Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction (limited power). Generally, only two types of cases can be heard in federal court cases involving a federal question and involving diversity of citizenship of the parties. 
Diversity Jurisdiction – the jurisdiction of a federal court over all civil actions involving diversity of citizenship (wherein the parties involved are from different states (or foreign states)) and the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs.
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: United States Courts, “Complaint for a Civil Case, Form Number: Pro Se 1,” page 3: http://www.uscourts.gov/forms/pro-se-forms/complaint-civil-case
Above abridged definitions extrapolated from the following law dictionaries:
- Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4
- Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949). Edited by William S. Anderson. © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931
- Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition by Jack Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949). Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning. ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.
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