Todd W. Elliott*

*Passed the Bar
in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Proper Venue.
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 of evidence.

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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