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Civil Procedure Fall 2014

Notes on Residency for Venue Purposes

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One of the subsections of 28 U.S.C. § 1391 authorizes venue in a district “in which any defendant resides” (if all defendants reside in the state containing that district).  Until recently, it fell to the courts to determine the meaning of “residency”—and how this meaning differs among natural persons, corporations, and unincorporated associations.  In 2011, however, Congress explicitly defined this term: A natural person (including any lawful alien) is “deemed to reside in the judicial district in which that person domiciled.”  By contrast, a corporation or unincorporated association is “deemed to reside . . . in any judicial district in which [it] is subject to the court’s personal jurisdiction” (if it is a defendants) or “the judicial district in which it maintains its principal place of business” (if it is a plaintiff) at the time the suit is commenced.