Pendent Jurisdiction

  1. Ancillary Jurisdiction: Ancillary jurisdiction allows federal courts to hear related claims that would not have been included otherwise.

  2. Supplemental Jurisdiction: Supplemental jurisdiction has replaced the term “pendent jurisdiction” and it is a doctrine that permits one court to hear claims that are related to another claim over which that court has original jurisdiction.

  3. Concurrent Jurisdiction: This term refers to the idea of multiple courts having jurisdiction over the same case or controversy.