The power of a court to hear a case for the first time instead of waiting for the case to be tried in a lower court.
A court's authority to try a case in the first instance. Original jurisdiction generally refers to a trial court, although appellate courts under certain circumstances can originate a case and thus exercise original jurisdiction.
the jurisdiction granted a court to try a case in the first instance, make findings of fact, and render a usu. appealable decision; e.g., the district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States -- U.S. Code