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1. a court, established by the US Constitution, having territorial jurisdiction over a district that may include a whole state or part of it. A district court has original jurisdiction, exclusive of courts of the individual states, over all offenses against laws of the United States, and is a court of general jurisdiction for suits between litigants of different states.

See diversity of citizenship; federal question jurisdiction.

2. an inferior court in several states having limited jurisdiction to try certain minor cases. Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016

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