Venue (law)
Venue is the location where a case is heard. In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, the venue is either a county (for cases in state court) or a district or division (for cases in federal court). Venue deals with locality of a lawsuit
A lawsuit or "suit in law" is a civil action brought in a court of law in which a plaintiff, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant's actions, demands a legal or equitable remedy. The defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint...

--that is, in which locale a lawsuit may be filed or commenced. It involves a decision of which district (federal court) or county (state court) is appropriate, based typically on where a matter occurred or where the defendant resides. A case
Legal case
A legal case is a dispute between opposing parties resolved by a court, or by some equivalent legal process. A legal case may be either civil or criminal...

 can only be brought in a certain venue. For instance, in federal diversity
Diversity jurisdiction
In the law of the United States, diversity jurisdiction is a form of subject-matter jurisdiction in civil procedure in which a United States district court has the power to hear a civil case where the persons that are parties are "diverse" in citizenship, which generally indicates that they are...

 cases, the venue can only be (1) the district where any defendant resides if all defendants reside in the same state (although corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

s reside in any district that may exercise personal jurisdiction over them, according to (c), (2) the district where a substantial part of the events giving rise to the claim occurred, or (3) the district in which any defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction if there is no district in which the claim can otherwise be brought .

Venue under American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 law is a concept distinct from jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

, which focuses on the authority of a court to hear a particular case. Venue is concerned with the geographical  location of the court where a lawsuit is commenced. However, unlike personal jurisdiction, there is no constitutional requirement for proper venue in order to have a valid judgment.

The general venue statute for United States federal courts
United States federal courts
The United States federal courts make up the judiciary branch of federal government of the United States organized under the United States Constitution and laws of the federal government.-Categories:...

 is with special rules listed in §§ 1392-1413. Venue can be transferred from one federal district to another . A case can also be removed
Removal jurisdiction
In the United States, removal jurisdiction refers to the right of a defendant to move a lawsuit filed in state court to the federal district court for the federal judicial district in which the state court sits. This is a general exception to the usual American rule giving the plaintiff the right...

 from a state court to a federal court. Finally, a case may be dismissed because its venue is harshly "unfair" to one or more parties under a doctrine called forum non conveniens, often used in cases where the events took place in a foreign country.

Defendants can waive venue at the time of trial (Neirbo Co. v. Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., ). Plaintiffs can waive venue at the time of trial. Plaintiffs may also waive their right to sue in certain venues through a contract that contains a valid and reasonable forum selection clause.

The proper recourse for challenging venue is a motion to dismiss for improper venue. Fed. R. Civ. P 12(b)(3). This is one of the waivable defenses, meaning that this must be made in the initial response to the complaint or it will be waived.
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