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Who has jurisdiction in construction litigation cases?

On Behalf of McNabb, Bragorgos, Burgess & Sorin, PLLC | Mar 31, 2022 | Construction Law

Are you in a serious dispute involving a construction project in Tennessee? This is the kind of issue that can result in a severe loss of energy, time, and money. It will be up to you to do all that you can to resolve the case before it goes to court. If it does, you may face a case in either state or Federal court.

When does a state court have jurisdiction?
The existing rules concerning construction law in Tennessee will decide if your case goes to a state or a Federal court. If there is no Federal origin to the project, it will go to a state court. For example, in a simple dispute among contractors, the case will almost always go to state court and nowhere else.

This will be particularly the case if the project itself was initiated at the municipal or state level. It is also the norm when both parties to the dispute live and work in the state where the dispute is taking place. But there are some areas where one of the parties can decide to take their case to Federal court.

When does a Federal court have jurisdiction?
You can also have recourse to a Federal court in order to resolve an ongoing construction dispute. This is true when the project itself has an expressly Federal origin. The entire project may be protected by the Federal Miller Act. By this act, the Federal government reserves jurisdiction to itself.

The Federal government may also be able to reserve jurisdiction if the amount of money in dispute exceeds the figure of $75,000. It can also step in if it rules that there is too high a level of complexity and diversity among the parties who make up the present dispute.