Definition

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Venue is the court where you can file your action.

California Superior Court. “English Legal Glossary” (2005)

See also: change of venue

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    The county in which a case, civil or criminal, may be tried and decided. This may be the county where the case is filed or one to which the case is sent on a change of venue.

    Missouri Press-Bar Commission. “News Reporter’s Legal Glossary” (2009)

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    Venue is defined as the proper geographical area (county, city, or district) in which a court with jurisdiction over the subject matter may hear a case.

    National Center for State Courts. “Glossary of Commonly Used Court & Justice System Terminology”, Rev. 2/8/11 (2011)

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    Venue is the city or court where a court case can be brought, depending on where the events occurred.

    Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. “Women’s Legal Rights Handbook” (2015)

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    The particular district, city, or geographical area in which a court with jurisdiction may hear and determine a case.

    State Bar of Wisconsin. “News Reporters’ Legal Handbook”, 6th Ed. (2013)

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    1. Geographical place where some legal matter occurs or may be determined. 2. The geographical area within which a court has jurisdiction. It relates only to a place or territory within which either party may require a case to be tried. A defect in venue may be waived by the parties.

    New York State Unified Court System. “Glossary of Legal Terms” (2016)

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    Traditionally, venue is defined as the "proper or a possible place for a lawsuit to proceed,"

    Mollo Jr, Eugenio. “Expansion of Video Conferencing Technology in Immigration Proceedings and Its Impact on Venue Provisions, Interpretation Rights, and the Mexican Immigrant Community, The.” J. Gender Race & Just. 9 (2005): 689.

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    Venue is defined as the place where an action must be instituted and tried.

    Reyes, Deogracias T. “Remedial Law.” Phil. LJ 42 (1967): 281.

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    The particular county, or geographical area, in which a court withjurisdiction may hear and determine a case. Venue deals with localityof suit, that is, with question of which court, or courts, of thosethat possess adequate personal and subject matter jurisdiction may hear the specific suit in question.

    BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY 1557 (6th ed. 1990). Cited: Norwood, Kimberly Jade. “Shopping for a Venue: The Need for More Limits on Choice.” U. Miami L. Rev. 50 (1995): 267.

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    Venue is defined as: “The proper or a possible place for the trial of a case.”

    BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY 745 (2d Pocket ed. 2001). Cited in: Butler, Jeremy Jay. “Venue Transfer When a Court Lacks Personal Jurisdiction: Where Are Courts Going with 28 USC 1631.” Val. UL Rev. 40 (2005): 789.

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    Venue is defined as "the place or places where an action may be properly instituted andthe suit determined, provided the court has subject-matter jurisdiction and the requisite jurisdictionover the defendant."

    I J. Moore, J. Lucas, H. Fink, D. Weckstein & J. Wicker, Moore’s Federal Practice 0.140(1) (1.-i) (2d ed. 1984). Cited in: Rosato, Jennifer L. “Restoring Justice to the Doctrine of Forum Non Conveniens for Foreign Plaintiffs Who Sue US Corporations in the Federal Courts.” J. Comp. Bus. & Cap. Market L. 8 (1986): 169.

Venue can be changed if more convenient for the parties and witnesses. Jurisdiction is controlled by strict rules, but venue is often left to the discretion of the judge. See Civil Rule 12(H)(1), AS 22.15.080 for more information.Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. "Women’s Legal Rights Handbook" (2015)

Types of venues

Although venue is not a constitutional requirement, parties must comply with applicable federal and state laws when identifying jurisdictions where a lawsuit may be filed. Under the general federal venue statute, for example, a lawyer wishing to file a federal diversity action knows that there are at least three venues available:

(1) a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same State,
(2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property that is the subject of the action is situated, or
(3) a judicial district in which any defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction at the time the action is commenced, if there is no district in which the action may otherwise be brought.

Norwood, Kimberly Jade. “Shopping for a Venue: The Need for More Limits on Choice.” U. Miami L. Rev. 50 (1995): 267.


What venue choices are based on

In making the where-to-file decision, the lawyer-normally the plaintiff’s lawyer, because the plaintiff normally is the filing partytakes many factors into account. For example, venue choices are often based on:

  • the party’s geographical convenience;
  • preference for judges in the chosen jurisdiction;
  • preference for the substantive and/or procedural laws in a given venue;
  • the belief that the potential jurors in a particular jurisdiction are more receptive to the filing party’s position;
  • and comparisons between the trial calendars (and/or backlogs) in the various venues.

Norwood, Kimberly Jade. “Shopping for a Venue: The Need for More Limits on Choice.” U. Miami L. Rev. 50 (1995): 267.