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

    One whose judgements, standing alone, are nullities, unless its proceedings show its jurisdiction; a court of limited and special jurisdiction. See 5 Cranch (U. S.), 173, 3 L. Ed. 70.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    This term may denote any court subordinate to the chief appellate tribunal in the particular judicial system; but it ls commonly used as the designation of a court of special, limited or statutory jurisdiction, whose record must show the existence and attaching of jurisdiction in any given case, in order to give presumptive validity to its judgment. See Ex parte Cuddy, 131 U. S. 280, 9 Sup. Ct. 703, 33 L. Ed. 154; Kempe v. Kennedy, 5 Cranch, 185, 3 In Ed. 70; Grignon v. Astor, 2 How. 341, 11 L. Ed. 283; Swift v. Wayne Circuit Judges, 64 Mich. 479, 31 N. W. 434; Kirkwood v. Washington County, 32 Or. 568, 52 Pac. 568. The English courts of judicature are classed generally under two heads,—the superior courts and the inferior courts; the former division comprising the courts at Westminster, the latter comprising all the other courts in general, many of which, however, are far from being of interior importance in the common acceptation of the word. Brown.