Venue is the geographical location of the court where a lawsuit will be decided. Under federal law, if no special venue statute governs in the dispute, the general venue statute is applicable. The general venue statute - 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) - provides that a civil action may be brought in:
- a judicial district in which any defendant resides, if all defendants are residents of the State in which the district is located;
- 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
- if there is no district in which an action may otherwise be brought as provided in this section, any judicial district in which any defendant is subject to the court’s personal jurisdiction with respect to such action.
Even if venue is proper under the general venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) provides that “[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil action to any other district or division where it might have been brought . . .” Factors a court should consider in deciding whether to transfer a case include: "(1) the convenience of the witnesses; (2) the location of relevant documents and the relative ease of access to sources of proof; (3) the convenience of the parties; (4) the locus of operative facts; (5) the availability of process to compel the attendance of unwilling witnesses; (6) the relative means of the parties; (7) a forum's familiarity with the governing law; (8) the weight accorded a plaintiff's choice of forum; and (9) trial efficiency and the interests of justice, based on the totality of the circumstances." Manuel v. Convergys, Corp., 430 F.3d 1132, 1135 n.1 (11th Cir. 2005).
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