federal case definition by American Heritage Dictionary
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
- Law A lawsuit that falls under the jurisdiction of a federal court.
- Informal A major issue that has evolved from a minor problem: made a federal case out of our tardiness.
federal case definition by Wiktionary
- (idiomatic) Any over-exaggerated ordeal.
- So I didn't put the toilet seat down — you don't have to make a federal case out of it.
In the United States of America, courts with federal jurisdiction generally are for much more serious offenses than those whose cases are heard by local courts.