Todd W. Elliott*
*Passed the Bar
in Pennsylvania and West
In essence, venue is another word for place. In the legal
context it means the county where a case is to be heard and
tried. In civil cases, venue exists where the Defendant may
be propertly served (sheriff handing process to the
defendant or his representative) or where the key
transactions took place. (See the Rules of Civil Procedure).
In the case of a car accident, venue would generally be found
in the county where the accident occurred. It might also be
found in the county where the defendant resides. In many
cases there are multiple counties within which suit may
properly be brought, and disputes as to proper venue
sometimes arise. Courts generally try to resolve these
disputes by hearing the case in the county which is most
convenient for the parties, the witnesses, and the production
There are exceptions, however. Some contract include a
"choice of venue" or "forum" clause, which may determine
(or limit) where suit may occur.
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