jurisdictional amount

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Jurisdictional amount refers to the amount of money a plaintiff seeks in a lawsuit. The monetary value of a non-monetary remedy such as an injunction can also be included in the jurisdictional amount. For a case to be heard in district court on grounds of diversity jurisdiction, the jurisdictional amount a plaintiff pleads must exceed $75,000.  

As established in St. Paul Mercury v. Red Cab Co, courts exercising diversity jurisdiction will defer to the plaintiff’s pleadings as to the jurisdictional amount so long as they were filed in good faith and the defense cannot show to a legal certainty that the plaintiff cannot recover above $75,000. Jurisdictional amount is determined at the start of the trial and, therefore, a verdict from a court exercising diversity jurisdiction will not be thrown out if a jury determines that a plaintiff is entitled to less than $75,000. 

Multiple claims can occasionally be aggregated to meet the jurisdictional amount requirement. For more information, see aggregation of jurisdictional amount

In addition to diversity jurisdiction, jurisdictional amount is relevant to a few other situations:

Jurisdictional amount is also referred to as amount in controversy

[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]