Whenever you have a small claims dispute to present, your very first step should be to check whether your claim meets the jurisdictional requirements of the court in your locality. This can often be confusing, since each state (and their cities) typically have their own unique set of courts. It is your job to figure out which has the authority over your case and claim. Once you do, you then need to initiate your claim by completing the appropriate jurisdiction paperwork, which can require a lot of research on your part.
This additional step can be burdensome, and indicates another shortcoming in the legal system. Since Zeyo operates under its own private jurisdiction, the problems you may run into when deciding which court system to follow are already solved. Our online dispute resolution platform is fully equipped to ensure you don't run into any jurisdictional issues. Here are the three main types of jurisdiction, and our approach to each of them:
- Territorial jurisdiction
This refers to a court's power over persons and events located within the boundaries of a specific geographic territory. For instance, the California state court system has jurisdiction over individuals and events living and taking place in the state of California. Because of their local nature, small claims courts are often impractical places to sue out-of-state individuals, since the amounts of money involved are usually not large enough to warrant traveling to a different state. However, Zeyo's private jurisdiction transcends state borders, enabling you to sue someone living on the western border of the country, all the way from your East Coast home, or vice versa.
- Personal jurisdiction
This type of jurisdiction applies more specifically to the law and facts of a suit and seeks to enforce the outcome upon a certain party. This jurisdiction comes about if two conditions are fulfilled. First, the law to which the court is subject must give it authority to accept jurisdiction over the party in question. Second, this jurisdiction must not violate the principle of "due process," which is a citizen's entitlement to fair treatment through the judicial system. This means that the court ruling on the results of a case will have certain limitations when it comes to their exercise of power over property, person or entity. This principle is known as "substantive due process." This form of jurisdiction also requires that the defendant be given proper notice of the pending action to be heard, called "procedural due process." Given these conditions, a court will possess jurisdiction over the defendant. Zeyo’s online procedure makes this type of jurisdiction easy to consider, especially since we give the defendant notice of your claim for you.
- Subject-matter jurisdiction
The last category of jurisdiction refers to the authority of a court over cases related to a specific subject-matter. Criminal courts, for instance, will have authority over criminal cases. This form of jurisdiction is particularly important in that it cannot be waived, as opposed to territorial or personal jurisdiction. This means that cases without subject-matter jurisdiction are most likely to be rejected. And it stands to reason, since a court without subject-matter jurisdiction over a certain type of case is not likely to be prepared to handle it. Unfortunately, with high-volume cases flooding small claims courts, it can be assumed that judges very often operate on limited knowledge and specialization, which leads to accelerated trial durations and hasty or erroneous judgements. Zeyo's private format and utilization of neutral and specialized arbitrators solves this issue. We ensure that your claim meet subject-matter jurisdiction requirements and pair you with specialized professionals so that your small claim dispute receives the attention it deserves, from the people who know how best to resolve it.
Our online dispute resolution platform seeks to be an efficient and simple solution to a overly complicated problem. Zeyo's unique jurisdictional format allows us to do just that by making your job easier, and getting you closer to the simple, cost-effective, and pleasant outcome that you deserve.