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The cause, the object, the thing in dispute. It is a fatal objection to the jurisdiction of the court when it has not cognizance of the subject-matter of the action; as, if a cause exclusively of admiralty jurisdiction were brought in a court of common law, or a criminal proceeding in a court having jurisdiction of civil cases only. In such case, neither a plea to the jurisdiction, nor any other plea would be required to oust the court of jurisdiction. The cause might be dismissed upon motion, by the court, ex officio.

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