WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.

Legal Information

Court System Basics

What is personal jurisdiction? Why is it important?

Personal jurisdiction means the judge has the power or authority to make decisions that affect a person. For a judge to be able to make decisions in a court case, the court must have “personal jurisdiction” over all of the parties to that court case. The judge might dismiss your case if the court does not have personal jurisdiction over the other party.