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Jurisdiction Friction

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Agent Smith: Lieutenant, you were given specific orders.
Lieutenant: I'm just doing my job. You give me that "juris-my-dick-tion" crap... you can cram it up your ass.

When two or more law enforcement organizations both can lay claim on a particular criminal case or suspect they will rarely see eye-to-eye on the best way to prosecute/investigate the case. In the U.S., local cops vs. the Federal government (FBI, DEA, etc.) is the most common setup. Usually, the locals will want to shut down a petty crook to protect their town and the "little guy", while the Feds are focused on the big picture and would rather he go free so they can focus on building a case against the "big fish" higher up the criminal ladder. When a case is particularly sensitive or difficult, the friction may be reversed: each group of investigators wants to absolve themselves of jurisdiction to avoid the problems that will come with it. This is most likely to happen if one of the groups is under pressure to improve their conviction rate and does not want to risk taking on a case they cannot solve.

Jurisdiction Friction may also occur at the initial crime scene: the hero investigator will barely have the time to unearth a few clues before the rival investigation outfit shows up to flash badges all over the place and claim jurisdiction. At this point, the hero will either turn Vigilante Man or move on to a new case that's oddly reminiscent of the old one.

Which side of the dispute is sympathetic and which is heartless/incompetent/arrogant/corrupt/trigger happy/working for the shadow government depends entirely on who the main characters are. FBI agent series such as The X-Files and Without a Trace naturally will have them in the right, while a Police Procedural like Law & Order is frequently on the other side.

In addition to local versus Feds, the friction can occur between other law enforcement subdivisions over the same suspect, like drug enforcement officers versus homicide investigators, or simply one of a city's police districts versus another. Internal Affairs can also get involved at some point. And everybody has it in for the Private Detective.

Will likely involve the hero being Taken Off the Case. Compare Right Hand Versus Left Hand, We ARE Struggling Together (for when the factions bickering over a common goal are not part of any government), and Tricked into Another Jurisdiction.

See also Interservice Rivalry for the military version. Intra-Scholastic Rivalry is a school-aged version.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • NERV is really not popular with the Japanese government, whose sovereign territory they operate in under a UN mandate. Right in the very first episode, the Japanese military refuses to let NERV handle Sachiel until after the loss of massive amounts of men and materiel, with the generals overseeing the operation making defeating the Angel with conventional forces a matter of pride despite, as the supreme commander of NERV points out, defeating Angels being what NERV and their titular Humongous Mecha exist for.
    • Episode 7 later reveals that the Japanese military did not accept being forced to yield to NERV for handling the Angels and tried to develop their own Humongous Mecha so that they'd be able to cut NERV out of anti-Angel operations, to which NERV's response was to sabotage the project to ensure it won't divert funding from NERV. Which in turn resulted in the events of the Girlfriend of Steel visual novel where the Japanese military shifted their priority to keeping NERV in check and ultimately culminated in the events of End of Evangelion, where the government flat-out revokes NERV's authority due to having been convinced by SEELE's people in the UN that NERV was planning on going rogue and the military is happy to oblige in enforcing it.
    • In episode 8, the commander of the UN Navy Pacific Fleet flat-out refuses to turn his cargo, Evangelion Unit 02, over to NERV's operations director while they're still out on the sea, insisting that the Eva and its pilot were handed to them by NERV's Germany branch to be transported to Japan and are under their jurisdiction until they reach Japan, not a second before. When Gaghiel attacks the fleet and the NERV ops director tries to invoke her authority and take command, she once again gets rebuffed by the admiral who tries to countermand Unit 02's deployment and only relents once half the fleet is gone.
  • Inspector Zenigata has been on the trail of Arséne Lupin III for years in hopes of hauling the Master Thief to Japan to face justice. Which he believes he finally has succeeded in when Lupin is arrested in Italy... until he's told by the local authorities to buzz off. In this case, it's less due to a jurisdiction issue since Zenigata's an Interpol Special Agent but a political issue — Lupin has a death sentence in Japan and Italy refuses to extradite suspects to countries on charges if it's likely they'll be executed.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam has some examples of this despite the wartime setting thanks to the personal ambitions of Zeon's ruling Zabi family and their loyalists. After Ramba Ral loses his Gouf in battle with the Gundam, he puts in a request for a brand-new Dom to replace it. The request goes to M'Quve, who ultimately denies the requestnote  because he doesn't want Dozle Zabi (for whom Ral works) finding out about the secret mining operation that Kycilia (M'Quve's boss and Dozle's sister, the two of whom mutually dislike each other) has going in Odessa, which leads to Ral performing an unsuccessful suicide attack against White Base and robs Zeon of another veteran pilot and leader.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, this plays a big part in how the balance of power in the United Kingdom goes.
    • Officially, there are three major branches: the British Royal Family, the Anglican Church, and the Knights of England. On paper, the Royal Family leads the country (and by extension, the parliamentary government as well as the police and other related agencies), the knights maintain the order (by way of ensuring the royal family and the church don't get too powerful as well as dealing with internal affairs the "normal" police can't handle), and the church deals with foreign affairs that cannot be concluded normally due to cultural differences (mainly the magic side affairs around the world and dealings with the science side, particularly Academy City). The friction is especially evident between the Knights (who normally side with the Royal Family) and the Church (who can exert the most pressure on the Royal Family).
    • However, because the UK also consists of four separate cultures with their own desires (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), it's not uncommon for members of the same faction to hate each other or those of different factions to ally with each other based on where they side culturally.
  • Holoearth Chronicles Side:E ~Yamato Phantasia~: The Patrol Company is a squad that serves as the police in Kyo-no-Miyako, but they distrust the Inari Clan who have the same duties due to some past grudge.

    Comic Books 
  • A 1990 The Avengers storyline has a group of Russian terrorists taking over a British sub. With their own British super-teams unavailable, they ask the U.S. for aid who call in the Avengers. They run into the People's Protectorate who are out to stop the rogue Russians. The sub surfaces off the coast of Newfoundland with the two teams trying to figure out a plan...only for Alpha Flight to arrive and claim "jurisdiction of this mess" goes to them as this is now a Canadian matter. The three teams manage to work together to stop both the terrorists and some Atlantean invaders.
    • During Operation: Galactic Storm, a team of Avengers are captured by the Kree military and brought to Hala. Almost immediately on setting foot there, a bunch of Accusers show up and demand to take custody. The soldiers and Ronan get so into their argument Sersei is able to use her powers to make it look like the Avengers have escaped.
  • Walker and Pilgrim in the comic book Powers often find their investigations turned over to the Feds. Naturally, this never stops them investigating anyway.
  • A police ally of the X-Men once used this to save them when crooks-turned-feds Freedom Force attempt to arrest the mutant heroes. She insisted Freedom Force produce the documentation necessary to take the X-Men into custody (which they didn't have on them). This gave the X-Men time to flee the city.
  • The military equivalent showed up in The DCU when The Shield (an Army Super-Soldier) and Magog (Marine corporal turned emissary of one of the Old Gods) ended up on the same mission together. They spent just as much time sniping at each other's respective branches as they did fighting the main threat.
  • In Batman Year 100, Gotham City PD and the Federal Investigators clash over a murder. The GCPD thinks it should have jurisdiction as the murder happened in Gotham, the Feds because it was one of their men and also because they committed the murder and are organizing a massive cover up. Batman knows he has jurisdiction because he's the Goddamn Batman (see The Dark Knight film below).
  • In Gotham Central, tension exists between the Major Crimes Unit and the other squads. Some of the conflict is because the other squads tend to use the fact that the MCU has jurisdiction over cases with supervillains to lazily dump routine investigations on them by claiming that the case bears the hallmarks of a supervillain. The rest of the conflict comes from the fact that the MCU is the only consistently honest department in the notoriously corrupt and incompetent GCPD.
  • Adventures in the Rifle Brigade has a jurisdiction conflict between the Wehrmacht and Gestapo. See, the crack commandos of the Rifle Brigade were caught on the streets of Berlin by Panzer ace Otto Flaschmann, who happened to be there on leave. However, Gestapo captain Venkschaft claims them as his prisoners, since Berlin is his home court. Seeing it as his collar, Flaschmann pulls strings with some powerful friends of his to get them turned over to him and sent to a cushy POW camp (instead of being tortured, interrogated, and executed). A furious Venkschaft accuses him of hunting for headlines. It's a moot point; they escape from custody almost immediately after being turned over to Flaschmann.
  • The Simpsons: As in the show (see Western Animation), in disasters Chief Wiggum and Mayor Quimby will argue over who's in charge, starting with the first issue.
    • When Krusty starts his own country, Krustopia, Springfield's police camp outside the compound and then proceed to do nothing. After a few weeks, federal agents show up and point out how useless the police have been. They take over, cut the power... and then join the police in sitting around.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): When the FBI arrests a bunch of people as spies on the word of Paula von Gunther, who they claim to have broken (she's just using their naivety to get them to move her to another prison so she can escape and gave them a false list of names) they find themselves butting heads with the USAAF's military intelligence branch.
  • Stormwatch, from the series of the same name, was a superhero team under the direct control of the UN. It theoretically had global jurisdiction, but could only be allowed to operate if asked by either the UN Special Security Council or if the government of a specific country invoked "Code Perfect," declaring that there was a superhuman emergency within their borders.
    • During Warren Ellis's run on the book, the American government declared that they would no longer allow Stormwatch within the country unless specifically requested. This proved to be a problem when a bunch of rogue superhumans were about to tear apart a small Louisiana town, but the US refused to give Stormwatch permission to intervene. Battalion got around this by finding a French citizen who was visiting relatives in the town, calling up the French Premier, and asking him to invoke Code Perfect on behalf of his citizen.

    Fan Works 
  • Takamachi Nanoha of 2814: When Chrono showed up on the scene he tried to assert himself as an official of the Time Space Administration Bureau but Nanoha, as the local offical of the Green Lantern Corps, put a quick end to that.
  • Feathers and Fire: A Republic fleet officer tells Atreus the captain of his caught smuggling can't be prosecuted because that guy was operating in Hutt space where the Republic has no authority.
  • In Bad Future Crusaders, Equestria's forces consist of the regular guards, Captain Rumble and his elite Stormfront unit, the Canterlot Criminal Investigation Department, the Royal Equestria Air Force, and Featherweight's changeling spy network. They are constantly bickering over who should handle what except for Featherweight, who only provides the other groups with Intel rather than actually acting.
  • In the fan-made video "Gunther vs Paul", which is based off of the second hotel raid in Deus Ex, Gunther is about to haul off Paul, after defeating him in hand-to-hand combat, but Majestic 12 agents show up just in time and order him away, causing him much frustration.
  • In i'm giving you a nightcall: The murder of Sergeant Matthew Halsey puts in the investigation in the hands of both the police and the military much to Ed's ire, especially since the military liaison is his ex, who he's avoiding.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man fics Extra Legs to Stand On and Ocelli show jurisdictional friction happening between the NYPD, the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the NSA, and SHIELD due to the Lizard's actions counting as domestic terrorism.
  • In Chrysalis Visits The Hague, there is quite a lot of it going on between the UN (investigating into Queen Chrysalis' crimes on behalf of the International Criminal Court) and the Equestrian crown (who take the matter very personally and thus take offence to the fact human investigators are roaming around Equestria to begin with).
  • The synopsis for the multi-fandom crossover "Like Broken Glass" openly says "a double murder turns into a jurisdictional nightmare." First, Kate Beckett and Rick Castle investigate the murder of a Boston cop and a Navy officer. The cop happens to be a partner of Jane Rizzoli which brings her and Maura Isles to town and demanding to take the lead. However, because the other victim was Navy, that brings in agents from NCIS who want to take over. They track down a possible suspect only to find it's NCIS: Los Angeles agent Kensi Blye on vacation. And then, Kensi's partner, LAPD officer Deeks, shows up and poor Beckett is ready to smash her head against a wall.
  • Chasing Dragons: The Royal Orders, as Stannis' personal armies, can supersede local law enforcement like the City Watch, much to the ire of the latter.
  • Spider-Man and Power Girl features a sci-fi version of this when Power Girl finds herself in the Marvel Universe, as it's noted that her status as a dimensionally displaced alien means that S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient World Observation and Response Department) and A.R.M.O.R. (Altered-Reality Monitoring and Operational Response Agency) could lay claim to being responsible for her. Abigail Brand explicitly states that she considers herself having "lost" for having gained responsibility for the situation, since Power Girl is "a walking administrative nightmare" given how she technically falls under the heading of both departments.
  • The Weaver Option:
    • Imperial Navy Admiral von Kisher arrived at Operation Pearl Harbor in full parade dress and immediately tried to pull rank and take charge of all naval assets. He only backed down when every Space Marine chapter present made it clear they would follow Naval Secretary Wolfgang instead. It's later speculated von Kisher was positioning himself to take the Navy's share of the massive bounties and rewards being racked up by the Operation.
    • Fenris is on the border of Segmentums Obscurus and Solar, which has resulted in a millennia-long feud in the Administratum over which side of the border it's on... because neither Segmentum's department wants to deal with the headache from having the Space Wolves in their region.
      • When a Chaos ritual throws Fenris through the Warp, an Imperial officer notes that on the bright side this will end the feud. The Warmaster responds it might end up being worse: Fenris lands in a different Segmentum which wants it put back where it belongs, leading to a three-way Administratum struggle.
  • Agent Carter: Phantom Pain: Peggy and Daniel do not take kindly to the idea of the FBI taking over investigating Thompson's murder. Chief Flynn doesn't give them any option, pointing out that the SSR is to be disbanded and likely rolled into the newly formed CIA.
  • A Moth to a Flame: Sasha's mother, Amanda Waybright, is the Commander of the LAPD and very reluctantly works with Mr. X during his investigation into the Boonchuys and Plantars, nearly coming into conflict with him over custody once they've been captured before coming to an agreement that the LAPD gets custody of the Anne and her parents to question them on Sasha and Marcy's whereabouts for the past several months, while the FBI get the Frog Men to interrogate them on who they are.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Bon Cop, Bad Cop has the Quebec and Ontario police arguing over a dead body found lying on top of a highway sign indicating the precise location of the Quebec/Ontario border. And the reason they have to work together in the first place is to stop the RCMP (i.e. the Feds) from getting involved and stealing all the glory.
    Martin: His heart is in Québec.
    David: Ya l'Ontario dans l'cul aussi! ("He's got Ontario up his ass!")
    Martin: What?
    David: But his ass belongs to you.
  • Deputy U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard runs afoul of this twice in The Fugitive (1993) when chasing Dr. Richard Kimble.
    • In the first act, Sheriff Rollins, while investigating the crash of the prison bus and the train derailment that resulted, is sure that No One Could Survive That! and is ready to close the case when the Feds happen on the scene. When Gerard insists on making sure, he makes clear that he has the authority to take jurisdiction. Somewhat reluctant, Rollins turns over all aspects of the investigation to them so that they won't receive complaints from the locals. Their attitude towards the case (and by extension the Feds) pulls a complete 180 when evidence is found that the eponymous fugitive is Not Quite Dead, which causes the U.S. Marshals and the Illinois State Police to successfully work together.
    • In the final act, there's a disagreement between Gerard and the Chicago Police Department. First, he questions their conclusion that "Kimble killed his wife for the money", and soon starts finding evidence proving Kimble's innocence. Later, after Dr. Kimble is believed to have shot a police officer on the 'L' (which was actually Sykes, who Kimble was able to disarm): the CPD wants to kill him, and Gerard and his team want to take him alive. The blood is so bad that Gerard actually gets pinned down by sniper fire from a police chopper while chasing Kimble on the roof of the hotel.
  • Inverted in Beverly Hills Cop III, where Detective Billy Rosewood has been appointed DDOJSIOC (Deputy Director of Joint Special Inter Operational Command), responsible for coordinating the efforts of the various L.A. metro area law-enforcement agencies as needed. At one point he assembles a veritable army of different units and uniforms, including Baywatch lifeguards, to surround and secure a single suspicious van, which proves to be empty; he gets chewed out for it.
  • The movie Murder at 1600 has Wesley Snipes as a Washington D.C. police homicide detective investigating a murder of a secretary at the White House. He has all kinds of Jurisdiction Friction with the Secret Service (which guards the White House). This is also a case of poor research because any murders on Federal property (like the White House) are handled by the FBI.
  • In The Negotiator, Danny Roman is a Chicago Police Department officer who, believing himself wrongly accused of murder, has taken hostages in police headquarters, but the building itself is owned by the Federal Government. The FBI agents agree to let the local authorities handle the situation temporarily, but then later take over. When Roman escapes the building, the local police take over again, because he is now at large in the city, which is not Federal jurisdiction. (Realistically, the Feds would still have jurisdiction because he was still a suspect in a crime committed on Federal property.)
  • The Matrix, this happens in the opening when Agent Smith, Agent Brown, and Agent Jones drive up to the Heart 'O the City Hotel where they've dispatched the police to capture Trinity. In the simulated world that the Matrix has created, blue pills see the Agents as the equivalent of the FBI.
    Agent Smith: Lieutenant.
    Lieutenant: Oh, shit.
    Agent Smith: Lieutenant, you were given specific orders.
    Lieutenant: Hey, I'm just doing my job. If you give me that "juris-my-dick-tion" crap, you can cram it up your ass.
    Agent Smith: The orders were for your protection.
    Lieutenant: [laughs] I think we can handle one little girl. [Smith ignores him and starts walking towards the building] I sent two units! They're bringing her down now.
    Agent Smith: No, lieutenant. Your men are already dead. [inside, as the one police officer prepares to put the handcuffs on Trinity, she attacks him and his comrades, knocking out or killing them]
  • Mysteriously avoided in Taking Lives, in which the Sûreté du Québec swoop down in helicopters in front of a train station in Moncton, New Brunswick (somehow managing to get there from Quebec in 20 minutes).
  • The Spurbury Police Department and the Vermont Highway Patrol continually clash over jurisdiction in Super Troopers, even leading to an out-and-out brawl at a murder scene. There is a justification beyond general JerkAssery, though: the state doesn't have the money to maintain a separate Highway Patrol station, so the "troopers" need to get big crimes on their record to justify their existence. This ends up getting resolved when the Highway Patrolmen expose the massive amounts of corruption in the Police Department... and then, when the Highway Patrol station is shut down, they simply join the police department to replace the disgraced officers.
  • Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) has tension between the auto theft unit and the homicide unit of the LAPD about the Big Bad, who is wanted by both of them. You'd think that being part of the same police department after the same man they'd find it easier to work together to bring him in and simply increase his charge sheet (and thus the likelihood of him being convicted for something), but apparently not. It could be Truth in Television when there's a limited budget and both departments are trying to impress Da Chief.
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back has a Federal Wildlife Marshall who shows up at a diamond heist claiming jurisdiction because the criminals also arranged for the animals in an animal testing facility next door to be released at the same time. The local cops resent this... less because of the jurisdiction issue, and more because he's a complete idiot.
  • The Dark Knight:
    • Shown when Batman appears at a crime scene and asks Gordon for a couple minutes alone before his men come in and contaminate it. Gordon is happy to oblige, but his officers take offense.
    • Lau flies back to Hong Kong to escape prosecution in Gotham City, saying he's out of Dent's jurisdiction and confident that China won't extradite a national. The Joker retorts, in his warning about Batman to the mafia meeting, that Batman has no jurisdiction. Lo and behold, Batman comes a-knockin' on Lau's door.
    • Though the point is moot, Lau was mistaken. Hong Kong has a completely separate legal system from the rest of China and it has an an extradition agreement with the United States. Mainland China will not extradite its own citizens (see Article 8(1) of Extradition Law of the People's Republic of China) but it will try its own citizens for overseas crimes, which can be a bad thing because China has the death penalty and some states don't.
    • Also, if Batman recovers Lau and brings him to Gotham police, he's acting as an agent of the police department and has to abide by all the same rules. Which is why the Gotham legal system insists that Lau just randomly decided to come back and was arrested. It's doubtful that would hold up in court.
  • Die Hard films:
    • Becomes a plot point in Die Hard because Hans Gruber knows the FBI's standard responses to a hostage situation, and was counting on them to take the case from the LAPD and follow their playbook, helping him crack a safe and cover his escape.
    • Averted in Die Hard with a Vengeance. The NYPD Captain is ordering his men to search the schools and challenges the FBI Agent not to pull a jurisdictional stunt. The FBI Agent has kids in one of the threatened schools, and he's more than happy to help.
  • Averted in The Boondock Saints. FBI Agent Smecker is called in to investigate a murder in Boston because the dead men were connected with the Russian Mob. He shows up with Da Chief, who tells the detectives in no uncertain terms that they are to fully cooperate with Smecker. Smecker turns out to be incredibly good at his job and shortly earns the respect of the police.
  • Subverted in The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. The Detectives are trying to prevent Special Agent Bloom from finding out they were involved in Don Yakavetta's killing. Bloom knows, and is actually on their side, but is just having fun fucking with them.
  • Averted in The Presidio. The Officer's Club at the Presidio is broken into, and an investigating military cop is shot on the scene. During the ensuing chase, which spills out into the city of San Francisco, the SFPD take over, and two officers are killed when one of them is shot and their car crashes and explodes. The SFPD and the Military Police decide to work together to solve the case, although it turns out the installation Provost Marshal and the police inspector assigned to work together on the case have a history with each other, and do not get along.
  • First played straight then subverted in the film adaptation of Along Came a Spider. Alex Cross is brought in to investigate the kidnapping of a U.S. Senator's daughter from their exclusive, secured private school. The Secret Service representative is at first cagey and defensive about having a simple detective being brought in lead the case, but later approaches Cross and apologizes, says he thinks jurisdiction arguments are "a massive waste of time", then asks what he can do to help.
  • In The Avengers (2012), the World Security Council berates Nick Fury for handing over Loki to Thor to "face Asgardian justice" instead of letting him be tried on Earth as a war criminal. Fury replies by saying that he didn't give Loki to Thor, he just didn't see fit to start an argument with a demi-god over the matter.
    • Avengers: Endgame reveals that during the Avengers movie itself, Alexander Pierce, the U.S. Secretary of Defense and a major operative of HYDRA, wanted Loki and the Tesseract, since Loki should answer to the US Government and its people, rather than Odin, and the fact that the Tesseract itself has been S.H.I.E.L.D. property for 70 years. And unlike Nick Fury, he had the Pokeballs to start an argument with a demi-god over the matter. However, Loki and the Tesseract still have to go to Asgard regardless of Pierce's intervention.
  • Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore has this as a minor plot-point (while the organizations in question are not technically government arms, they act like it and actually refer to the issue as a jurisdiction problem): generally the cats' MEOWS and the dogs' DOG goes after threats from the other species, but in the Kitty Galore case MEOWS also claims jurisdiction on the logic that she's a Rogue Agent of MEOWS. To sidestep the jurisdiction issue, the two organizations agree to work together.
  • Although mostly averted on Twin Peaks (see below), played pretty straight in The Movie, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, in the run-in between FBI Special Agent Chet Desmond and the startlingly corrupt Deer Meadows Sheriff's Office. Desmond ends up beating up all the local cops.
  • In Airheads, the disagreements between LAPD's Sgt. O'Malley and SWAT leader Carl Mace cause many problems, as Mace threatens to undermine O'Malley's negotiations by trying to take down Chazz.
  • In the 2002 film Blood Work, based on a novel by Michael Connelly, the killer pursued by former FBI agent Terry McCaleb (Clint Eastwood) pulls this intentionally-he dumps a body on the exact boundary between two police forces to create a jurisdictional dispute and slow down their investigation.
  • Mullins and Asburn in The Heat, at first. Also, the DEA.
  • Parkland shows a small brawl between the Secret Service who want to take JFK's body back to Washington and the Dallas police who insist that Texas law requires him to stay in the state.
  • A particularly absurd example occurs in Hitman, between Interpol Special Agent Mike Whittier and the Russian FSB. Not only does the real Interpol have no jurisdiction over any crimes,note  the investigation they are fighting over is the attempted assassination of the Russian President — in Russia!
  • The film adaptation of Stuart Woods' novel Chiefs has a problem wherein the chief of the Delano City Police wants to investigate a suspected murderer - except the suspect lives in Justin County, and Delano is in Mainbridge County.
  • A fair deal of the conflict among the heroes in the film Black Dog come from the FBI agent and the ATF agent over who has jurisdiction in their investigation of a gun-smuggling operation.note 
  • Halo: Nightfall features tension between the Sedran Colonial Guard and Jameson Locke's team from the United Nations Space Command's Office of Naval Intelligence. ONI, particularly Horrigan, consider the Sedrans backward hicks who still believe in Valhalla, and notes their tech is at least 200 years behind current UNSC standard. The Sedrans, meanwhile, are suspicious of the UNSC's motives: yes, they did beat the Covenant and save humanity, but in the wider Expanded Universe of Halo they've basically turned into a military dictatorship.
  • Vacation: Rusty and Debbie escape from being arrested for trying to have sex at Four Corners because the park rangers are too busy arguing among themselves over which one has the authority to arrest them.
  • Predator 2. During the first half of the movie, Lieutenant Harrigan of the LAPD has an ongoing feud with Peter Keyes of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) over the investigation of a war between Los Angeles drug gangs. It turns out to be worse than that: Keyes is actually a Federal agent hunting for an extraterrestrial killer.
  • Mulholland Falls:
    • The LAPD detectives' investigation leads them onto restricted military areas. When they're inevitably arrested by the MPs for trespassing, the Colonel points out that they're out of their jurisdiction.
    • When the detectives' investigation starts to uncover a high-level conspiracy within the U.S. military, an FBI Agent is sent to Los Angeles in a slimy attempt to intimidate the local cops. This falls flat on its face when Hoover (the main character—an LAPD homicide detective—, not the FBI director of the same name) and the Chief immediately call it out for what it is, and Hoover later ambushes the FBI agent to beat him up. Then he drags the guy out of the federal building they're in and points to a line on the floor to tell him where his jurisdiction ends.
  • The Death of Stalin: Suffice it to say that the NKVD and the Red Army do not like each other much. There is palpable glee in the army officer's voice when he arrives at NKVD headquarters and announces "The army is back in town".
  • The Highwaymen: Hamer and Gault are technically only allowed to investigate crimes within the State of Texas and run into a smarmy FBI agent several times. At one point, when they're told to turn back by a roadblock for crossing state lines, Hamer decides to ignore it.
  • Death Line: When Inspector Calhoun starts investigating Manfred's disappearance, Stratton-Villiers from MI 5 turns up to tell him there is nothing to investigate. Inspector Calhoun is secretly delighted when the cleaners are murdered at Russell Square station, as murders are definitely police business, and that they occurred at the same location as Manfred's disappearance is a happy coincidence.
  • Averted in Judas Kiss. Detective Friedman and Agent Hawkins are old friends, and approach the shared case (the kidnapping is federal, the homicide is local) like mature adults. It helps that Friedman didn't want the case in the first place, and is getting more push back from his own police force than from the feds. Hawkins, who is removed from the local politics, uses her status to help Friedman, such as securing a crime scene before a Dirty Cop can tamper with it.
  • In Trust No 1, Officer Doug Bradley is forced to hand his case over to the FBI and the NSA, both of whom are in on a vast conspiracy.
  • In The Siege, the FBI agent investigating a terrorist incident actually arrests the U.S. General whom Congress has appointed to head the handling of that incident. The soldiers supporting the general back down in the face of the FBI, showing the supremacy of the civilian arm.
  • Electra Glide in Blue: When police arrive on the scene of Frank's "suicide," Wintergreen tries to stop the coroner from touching the body because he has deduced that Frank was murdered, and he doesn't want the coroner messing up the evidence. The two of them get into a fight about whether the officer in charge has more authority than the coroner. When Sgt. Ryker breaks up the fight and then asks the coroner an innocuous question, the coroner is so worked up that he starts screaming at Ryker too, then asks the corpse, "Why did you have to shoot yourself in my jurisdiction?"
  • End of Watch: Officers Zavala and Taylor are told to step aside by DEA.
  • A Perfect World: Texas Ranger Red Garnett, who's trying to track down escaped convict Butch Haynes, finds himself at odds with FBI Agent Bobby Lee, who is perfectly willing to shoot Butch while Garnett, who has a history with Butch, wants him alive. Garnett also clashes late in the movie with the local sheriff after they've cornered Butch, as well as with criminologist Sally Gerber, who's along with Garnett and Agent Lee (though she and Garnett eventually become an example of Teeth-Clenched Teamwork).
  • Point Of Origin: Based on a True Story about John L. Orr, a fire investigator who was also a serial arsonist.
    • The District Attorney wants to brings in the feds but Orr claims that the ATF is just a bunch of bureaucrats disguised as bomb experts and that HE works better alone.
    • Lang, Orr's former partner, accuses his colleague Camello of siding with the ATF "against one of us" for insisting they follow ATF protocol and put Orr under surveillance. Camello retorts that if Orr is the arsonist indeed, "he is not 'one of us'."
  • Played for Laughs, and also Exploited in Vengeance (2022). Ben speaks to four separate law enforcement agencies in the area, and all four tend to shift responsibility of "the Afterparty" to another agency because it's in a spot where the jurisdictions overlap. Ben later discovers that Quinten has been exploiting this overlap so that none of the agencies actually investigate the Afterparty, specifically the people who die there.
  • To Catch a Killer (2023): Played with. The FBI and BPD cooperate very well in the manhunt, but intra-agency friction between different FBI departments creates more than a few messes. Lammark in particular feuds a lot with his counterpart in the D.C. counterterrorism unit.
  • This C.B. radio exchange early in Smokey and the Bandit:
    Justice; This is Sheriff Buford T. Justice. I'm in pursuit of a black Trans Am. He's all mine, so stay out of the way.
    Branford: This is Lt. Branford of Desha County, Arkansas; we are appraised of the situation and are taking corrective measures. Did you say "Sheriff"?
    Justice: That's a big 10-4!!! Sheriff Buford T. Justice of Texas!!!
    Branford: Texas? You realize that you are out of your jurisdiction. I suggest you let my department handle the situation.
    Justice: That's very comforting, son. But I'm in a high speed pursuit. Don't you hear good?
    Branford: I hear perfectly. The fact that you are a sheriff is not germane to the situation.
    Justice: The Goddamn Germans got nothin' to do with it!!

  • In the book Darkly Dreaming Dexter, the Miami Metro PD gets into a jurisdictional tangle when the Ice Truck Killer, who they're investigating, leaves a body in an area under a rival district's jurisdiction.
  • Happens in The Dresden Files book Fool Moon, where three FBI agents are investigating a string of murders caused by a werewolf. The Jurisdiction Friction is so bad, they almost come to violence against Murphy while investigating a crime scene. This is because they are the werewolves themselves, in particular demonic-influenced ones, and gradually losing their human minds to the Beast. The fact that they're the guilty parties, having set up another type of werewolf to lose control of his curse and attack a Mob head who's escaped justice, doesn't help.
  • This is addressed in several Vince Flynn books, most notably Transfer Of Power. Of course, the different Agencies have it a bit easier than most examples, because their heads know each other personally, but there is still an acknowledged interagency rivalry and pride.
  • In Gorky Park the friction between the militia (police) and the KGB was quite apparent. It becomes a plot point when Renko, chief investigator for the Militsiya, wonders why the KGB hasn't taken the case away from him.
  • Discworld:
    • There's serious friction between the Night Watch (once a band of incompetents, now a semi-serious police force) and the Day Watch (basically a gang with badges) in Men at Arms, especially when Night Watch officers discover a body during the hours of daylight. There is also a jurisdiction question when a crime has been committed on guild territory since guilds are supposed to have jurisdiction over their members and the Watch can't take on the whole Assassins' Guild at once (although the Beggars' and Fools' Guilds are more accommodating). In the later books, Commander Vimes and the City Watch are respected and feared enough that Guilds will cede jurisdiction. It helps that he's the Assassins' Guild's landlord.
    • In Snuff, Vimes is in the Shires, where he has a certain amount of authority as a local landowner but is explicitly not part of the (self-appointed) local law-enforcement hierarchy at all. But as far as Vimes is concerned, murder is a universal crime and that's all the jurisdiction he needs. Subverted in the finale. While city authorities had traditionally left the Shires to their own devices, as Commander of the Watch he absolutely does have legal authority and the Magistrates are completely illegitimate. The Watch moves in in force and takes control of the situation once this becomes clear.
    • In The Fifth Elephant, Vimes is quite frustrated with the fact that his authority is null and void in Überwald, where most of the book takes place, with the local watch being unhelpful at best. However, during the climax, Wolfgang, one of the book's two Big Bads, makes the fatal mistake of committing a murder on the grounds of the Ankh-Morpork embassy, i.e. in Ankh-Morpork, where Vimes does have authority and happily invokes Hot Pursuit to chase the mad werewolf down.
  • In the novel Pyramid Power, the Pyramid Security Agency runs roughshod over every other government agency that had anything they wanted due to their charter giving them authority over just about everything that can be associated with the alien pyramid that landed in Chicago. But one agency wasn't on the list of people they could overrule — the Fish and Wildlife Service — which brought charges against them for illegal actions against an endangered species — the sphinx and dragons that came out of the pyramid. Who then requested assistance in dealing with the violators from some of the agencies that the PSA had been pushing around — which included a regiment of paratroopers.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In Allegiance, Mara Jade, Darth Vader, and the Imperial Security Bureau all have their own different tasks, but there's one duty they all have in common: finding traitors and killing them. They don't get along. Vader is paranoid that Mara is being trained to replace him, Mara wishes he'd stop, and neither of them like the ISB. Both clash with Mara; the ISB tries to have her killed when she nears a truth they don't want her knowing, and Vader outright tries to murder her when he thinks she's after his target (Princess Leia).
    • Matt Stover's novelization of Revenge of the Sith describes an argument between Anakin Skywalker and the Jedi Council over who commands the Grand Army of the Republic after Palpatine is given oversight of the Jedi Council. When argument breaks out after Anakin clarifies that with his new powers, Palpatine is now Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, Yoda states "Pointless it is, to squabble over jurisdiction." Yoda couldn't be more wrong—Palpatine's gaining direct control over the clones is exactly what allows him to order them to execute Order 66, the order that wipes out almost all of the Jedi.
  • In the Tom Clancy novel Executive Orders, one of Jack Ryan's first acts as president is to settle a turf dispute. The Boeing 747 crash into the US Capitol building left the NTSA (responsible for investigating airplane crashes), the Secret Service (the President was killed), and the FBI (terrorism, assault on a Federal building) and the Washington DC police department (murder) all with claim to the investigation. Ryan orders the FBI to take the lead, as it's bigger and has more resources, with the Secret Service a close second.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Lannister soldiers arrive with an arrest warrant for Gendry, who has joined the Night's Watch. Yoren asserts that recruits of the Night's Watch are immune from arrest, but the Lannister men refuse to back down, resulting in a fight.
  • In The Duggars: 20 and Counting, Michelle discusses how her children have sometimes given her lip because she's made them clean up messes she found on the spot, even though they're part of another child's jurisdiction (read: chore domain). Basically, she gets to overrule them because she's mom.
  • Appears frequently in the Leaphorn & Chee series by Tony Hillerman, about two detectives on the Navajo Tribal Police. Homicides committed on Indian Reservations are FBI jurisdiction, which often leads to conflict between the Navajo detectives and the FBI agents. Individual agents such as Kennedy may be decent people, but the FBI as a whole is portrayed as an inept bureaucracy.
  • With FBI agents pulled to Florida from all over the country, in A Deeper Blue, to deal with a possible terrorist attack using VX nerve gas, those from New York run into trouble "interfacing" with Lake County deputies, who hold a rather low opinion of the FBI in general due to previous conflicts, and an FBI motto that seems to the locals to be "Ready, Fire, Aim."
  • The Apprentice Rogue: Artamos is part of the Order of Black Knights, which is tantamount to the kingdom's Black Ops. The mission that forms the plot is Artamos' responsibility so he has to enforce his authority over the plate mail knights from both his own kingdom and his charge's kingdom; both of them think they should be in charge.
  • In the Vorkosigan Saga there is a rivalry between Imp Sec and local police, as well as the normal military police. This takes on a nationalistic component in Komarr which is a conquered planet and still resentful. There is also a rivalry between Imp Sec and Ops within the Barryaran service, however, that is more Interservice Rivalry.
  • This happens in Hen of the Baskervilles from the Meg Langslow Mysteries when a body ends up splayed across the county line of Caerphilly County and Clay County. Clay County is very much unequipped to do a proper investigation of the murder but wants jurisdiction anyway. Meg and the Caerphilly County police chief manage to convince them to give Clay County to give the case to them by insinuating that the cost of the investigation will be astronomical, though Clay County still insists on having one of their people on the case as an observer, who turns out to be an interfering idiot. The twist in this case is that he's not simply an interfering idiot, he also happens to be the murderer.
  • Averted in Charlotte MacLeod's novel Vane Pursuit, in which various (but connected) crimes are committed in a variety of locations separated by hundreds of miles, and the law enforcement personnel are all happy to cooperate with each other and agree to let their superiors sort out who will actually have jurisdiction.
  • In Ellery Queen's novel The Glass Village, jurisdiction friction is the main point of the story. Residents of a small town fear that the stranger they blame for the murder of a local woman will "get away with it" if he's prosecuted by the state. To avoid a lynching, the stranger is tried by the local townsfolk with the assistance of a judge who deliberately does everything incorrectly so that the verdict will be overturned on appeal and he can have a fair trial after tensions have eased.
  • The FBI is mentioned several times in Under a Graveyard Sky as making it difficult to track down the virus turning people into Technically Living Zombies, as the microbiology experts supposed to be assisting them are also the primary suspects, and the FBI's concern is more "find the guilty party" than "stop the virus". CDC staffers are particularly hostile to the FBI, thanks to how they reacted to previous events like the anthrax attack shortly after the September 11, 2001 attack.
  • Ragnarok, the first book in The Echo Case Files, utilises the classic 'feds versus local cops', in which the fed protagonists can technically steamroller through anything the local cops try and put in their way, but (initially at least) try and play nicely with them, to avoid making enemies.
  • The fourth Rivers of London book, "Broken Homes", puts a spin on this. Peter states that unlike in television, friction occurs when other branches or services won't take over a murder or unusual case. Turns out murder investigations are really complicated, generate a huge amount of paperwork, use up all of the manpower budget and forensics budget, and are generally a pain in the arse all around (and that is just the mundane ones). Most Chief Inspectors are desperate to get that sort of headache off their budget.
  • Happens in The Snow Queen Series. On the planet Tiamat, only off-worlders are subject to the star-spanning Hegemony's legal system; any Tiamatans caught in crime must be turned over to the Snow Queen's justice. Unless it's a crime that would affect her or her plans, Queen Arienrhod usually simply releases the perpetrators. Thus, criminal enterprises on the planet generally need only use a Tiamatan front man or front woman to avoid prosecution. This is an endless source of frustration to Hegemonic Police Commander Jerusha PalaThion and her force.
  • In Jeramey Kraatz's The Cloak Society, offstage, and downplayed, because no one really wanted to be in charge of investigating the Rangers' disappearance. Later, the New Rangers' Deputies arrogate authority, and the police don't like it. The heroes reveal themselves to the police commissioner precisely because they are sure this will cause the police to support them as soon as they get evidence.
  • In the thriller Maxwell's Train', a group of terrorists hijacks a train out of New York City. They managed to bring it over the border into Canada to attach it to another hijacked train in Toronto. The book openly notes how the common citizen would assume that "after so many hours, the combined forces of American and Canadian authorities would have stopped this." In reality, the terrorist leader knew the clashing of the FBI, state police, railroad officials and even the CIA would cause a massive amount of red tape to slow things down. Bringing the train to Canada just increased that as the Canadian authorities were totally unaware of this hijacking in the first place so had no idea this linking of trains would happen. The terrorist leader herself notes how this entire friction was key to her whole plan working.
  • In the Joe Pickett novels, Joe—a game warden—frequently clashes with the local sheriff over jurisdictional issues. And matters get worse when other agencies get involved. Winterkill features a jurisdictional nightmare involving not only Joe and the sheriff, but the state police, the FBI, the Forestry Service, and the National Parks Service.
  • In The Crowner John Mysteries (set in medieval Exeter), there is constant tension between the coroner Sir John de Wolfe and his brother-in-law the Sheriff over who actually has jurisdiction over a particular crime. It gets worse when the crime involves the Church, and so might fall under the jurisdiction of the Ecclesiastical Court.
  • In The Golem's Eye from The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Internal Affairs under John Mandrake (Nathaniel) is given leave to investigate and put to stop both the golem affair and the Resistance, but the police chief Henry Duvall takes every opportunity he can to push for more power for his department and to try to make Internal Affairs look bad so that he can gain power over the cases. Oh, and Duvall is one of the masterminds of the golem plot.
  • In Smaller & Smaller Circles, the Quezon City police, in addition to being generally useless at their work, can be very territorial, especially against higher authorities like the National Bureau of Investigation. According to one NBI official:
    Ading: The QC boys get very annoyed when anyone steps on their turf.
  • The Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations novels feature friction between the various Time Police agencies seen in the franchise. It doesn't help that they have very different methods (as far as the DTI are concerned, uptime groups like the 31st century's Time Agency are breaking the Temporal Prime Directive by even showing up in the 24th century) and that the uptime organisations aren't even sure they all come from the same future, and that one agency's "maintaining the true timeline" isn't another's "recklessly altering history".
  • In the Star Trek Expanded Universe novel Crisis on Centaurus, a hate group has detonated an Antimatter bomb, blowing up the eponymous Federation planet’s capital. Kirk and the Enterprise are dispatched to bring in the terrorists, which they do, but then Kirk has to defend said terrorists against the local authorities, who want them dead rather than arrested.
  • Subverted in Reginas Song. One of the Seattle Slasher killings is on a Navy base, so the police aren't allowed on the scene. However, while this looks like it might be a problem, the Navy send everything they find to the police, and their autopsy leads to a major break in the case.
  • Crossfire, the first Shira Calpurnia novel, illustrates how complex law enforcement can be in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Shira is a senior member of the Adeptus Arbites who survives an assassination attempt by a cybernetically enhanced psyker shortly after her arrival on Hydraphur. She immediately starts an investigation. However, the attack took place at the beginning of a lengthy vigil leading up to a major religious festival, with various strictures enforced by the Battle Sisters attached to the local cathedral that she must abide by or receive dispensations from. The Imperial Navy jealously protects its perogatives in the highly fortified system when Shira's investigation leads off-planet. In addition, the year's Master of the Vigil is throwing his weight around and the Inquisition takes an interest in the psyker. The Monocrat, Hydraphur's civilian governor, is the only major authority not seen openly intervening in the case.
  • In Timeline-191, this is the reason reluctant rebel Scipio flees from South Carolina to Georgia after the Marxist uprising is crushed. Because the Confederacy places heavy emphasis on state's rights, there is less cooperation between the Confederate states in law enforcement matters. Georgia is too busy tracking down its own black Marxists to worry about fugitives from another state, so any warrants from South Carolina don't carry a lot of weight, and Anne Colleton (his former boss and primary pursuer) doesn't have as many social contacts in Georgia with whom she can pull strings to expedite the issue.
  • In Trigger Warning, Chief McRainey grows frustrated with Agent Vega, the arrogant Homeland Security operative handling the hostage situation. Vega also accuses the FBI's Agent Graham of acting in bad faith, believing he wants his department to get all the credit for dealing with the incident.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Muppets Most Wanted has crimes committed by Constantine and Dominic being investigated by Sam the Eagle (who is shown to be part of the CIA) and Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon. They get very little done until the end of the movie due to a "mine is bigger than yours" Running Gag and because the Interpol agent is a Joke Character who is constantly on breaks for the purpose of poking fun at French workers' entitlements.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Champions universe the two U.S. government anti-supervillain agencies PRIMUS and SAT have been known to squabble over who's in charge of investigating or dealing with supercrimes. Likewise, conservative elements in the U.S government resented the way UNTIL charged around the U.S. and created SAT specifically so the U.S. could handle its own super-problems.
  • The fantasy world of GURPS Banestorm has an unusual take on this with the city of Tredroy, which is part of a Sunni caliphate, a Shi'ite sultanate, and a Christian principality simultaneously. Intersectional disputes between the three different legal systems have to be very carefully negotiated.
  • Shadowrun:
    • Used to great effect by the shadowrunners. The very basis of the setting's Mega-Corp system is that corporations of a certain size are granted extraterritoriality over their possessions, with private security to enforce corporate laws which may or may not match up with the local government's version. A sufficiently daring shadowrunner can commit a run in a government area and escape into a corporate zone, or vice versa, where the opposing police force cannot pursue him. Tensions between public and corporate police forces are high enough that extradition is rarely an issue; between opposing corporations, even more so. Just be careful not to get caught: Private security tends not to be overly concerned with such trivialities like the Geneva Convention, and the poor unlucky runner might find himself the recipient of some creative product testing rather than a nice safe prison term.
    • The Neo-Anarchist's Guide to North America. In Washington D.C. there's considerable conflict over jurisdiction between the FedPol (Federal Police) and the FDC (Federal District of Columbia) National Guard.
  • Space Marine chapters in the Warhammer 40,000 universe can be notorious for this. The Space Wolves and Dark Angels chapters, rivals for the past 10,000 years owing to a fistfight between Leman Russ and Lion El'Johnson during the Legion days before the reforms in the aftermath of the Horus Heresy, have actually fought wars with each other over jurisdictional grievances.
    • This is cranked up yet another notch when the Inquisition gets involved. Members of the Inquisition technically only answer to each other and the Emperor, and can call upon the aid of any Imperial citizen, from a janitor to a High Lord of Terra. However, fleet units, planetary governors and armies of the Imperial Guard sometimes take exception to the Inquisitor's edicts and have enough political clout and firepower to make an Inquisitor's day miserable. Space Marine chapters technically don't answer to the Inquisition and can tell an Inquisitor to piss off, but doing this is inviting an Inquisitorial proceeding as to why, and Inquisitors have enough personal and institutional power that even large chapters are leery about doing so without very compelling reasons (or they just kill the Inquisitor in the middle of a chaotic battle and claim to have not seen them since communication was lost). This is cranked up ANOTHER notch when two Inquisitors start butting heads.
    • It gets better (well, worse): The Inquisition is divided into several orders, with the chief ones being the Ordo Xenos (deals with aliens), Ordo Hereticus (deals with heretics), and the Ordo Malleus (deals with daemons). Each faction tends to look down on the others as getting in the way of dealing with the major threat or not doing enough against it, of using unsanctioned weapons, of being at greater risk of corruption by the enemy...
    • One of the main divides in the Inquisition are the Puritans and Radicals: The Puritans are those who mostly use faith and tried-and-tested methods against Chaos and Xenos, the Radicals are willing to use Dangerous Forbidden Techniques, possessed weapons and daemonhosts to use Chaos against itself at the risk of falling to Chaos themselves or use Xenotechnology, alien mercenaries or other non-human assets (curiously, most Radicals are in fact older Inquisitors who feel traditional methods aren't doing enough).
      • Puritans and Radicals have subfactions. The most extreme Puritans are the Monodominants who are the stereotypical frothing at the mouth fanatics who don't accepts any degree of deviation. The most extreme Radicals are the Xanthites, the most desperate followers of which do most of the fall to Chaos while trying to use it thing, a Xanthite sub-sub faction (the Phaenonites) have outright betrayed the Imperium after deciding to take over mankind as the only option and were wiped out save a handful of survivors who kept it secret. The worst are probably the Oblationists, who are Xanthites who hypocritically enforce Monodominant beliefs on others, only believing those who took the Oath of Oblation being worthy of damning themselves for the good of mankind.
    • Some systems also have their own branches of the Commissariat in charge of the local Planetary Defense Forces. The friction happens when the Imperial Guard has to defend those systems because the local commissars tend to punish IG members, which is overstepping their bounds as far as commissars in the main branch are concerned. The local commissars have a tendency to get shot by the members of the main Commissariat, due to the fact that local commissars are only called that out of convenience and enforce the planetary governments will on the local military, and the actual Commissars enforce the Emperor's will on the galactic military and certainly don't like glorified bouncers overstepping their station.
    • It gets more interesting on the law front, as the Ecclesiarchy has its own courts which are wholly independent of civil law; the Adeptus Arbites have jurisdiction over all Imperial crimes (plus general law enforcement on some worlds directly administered by the Imperium rather than local governor), and only have to defer to the Inquisition, so there have been numerous occasions when they have clashed with the Ecclesiastical courts, or even the Commissariat (on at least one occasion, the Arbites have arrested an entire Imperial Navy task force, and on another, commandeered a cruiser in the middle of a contested warzone to provide the muscle to arrest an Imperial Planetary Governor). The relations between the Arbites and planetary law enforcement (names vary but they are generally referred to as Enforcers) are more complicated: The former handles crimes against Imperial institutions or violations of the Lex Imperialis, while Enforcers deal with planetary law and serve as the Planetary Governor's way of controlling the civilian population. The Enforcers don't like the Arbites getting involved unless necessary due to possible collateral damage and fear them, while the Arbites in turn treat them as incompetent bullies playing at glorified mall security at best to corrupt or even heretical at worst (to the Enforcers discredit, they are more susceptible to Chaos corruption or just regular old Dirty Cop behaviour far more than the religiously fanatical Arbitrators). They do cooperate however, and the most stable planets have the Arbites oversee the Enforcers to produce better quality police, excepting the aforementioned case of critical planets being fully staffed by Arbitrators at all levels of law enforcement.
      • To make matters even more fun, the Adeptus Mechanicus has its own laws and enforcers, and its members technically aren't even normal citizens (they are still Imperial citizens, but unlike the majority they are not controlled by the Administratum but the Fabricator General of Mars sits with the Master of the Administratum and others in the High Lords of Terra), but members of an allied semi-subordinate semi-sovereign Cargo Cult polity that has monopolies on technology in the Imperium (any planetary government or privately owned franchises either produce under licence from the Mechanicus or make inferior local designs), meaning trying to pin a crime on them is really tricky. Oh, and the exact set of laws that apply in any situation depend upon whose territory it is.
    • And the worst is this is all entirely deliberate: the last time a single man controlled every branch of Imperial power, it led to the Age of Apostasy.

    Video Games 
  • In Alan Wake, an FBI agent called Nightingale assumes control of the Sheriff's Office and the Washington State Rangers of Bright Falls, Washington in order to capture the eponymous protagonist. However, it soon turns out that Nightingale is a Trigger-Happy drunkard, who tries to shoot and kill an unarmed Wake and instead nearly injures innocent bystanders on two separate occasions. The local sheriff, Sarah Breaker, calls him out on this, and it turns out that Nightingale is suspended, and is trying to capture Wake on his own accord and without any legal backing in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, as he thinks Wake is responsible for the death of his former partner. He is wrong, if only slightly.
  • Deadly Premonition closely follows the example set by Twin Peaks when FBI agent Francis York Morgan rolls into a small town to investigate a murder. Friction occurs between himself and the local authorities (though mostly Sheriff George Woodman, as the deputy sheriffs Emily and Thomas both warm up to York pretty quickly) until York reveals the murder is part of a much larger case and completely takes control of the case. Granted, it certainly doesn't help that George is the culprit, with Thomas as a knowing accomplice.
  • Zig-zagged in Disco Elysium. Precincts 41 and 57 of the Revachol Citizens' Militia have disputed for some time over who has jurisdiction over the district of Martinaise; as a result, neither precinct responds to crimes in the area often. The murder that starts the plot compels both districts to send an officer of theirs to investigate: Kim Kitsuragi from the 57th, and the Detective from the 41st. Kim, for his part, has no interest in a "pissing contest" - he just wants to do his job, and cooperates with the Detective's investigation as his partner.
  • Final Fantasy XIII has an army that is split into two divisions: the anti-Pulse force, PSICOM (Public Security and Intelligence Command) and the ground-level Guardian Corps. The Purge that is central to the game's events is orchestrated by PSICOM, but when things go wrong, they cover it up from the Guardian Corps. Then when that doesn't work out, they enlist the Guardian Corps' help, but the Corps. gets upset when a PSICOM commander starts giving orders in a village that has traditionally been protected by the Guardian Corps.
  • In the Mass Effect series, Spectres are an elite Council Agents granted absolute authority in Citadel Space. Various law-enforcement agencies are told to simply look the other way whenever Spectres arrive on the scene, much to their annoyance.
    • Noveria is not legally in Council Space, and while Spectres (by agreement) are allowed to go armed and investigate there, any attempt to assert their authority will be buried in paperwork. Meanwhile, the first part of the arc set there involves an Internal Affairs agent for Noveria's Executive Board trying to get evidence on the local administrator, while Elanus Risk Control mercenaries are under orders from said administrator to burn the relevant evidence. Shepard solves the jurisdictional dispute by right of superior firepower, and can support either Internal Affairs, the administrator, or neither.
    • Asari Justicars are fully committed to upholding an ancient and strict Code that allows for no leniency. Asari law enforcement is obligated to stand aside if one shows up but gets very worried as there's a good chance that anyone involved in a crime, no matter how small, will end up dead very soon, which tends to be a diplomatic nightmare when the person in question is anything other than another asari. On Ilium, meanwhile, the local authorities have to arrest a justicar who's on a mission to enforce off-world laws, while the justicar is obligated to fight her way free after one day. In fact, the Justicars are one of the two groups that were used as a basis for the Spectres.
  • In The X-Files Game, the player character can meet the town's detective that is on scene for a crime investigation. The detective will hate your guts and if you decide to push it further by being a bigger jerk ass over how the investigation belongs to the FBI, you will get fired.
  • In the Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth subseries, whether due to Interpol involvement, foreign national issues or simple prosecutor substitution, Edgeworth cannot seem to get through a single case without someone else claiming jurisdiction over the crime scene and demanding that he leave. Given his unending quest for the truth, this rarely stops him.
  • Rainbow Six references jurisdiction issues quite a bit since Team Rainbow often needs to be first called upon by the government that needs them. In the case of the fifth game, Rainbow Six Vegas, a "jurisdictional pissing match" between local law enforcement, FBI, and the military means to a slow response to the terrorist attack in Las Vegas. However, the government allows Rainbow to help because they have a team in place lead by a former Delta Force operative (the player character). The FBI and SWAT are later shown to be glad for the help.
  • Grand Theft Auto V has a rivalry between the "FIB" and "IAA" (expies of the FBI and CIA, respectively) take up a good portion of the single-player plot. It is far more extreme than any such inter-agency rivalry in real life (we hope), stopping just short of outright warfare between the agencies.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky:
    • In theory, Liberl's army and the bracer guild cooperate with each other. Underneath the surface, however, there's a lot of disputes. Your two main characters, Joshua and Estelle, learn this firsthand when investigating the missing airline their father Cassius Bright was on and discover from the Bose Bracer Guild that the military is maintaining a public information blackout, and that includes the Bracer Guild. Furthermore, bracers are being prevented from entering the areas the army is investigating.
      Joshua: So pretty much what you're saying is that it's a bunch of jurisdictional disputes, right?
    • Jurisdiction friction even happens within the ranks of the Bracer Guild itself. If a senior bracer wishes to take control of an investigation that was being handled by junior bracers, they can do so at will, and there's not much the junior bracers can do about it, no matter how much they may dislike it.
  • One of the later Imperial Legion quests in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind involves an Imperial soldier accused of murder; you must escort him to the Imperial town of Ebonheart to ensure that he will be tried in an Imperial court rather than a Dunmer court.
  • The Arc police forces in Astral Chain hate it when Neuron show up to an investigation, since they take over the case with no ceremony and it always seems to end with them linking it to a gate incident, cutting off the Aberrations, and taking all the glory. There's not exactly anyone they can complain to either as Neuron is nominally part of the police force themselves. In truth, if Neuron show up it's because a Chimera is expected, the existence of which is classified - being Invisible to Normals and immune to conventional weapons is bad enough without their existence causing mass panic. The problems with this are shown during the first investigation, as two PO'ed cops refuse to say much of anything; eavesdropping reveals witnesses reported large, shadowy hands dragging people through gates, which they dismissed as hysteria and therefore didn't report, but is vital information to Neuron.
  • Averted in XCOM: Chimera Squad. Commissioner Maloof (head of 31PD) chimes in when you select your first optional mission, saying she's glad to have the help and will send anything that needs doing the squad's way, and take the heat if things get political — they can't afford to fire her in the middle of a crisis.
  • Puyo Puyo!! Quest: Intral City has a special police unit called "spacetime patrol" that will raise a stink when private detectives and their agencies overstep their legal boundaries, by, for example, time traveling within Intral's city limits or attempting rescue operations from within spacetime rifts.
  • Octopath Traveler II: Temenos's story has him, as inquisitor, frequently butting heads with the Sacred Guard.
  • Guild Wars 2: If you're playing as a human commoner, one personal story chapter involves the Ministry Guard (legally, limited to security for Krytan ministers and nobles) trying to horn in on Seraph criminal investigations among commoners.

    Web Animation 
  • 50 Ways to Die in Minecraft Christmas Edition: Death 49: SnakeTheJaik gets caught hiding magma blocks under snow to prank people, and Krampus prepares to punish him. But then, Knecht Ruprecht and Père Fouettard show up and also claim the right to punish him. The three of them start arguing, which gives SnakeTheJaik enough time to place magma blocks under each of them.

  • In Blue Yonder, two sets of superheroes are indignant over the notion of the other being the ones to help Jared.
  • Grrl Power addresses this in a way only a Superpowers-based comic can. Maxima explains that ARCHON has been set up to deal with "atypical threats" (both criminals with superpowers and disasters where superpowers would be helpful), and that as a federal agency, they'll be able to take over investigations from pretty much everyone else. She thinks this is the best solution, even though "human ego being what it is," obviously other departments are going to be annoyed at this. Once video of the first superpowered brawl gets out, it turns out that she might have been underestimating the human survival instinct.
    FBI Agent: And here is where her eardrums burst.
    DHS Agent: Is that chick made out of lightning?
    FBI Agent: Doesn't keep her eardrums from exploding.
    CIA Agent: Look! That other broad one-armed a parking bumper at her!
    ATF Agent: You know I have some vacation time I can't roll over...
  • The two space authorities of Galaxion, IP and TerSA do not get along. At all.
  • Comes up in the first volume of Paradigm Shift: The Chicago PD are investigating what's either a series of animal attacks or the work of a Serial Killer who thinks they're a werewolf when the FBI show up claiming jurisdiction as the CPD's main person-of-interest in the case is a suspect in two very similar murders, one of which took place on federal land. Victim and alleged perpetrator were both at least technically active-duty Army personnel, although the suspect was on long-term medical leave with suspected PTSD, so presumably the FBI came out on top of a previous jurisdictional squabble with the Military Police. The agent in charge doesn't endear himself to the CPD detectives working the case, mostly because he's rather evasive about certain relevant information, but settle their differences and come to a working agreement. Then things take a turn for the weird... What the FBI are really investigating is some kind of Super-Soldier black-project Gone Horribly Wrong, and the suspect really is a werewolf.
  • In Schlock Mercenary, Admiral Manyara Emm of UNS Intelligence butts head with General Bala-Amin of Sol system Entry and Traffic control.

    Web Original 
  • The Onion parodied this, in their article: "Local Authorities More Than Happy To Let FBI Take Over."
  • Whateley Universe:
    • In the story "Loose Cannons", a five-way battle took place between the M-SOC (Metahuman Special Operations Command), the MCO (Mutant Commission Office), some unnamed jerks in power armor, the KoP (Knights Of Purity), and some superpowered teenagers. The M-SOC, the MCO and the KoP were "arguing" jurisdiction over arresting the teenagers.
    • Also gets lampshaded a few times regarding superhero teams and their relations with each other, local police, and federal authorities. For example, in Los Angeles, the superteams have an agreement that they won't jump into a fight (which they weren't already immediately present for, that is) until the authorities request them to get involved, and that they don't poach other teams' fights unless the other team asks for help. This leads to an amusing scene in "Silent Nacht" where the members of one superhero team watch live footage of a rival team getting trounced while munching popcorn and critiquing the other team's performance.

    Western Animation 
  • South Park:
    • In "The Snuke", which parodied 24: Kyle's attempt to track down a terrorist cell through social networking websites is taken over in sequence by Homeland Security, the FBI, the ATF, the Secret Service, and the NSA, all within less than two minutes. Kyle then takes it back by just saying so.
      NSA Agent: All right, we're in charge now!
      Kyle: [pause] Not any more, you're not.
      NSA Agent: Oh, snap.
    • This was also parodied in "Lil' Crime Stoppers" when the boys were playing detective agency and had their game taken over by a bunch of kids playing FBI. Later, real cops are taken over by the real FBI in exactly the same fashion.
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Marge vs. the Monorail" had Police Chief Wiggum and Mayor Quimby arguing about which of them is in charge of handling the out-of-control monorail situation. In the end, neither of them does anything about the monorail because they're too busy reading the town charter to see who really is in charge of the situation (and getting distracted when Wiggum notices he's entitled to "comely lasses").
    • In "Catch 'Em If You Can", when Homer and Marge needed to be rescued from Niagara Falls, American and Canadian Coast Guard captains argued over who had the authority to do the rescuing.
    • Subverted in the episode "The Bob Next Door", where Sideshow Bob's plan to murder Bart without legal consequences involves the murder taking place in "Five Corners", the point where five US states meet (he would stand in one state, shoot the gun in the second, the bullet would pass through the third, hit Bart in the fourth, and he would die in the fifth, Bob reasoning that no single act is against any law in any state). Chief Wiggum arrives to arrest him at the last minute, so Bob steps into another state where the Springfield PD has no jurisdiction. It's then revealed that Wiggum contacted the police of the other four states, and each is waiting in their respective jurisdictions, and amicably work together to bring him in.
  • In the "Hot Shots" episode of Family Guy, Joe Swanson of the Quahog Police Department gets into an argument with a state police officer over jurisdiction in the town after it's put under quarantine, who then argues with an FBI official over the matter. As all three of them are wheelchair-bound and are on the road, a crossing guard tells them that he has jurisdiction over all of them.
  • A minor one occurred in an episode of The Fairly OddParents! where Timmy wished he was the most wanted kid in the world. This prompted the Dimmsdale Police Department at his house, then the FBI helicopters arrived a few seconds later. One of the police officers then shouted: "Hey, we were here first!"
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • In "Elementary My Dear Stacy", Perry is forced to work alongside the James Bond-expy/parody agent Double 0-0 because both OWCA and the British Secret Service claim jurisdiction over stopping Doofenshmirtz while he is on British soil.
    • In "Sidetracked", Perry has to work with agent Lyla Lollibery of COWCA (The Canadian Organization Without a Cool Acronym) to stop one of Doof's schemes on a train that runs along the border between the United States and Canada, due to the fact that each organization only has jurisdiction on one side of the train.
  • In the King of the Hill episode "High Anxiety", a murder case in Arlen is investigated by both a County Sheriff and a Texas Ranger who constantly bickered and criticized each other's investigation methods.

    Real Life 
  • Real-life example: The Waco Siege in 1993, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) tried to raid a compound, and made a complete mess of things. The FBI steps in, takes over, brings in a friggin' tank, and makes an even BIGGER mess of things. The two agencies have been at odds ever since.
  • Considering the multiple law enforcement agencies and the occasional shift of control (control of the drug unit is shifted from department X to department Y), this is certainly a reality in The United States, between the ATF, DHS, DOJ, FBI, CIA, and more.
  • The U.S. National Reconnaissance Office was formed as a compromise between the U.S. Air Force and CIA, who were fighting for funding for their respective spy satellites
  • Margaret Garner, when cornered by slave catchers, killed her children rather than let slavers take them back with her. This produced a legal discussion as to whether the Federal Fugitive Slave Act trumped mere state murder charges. It did, so she had to flee.
  • In countries that have a gendarmerie (regular soldiers trained as cops who enforce the law among the civilian population) there is often a rivalry between the gendarmerie and the local police.
    • Particularly bad in Italy, where there are EIGHT different police forces. Things are regulated this way:
      • If it happens in a fire (especially if the fire is the crime), the Corpo Nazionale dei Vigili del Fuoco (the firefighters) have jurisdiction.
      • The Carabinieri (gendarmerie and military police) have jurisdiction if the perpetrator is a member of the armed forces or the crime involves organized crime, terrorism (they have an anti-terrorism branch for this), crimes at sea, crimes against the environment or happening in national parks and forests (these were actually under the jurisdiction of the State Forestry Corps, but it was completely absorbed by the Carabinieri in 2017), drugs or food sophistication, or there's just need for serious firepower (they're part of the armed forces, after all, their standard equipment includes assault rifles and squad automatic weapons, and if things go south they also have larger machine guns and sniper rifles).
      • The Polizia di Stato has jurisdiction over crimes happening in cities and those involving highways (there's a special branch for this), railways (another special branch), mails and internet (a third special branch), airways (special branch), organized crime (special branch), drugs (special branch), and preventing any kind of crime (another special branch).
      • The Guardia di Finanza has jurisdiction on financial, tax, terrorism and drug-related crimes, doubles as custom guards and military police, and may intervene when there's need of larger firepower than the Carabinieri can muster (after all, the Carabinieri don't have grenade launchers and hand grenades, while the Guardia di Finanza does).
      • The Guardia Costiera has jurisdiction on crimes at sea, assuming the State Police, the Guardia di Finanza, the Carabinieri or the Italian Navy don't get there first (Italy has a lot of coastlines, and the Coast Guard needs any help they can get).
      • The Polizia Penitenziaria deals with crimes happening in jails and escorts convicts whenever they are to get out of the prison before their sentence expires (if they need to go to the hospital or to testify).
      • Polizia Provinciale and Polizia Municipale deal with minor crimes happening in towns and provinces; minor crimes in general are dealt with by whoever gets there first.
      • Finally, since 2008, Italian Army soldiers can double as police officers if they happen on a crime or are needed for crowd control, at least until other police forces arrive and take over. They also regularly patrol certain areas of major cities such as Milan and Rome
    • To mitigate the problem, efforts against drugs and organized crime (that are jurisdiction of the Carabinieri and the Polizia di Stato and tend to involve also the Guardia di Finanza) are coordinated by the Direzione Centrale per i Servizi Antidroga (Central Directorate for Anti-Drugs Services) and the Direzione Investigativa Antimafia (Anti-Mafia Investigation Directorate) respectively.
    • France and Turkey have significantly more stable relations between police and gendarmerie. France has clearly distinct lines as to where and under what circumstances the Gendarmerie Nationale and the Police Nationale operate. Turkey does the exact same with clear operational areas and circumstances, and both are directly under the control of the Interior Ministry so high command holds control over both. In both countries, certain elements of the Gendarmerie come under military control under certain circumstances and local police are always subordinate to national police. Also, Turkish Gendarmerie units not under Land Forces command are strictly civilian police, all military crimes are investigated with by the military provost and discipline office.
  • Richard Ramirez (also known as the Night Stalker) avoided capture because of exactly this.
  • In British Policing (at least, say 90% of the time), whether this is any uncertainty whatsoever, the bickering will be over why one's own force shouldn't be responsible for an investigation. This shouldn't be complicated because jurisdiction in Great Britain is very simple on paper — the force which polices the area where the crime happened investigates — but it never works that way in practice. Where there are no cross-border issues, it becomes a question of which squad or team within the individual force gets lumbered with the responsibility — and then it gets ugly. The exception to this is any incident involving armed forces personnel, because they're subject to military law and are supposed to be handed over to the military police... unless civilians were involved, in which case it gets complicated. For example, the submarine HMS Astute was paying a goodwill visit to the city of Southampton when one of the posted sentries suffered some sort of mental breakdown (as it turned out, he had been on a 48-hour drinking binge and had had over 20 pints of cider and beer, plus other drinks) and opened fire in the control room, killing one officer and wounding another. The perpetrator and his victims were all Royal Navy personnel, but the ship was in a civilian port rather than a Royal Dockyard and when the shooting occurred, several members of the city council were in the compartment whilst being given a tour of the non-classified areas. Figuring out whose jurisdiction that falls under will probably take much longer than the actual trial. In fact, it took less time than feared since Ryan Donovan, the shooter, was convicted in 2011, the same year as the crime, to life by a civilian court, the option of a military trial being also available.
  • This trope is a fact of life in countries with a federal political system, including Canada and the United States. Different levels of government are continually squabbling over who has jurisdiction in any given sphere, arguing over money and agitating against perceived "unfair" treatment from each other. In some cases, this is deliberately encouraged — one reason the United States chose a federal system dividing power between the federal and state governments was to prevent either one from becoming too much of a threat to individual liberty.
    • Canada initially started with a stronger federal government after seeing how American federalism was a factor in the Civil War, but a series of well-argued court cases in the 19th and 20th centuries gradually transferred more powers to the provinces at the federal government's expense.
  • This trope, influenced by national politics, helped trip up efforts to stop a major crime war in 1990s Quebec. The Quebec Biker War was a Mob War between the Hells Angels (with support from the Rizzuto family of mobsters) and the Rock Machine, a splinter group of bikers that began operation in the 1980s (with support from various other biker groups that were united to get rid of the Hells Angels). After a car bomb set by some of the bikers accidentally killed a child, the RCMP teamed up with the Quebec provincial police and the Montreal city police to try and bring an end to things. The result was a complete failure to actually stop the bikers or anyone else — thanks to the Quebec separatist movement being at its' apex, relations between the RCMP and the Quebec authorities were never good (as there were repeated disputes over the lack of a law like the US' RICO Act that could be used to stop the criminals), while the detectives spent more time feuding with one another and taking advantage of being on such a high-profile assignment; as a result, the war dragged on for several more years.
  • A strange subversion of this exists in the West Bank/Palestinian Territory, as Israeli citizens (regardless of race or religion) fall under Israeli law, while the Palestinians who are not citizens are under martial law, especially in zones B and C. Things are kept so separate that if an Israeli soldier actually witnesses a citizen commit a crime against a Palestinian in the territory, that soldier cannot arrest the citizen but must call the police.note 
  • The manhunt for John Dillinger in 1933-1934 was one of the earliest cases of friction between the FBI and local law enforcement. The FBI was a relatively new and untested agency that wasn't taken seriously by all, local officers disparagingly called the FBI agents "college boys".
    • After Dillinger broke his colleagues out of the Michigan City penitentiary in the fall of 1933, the Indiana State Police petitioned the FBI for help pursuing him but were rebuffed, leaving the ISP and Chicago Police Department to track Dillinger down.
    • In November of 1933, they picked up his tail but a disagreement over whether to capture Dillinger by himself or with the rest of the gang led to a dramatic car chase allowing Dillinger to flee.
    • In April of 1934, after Dillinger, his girlfriend Billie Frechette, and Homer Van Meter evaded an FBI raid in St. Paul that included officers from the notoriously corrupt local police, J. Edgar Hoover issued memos forbidding local police from participating in FBI raids.
    • This came back to haunt the FBI later the same month at Little Bohemia Lodge, after they failed to notify local officials of a capture attempt on the Dillinger gang. Combined with them not spot-checking the entire area around the lodge, a firefight broke out, an innocent bystander was killed and his friends wounded when they were mistaken for associates by the FBI, and one agent was murdered and had his car stolen by Baby Face Nelson.
    • Finally, In July, the agents had a tip on his whereabouts in Chicago and sparingly notified the local police agencies of their intention to make another arrest. This was fortunate, as the agents staking out Dillinger's suspected location were reported as potential robbers by a concerned citizen. A final shootout ensued and Dillinger was killed.
  • In the pursuit of another 1930s criminal, Alvin Karpis, both the FBI and the federal postal inspectors claimed jurisdiction, with the postal inspectors one step ahead of the FBI for most of 1935.
  • Very sadly, "the Wall", a bureaucratic device designed, supposedly, to facilitate co-operation between the FBI and the CIA was largely responsible for the failure of U.S. authorities to stop the 9/11 attacks. In (highly simplified) essence, the CIA was massively anal about secrecy and viewed telling the FBI anything as a security risk, and the FBI was massively anal about chain of evidence and viewed telling the CIA anything as compromising some future prosecution (other issues included the CIA not being able to share documents without them being declassified, and that federal law didn't allow for the FBI's counter-intelligence department to work with the CIA). Indeed, the FBI didn't even know the hijackers were in America until a few days before the attacks, and even then, this was only because a CIA officer accidentally copied an FBI agent into a round robin email. Trying to prevent this from happening again is why the Department of Homeland Security was created, and was one of the purposes of the Patriot Act.
  • Inside Washington, D.C., what police department is responsible for a crime depends on location, time of day, the phase of the moon, and the condition of the president's dog. There is the D.C. police, there's the Secret Service, Capitol Police, FBI Police (really), Smithsonian police, National Cathedral police, various college police forces, and way too many Federal agencies trying to secure their own various headquarters... here's a handy list of them all. Just remember to keep away from the little red dots.
    • Applies to the Washington D.C. metro area as a whole, with Virginia and Maryland surrounding and only a stone's throw away from the District of Columbia. Not to mention numerous local, state and federal facilities scattered throughout the neighboring counties.
  • Having two anti-virus softwares on your computer at once can cause a digital version of this. AV software tends to have to do things like read the contents of random files, monitor access to critical system files, and generally interpose itself between applications and the system, which is something that a lot of viruses do. As such, it's not too uncommon for them to label the other a virus, and attempt to delete each other.
    • This also counts as a Logic Bomb in certain scenarios: One will intercept a data transfer to check it for potential threats, then send it on. The other will see this transfer, intercept it, and send it on. The other will see this transfer, intercept it, and send it on. The other will see this transfer, intercept it... This is why some Antiviruses try to detect if it's the sole antivirus on the system, and bitch about it if it isn't. Due to a misconception spread by some "computer experts" back in the '90s, there were a handful of users who were convinced that it's beneficial to have multiple antiviruses on the same machine. After all, two heads are better than one (except in this case).
  • A version of this can happen if you're trying to perform a given task on your computer (say, opening a PDF file) and you don't have a program assigned to perform said task by default. If that's the case, you'll have your computer asking you which of your capable programs you want to perform the task every time you want it done.
  • Many of Belgium's current issues stem from its French and Dutch/Flemish-speaking communities and public servants operating in silos, from the comical (the Fries Revolution and strip protests) to the tragic (security lapses with the 2016 Brussels bombings).
  • Any society where the population is divided into several camps can fall victim to this trope.
    • During the Middle Ages, the jurisdiction depended on the personal status of the party and/or the place where the action took place. These jurisdictions were the feudal justice, Church justice, City justice, and the nascing Royal justice. For example, a cleric might expect to be tried in a Church court applying Canon law, a peasant might be tried by his lord while burghers might be tried by their city. Furthermore, there were matter-related jurisdictions, such as treason being tried by Royal justice while heresy and marriage-related cases being tried by Church ones.
    • Until 1746, Scotland had heritable jurisdictions.
    • In England, legal tricks like the Bill of Middlesex allowed the Court of King's Bench to hear cases that would normally be in the jurisdiction of the Court of Common Pleas.
  • This Business Insider article discredits the trope (in fact, referencing this very article to do so), saying that the expectation of the trope actually causes it, as local authorities may mistakenly think the FBI behave the way they've seen in film and television.
  • In June 2022 in the town of Hiawassee, Georgia, just south of the Georgia-North Carolina state line, a Hiawassee police sergeant pulls over a driver for speeding. Just after the city cop gives the driver their citation, the Towns County Sheriff shows up and start questioning the driver. The two law enforcement officers then get into a heated argument over who had jurisdiction for the stop, with both officers threatening to arrest one another. The Towns County Sheriff has a reputation of antagonizing the Hiawassee PD.


Video Example(s):


Freeman Disobeyed Orders

Admiral Vassery tells Freeman that she should be court-martialed for disobeying orders to rescue Mariner, but since Mariner went out of her way to avoid firing on anyone and Freeman also helped establish a dialogue with the Orions, Starfleet Command has dropped the issue.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / DisobeyedOrdersNotPunished

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