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general appearance n: a court appearance by which a party submits to the jurisdiction of the court esp. by asking for any relief other than a ruling that the court has no jurisdiction over the appearing party compare special appearance NOTE: General and special appearances are not used in the federal courts or in state courts that follow the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.