Any action by which the defendant recognizes the jurisdiction of the court constitutes a general appearance. This is an unqualified submission to the court's personal jurisdiction over the defendant and is treated as the equivalent of a valid service of process.
By making a general appearance, the defendant agrees that the court has the power to bind her or him by its actions and waives the right to raise any jurisdictional defects (e.g., by claiming that the service of process was improper). The defendant also waives the objection that the case is brought in the wrong venue. The defendant does not, however, waive any substantive rights or defenses, such as the claim that the court
lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case or authority to hear the particular type of case (e.g., a BANKRUPTCY court will not hear personal injury cases).
Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Air weapon to Approximation of lawsAppearance - General Appearance, Special Appearance, Federal Rules, Limited Appearance, Withdrawal, Delay Or Failure To Appear