Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    Contested; adversary; litigated between adverse or contending parties; a judicial proceeding not merely ex parte in its character, but comprising attack and defense as between opposing parties, is so called. The litigious proceedings in ecclesiastical courts are sometimes said to belong to its "contentious" jurisdiction, in contradistinction to what is called its "voluntary" jurisdiction, which is exercised in the granting of licenses, probates of wills, dispensations, faculties, etc.
    —Contentious jurisdiction. In English ecclesiastical law. That branch of the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts which is exercised upon adversary or contentious proceedings.
    —Contentions possession. In stating the rule that the possession of land necessary to give rise to a title by prescription must be a "contentious" one, it is meant that it must be based on opposition to the title of the rival claimant (not in recognition thereof or subordination thereto) and that the opposition must be based on good grounds, or such as might be made the subject of litigation. Railroad Co. v. McFarlan, 48 N. J. Law, 621.