Civil Procedure with UVA Law Professor Ben Spencer

Civil Procedure with UVA Law Professor Ben Spencer


Alright venue deals with districts. Districts now become relevant. We haven’t cared about districts before. Sadly, this is gonna mess you up because you’re
going to start to think districts are relevant to everything and they’re not. They’re relevant to venue but they’re not
relevant to personal jurisdiction although personal jurisdiction is relevant to venue
as you’re gonna see. So it’s gonna start to get pretty confusing. Alright, so as we’ve discussed, the whole
country is divided into districts. Every part of the U.S. is a district. And venue is about which of these districts
can the case be heard in? It’s not just going to be one. It can be just one. You might have multiple districts that qualify. So the venue analysis might give you five
districts or six districts or just one or it might give you zero. You’re getting a menu of options potentially
— you’re trying to figure out which place to go. So, your goal when you’re initiating this
case is you’re trying to find the place where you can get personal jurisdiction over all
of the parties but it’s also a proper venue. You’re gonna have to have those things overlap. If they don’t overlap you might have some
problems or that may be a sign that you have to go to state court or somewhere else. So it’s not always going to work out. Alright, so 1391(b): venue in general. “A civil action may be brought in additional
districts in which any defendant resides.” So that’s the key word there: “If all defendants
are residents of the state in which the district is located.” So, (b)(1) is by residency. Now we’re gonna come to (b)(2) later but let’s
focus on (b)(1). We have to talk about what it means to reside. How do we define “resides.” Remember, we’re looking at districts, not
states, although states are part of the analysis because we can only use this if all of the
defendants reside in the same state. Alright so with this provision. Now normally we’re used to saying, “Well this
person lives in Virginia, this person lives in Texas, Delaware, California.” Ok, now we have to know what districts they
live in. Now I will have to tell you that, it’s not
something you’ll be able to figure out. In practice you’ll have to figure it out but
here you won’t have to. This is the Eastern District of Texas. Delaware only has one district, so let’s call
it the District of Delaware. California has four districts. We’ll put this in Los Angeles which is the
Central District of California. So the way this works is you can pick any
district where they reside if they all reside in the same state. None of these reside in the same state. That’s your easy situation. So in this basic situation — just trying
to start you with the very basics — (b)(1) does not apply because none of them reside
in the same state. Everyone good so far? Very simple. Southern District of California, San Diego. Can we use (b)(1) now? Does anyone think yes? Let me make sure there’s no confusion. What does it say? “– Which any defendant resides if all defendants
are a resident of the state in which that district is located.” We don’t have all citizens of the same state
where one of these districts is located. Still can’t do it. San Francisco. Northern District of California. Now what? (b)(1) is available. Everybody resides in the same state. So which districts can we get under (b)(1)? Alright, so (b)(1) gives us three districts. “A civil action may be brought in a judicial
district in which any of them resides if they are all residents of the state in which that
district is located.” So (b)(1) will give you three choices. It’s the plaintiff’s choice. They will look at transfer, which is change
of venue. That’s when the defendant gets to try to trump
the plaintiff’s choice. Right now, this is the plaintiff deciding. So, you get to choose. Everyone understand that? Very clear. Ok. So, what is residency? That is now 1391(c). This was not clearly defined prior to 2012. This reference point is the Jurisdiction and
Venue Clarification Act of 2011, which was enacted in December of 2011, made effective
in January, 2012. They restructured the venue statute and some
other provisions elsewhere to make it clearer, which is why they’re calling it the Jurisdiction
and Venue Clarification Act and it did achieve that purpose. Some of the things in the removal statutes
I didn’t point out but a lot of the things about defendant unanimity sometimes were — well
in the past, it was implicit in the language that you needed defendant unanimity. They made it explicit. They didn’t change the law, they just clarified
that this is an actual requirement, not just a judicial interpretation. So, with venue, prior to the Jurisdiction
and Venue Clarification Act, residency for individuals was something different than domicile. So, under the pre-2012 version — and you’ll
see old cases — you could have more than one residence. As you know, you can’t have more than one
domicile. So, when you get to those pre-2012 cases,
you need to know — and this is just for practice. You’re not gonna come across this in this
class but in practice you need to know — if you see a case that says, “Oh, residency means
wherever he’s got a house and wherever he spends some time. He has two residences.” Those cases were overruled by the Jurisdiction
and Venue Clarification Act. That’s an interpretation of the old statute
so make sure you understand that. It’s no longer the rule. For individuals, it now equals domicile. Residency equals domicile for individual real
persons. These are natural persons, not entities. That is now by virtue of 1391(c)(1): “A natural
person including an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States
shall be deemed to reside in the judicial district in which that person is domiciled. So it is domicile by district. DCT is just an abbreviation for the district
courts. Domicile by district. So they are domiciled in the whole state but
with venue, we are concerned with where in the state are they domiciled. This is for multi-district states. Not all states have multiple districts. Domicile by district. If we have an entity and we know we can have
corporations and unincorporated associations. They are treated the same. This is 1391(c)(2). “An entity with the capacity to sue and be
sued in its common name — whether or not incorporated — shall be deemed to reside
in any judicial district in which such defendant is subject to the court’s personal jurisdiction
with respect to the action in question.” Personal jurisdiction by district for both
corporations and unincorporated entities. Now how do you figure that out? 1391(d): “Residency of corporations in states
with multiple districts. For purposes of venue under this chapter,
a state which has more than one judicial district and in which a defendant that is a corporation
is subject to personal jurisdiction at the time the action is commenced.” It says, “Corporations shall be deemed to
reside in any district in that state within which its contacts would be sufficient to subject
it to personal jurisdiction if that district were a separate state.” So, you will have to do a personal jurisdiction
analysis at the district’s level, pretending that district is a state and find minimum
contacts with that district to figure out if this entity can be deemed to be resident
of that district. And that could get a little tricky. So, “personal jurisdiction by district” — with
unincorporated associations we’ve seen before and in the diversity contacts, remember, these
are treated differently. Corporations are citizens — that’s the relevant
concept there, is citizenship. Principle place of business? State of incorporation. Unincorporated associations are citizens of
every state where their members are citizens. You’re going to have to be able to jump between
thinking about that citizenship for diversity and residency for venue. They’re not the same thing. They might overlap — they will overlap. But it’s not going to be just the headquarters
and the place of incorporation. So when we have a case here —
So the facts say this is a Delaware corporation, these are two Delaware corporations and we
would usually write that here. Headquarters is in New York, this one’s headquarters
is in Los Angeles. So now we have to figure out where they reside. We are suing for a tort. This is a car manufacturer and designer, or
distributor. You’re the plaintiff’s lawyer and you have
have to figure out your (b)(1) analysis. Where do these parties reside in this action? This person is from Virginia, they have a
car that was manufactured by this person, this company, designed by that person and
the car blew up on impact. It shouldn’t have. They were injured. This happened in Virginia. So we need to list the places where these
defendants reside. Who wants to do that? Mr. Pitchman. — So, it depends because you don’t have districts
within Delaware specifically. Delaware would be one place that one resides. — District of Delaware? Based on what, what leads to that conclusion? — It’s a Delaware corporation. — Alright, so what does that mean? So we know it’s a Delaware corporation. How does that lead to: it’s a resident in
Delaware? — I would suggest that if they are a Delaware
corporation they have some contact with Delaware. — This would be general jurisdiction. So you’re subject to general jurisdiction
wherever you’re incorporated. So it would be subject to jurisdiction in
this case based on general jurisdiction. So the district of Delaware works as a place
of residence. That would be the same for this other defendant. Where else? Glendon. — It would be presence of the states and
districts in which they’re incorporated. — Ok. Manhattan is the Southern District of New
York. LA is the Central District of California. They would be subject to general jurisdiction
in those districts because that’s where the headquarters is located. You can treat those districts as if it were
a state. What about the Eastern District of New York? Would they reside there? — They would just be headquartered — whichever
district they’re headquartered. — So you split the state up into its different
districts. There are four districts in New York. You pretend that they are different states
and you see where the contacts are. If you did that, this company under these
facts has no contacts with these other districts so they cannot count as a residence. Alright. Where else? So we’ve got this. Is that it? — Maybe we should ask if there are any contacts
with — — Ok, so you would need to know if there
is minimum contacts with Virginia. They shipped it there, stream of commerce
analysis, you have to get into that. You know that’s fun. So, you’d have to look at: do we have minimum
contacts with Virginia. So what do we need to know? Where is this person? And where did this happen? Alright, so if they’re in Richmond, that’s
the Eastern District of Virginia, maybe that’s also where the car exploded. Now, did this person go to New York and buy
the car and then drive it back to Virginia? Did they ship it in there? We don’t know. So let’s say they shipped it to the Eastern
District of Virginia and that’s where it was purchased. Well that’s going to be the Eastern District
of Virginia. What about the designer? Is that going to
get the designer, in Virginia? He didn’t ship it there. He didn’t make the car. He just gave the design to this person so
probably not unless you start to stretch stream of commerce and go Britain-style then you
might have some thoughts that it gets into the Eastern District of Virginia. But not necessarily. Anywhere else? — Where the incident occurred? — That was in the Eastern District of Virginia. Gives them minimum contacts. We’re saying, at least in our basis, the facts
that we have, there’s no minimum contacts here. I’m not saying — and we’re only doing our
(b)(1) analysis. We know what (b)(2) is gonna talk about. So that’s later. Where was the car manufactured? That’s gonna be relevant. So, let’s say that this was manufactured in
northern California. So, and this designer designed it in Northern
California. The designer is a company, not an individual. Their headquarters is there and they designed
it there but they sent the designs up to the Northern District of California. Ok, so we’ve got a pretty good list. At this point the plaintiff would then get
to choose which of these districts. So we got a list before when we had a simplified
situation of individuals. Which of these districts qualify under (b)(1)? So we’ve got residency. Now which districts qualify under (b)(1)? — You have the District of Delaware and then
put the Central and Northern Districts of California. — So you could choose these and — now why
do you choose the Central District? They don’t reside there. — Because they reside in the state. — Ok, so we have an overlap of California. So, then why don’t we just choose the Southern
District of California? So just make sure you understand, when you
have an overlap that doesn’t open up any district in that state. You can only pick the districts that they
reside in within that state in common. But they don’t all have to reside in those
individual districts. So this party does not reside in the Central
District of California. Doesn’t matter. Either of those districts would be fine. The Southern District of California would
not. So we can pick one of those districts. Let’s say this suit is brought in the Eastern
District of New York. Is that proper? Ok. Now, these parties, also, what other challenge
might they have? If any? What about personal jurisdiction? Over both of these parties? Alright, so this one, there’s no personal
jurisdiction here but what I’m pointing out here is that the first defendant is subject
to personal jurisdiction here. Why? Because we don’t care about districts when
we’re looking at personal jurisdiction. We only care about states. They’re headquartered in New York. They’re subject to general jurisdiction throughout
New York. So when you’re doing a personal jurisdiction
analysis, you’re looking at the whole state. When you’re trying to figure out where they
reside, you look at district by district. So you could say, “No, they don’t reside in
the Eastern District of New York, but they’re subject to personal jurisdiction there.” Now that’s a little bit confusing because
when you’re doing the residency analysis, you’re saying, “They would not be subject
to personal jurisdiction in the Eastern District of New York if it were treated as its own
state.” So you’re kind of saying two contradictory
things. I’m just trying to make sure that you’re keeping
those things separate. When you’re trying to figure out residency,
you treat this like a state and say there’s no contacts there, they wouldn’t be subject
to personal jurisdiction there but then don’t confuse that to say, when there’s a personal
jurisdiction challenge by this defendant, say, “Oh, you’re right. I just concluded that you’re not subject to
personal jurisdiction here.” You are. You’re subject to personal jurisdiction throughout
New York. Ok, so we’re out of time. What we’ll do next time is I’ll continue talking
about residency. We’ll talk about (b)(1). We’ve got several hypos to go through. You can look at those hypos and those will
give us a good opportunity to review and understand this material. We will continue with venue and then we will
talk about change of venue. Page 310 through 324, maybe even through 331. Sounds like a lot but I think we’ll get through
that. We’ll see. I’ll see you tomorrow.

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