Abstention doctrine

An abstention doctrine is any of several doctrines that a United States court may (or in some cases must) apply to refuse to hear a case if hearing the case would potentially intrude upon the powers of another court. Such doctrines are usually invoked where lawsuits involving the same issues are brought in two different court systems at the same time (such as federal and state courts).

The United States has a federal court system with limitations on the cases that it can hear, while each state has its own individual court system. In some instances, the jurisdiction of these courts overlap, so a lawsuit between two parties may be brought in either or both courts. The latter circumstance can lead to confusion, waste resources, as well as cause the appearance that one court is disrespecting the other. Both federal and state courts have developed rules determining when one court will defer to another's jurisdiction over a particular case. Read more: Abstention doctrine. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstention_doctrine.