Summary of Bates v. C&S Adjusters, Inc.
980 F.2d 865 (1992)
Facts: P defaulted on his debt and D, a NY collection agency, sent letter to P. P incurred the debt in Pennsylvania, but later moved to NY. D’s letter addressed to P’s Pennsylvania’s residence but from there, redirected to P’s NY residence. P brought claim against D under federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Procedure: The NY district court dismissed the lawsuit for improper venue.
Issue: Was NY the proper venue in this case?
Rationale: Under 28 U.S.C. § 1391 (b)(2), venue is proper in a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred. In this case, P resided in NY when he received the letter and the letter was redirected to NY. D intended P to receive the letter and therefore, a substantial part of the events giving rise to the claim occurred in NY. Therefore, the district court erred for dismissing the P’s lawsuit.
Notes: As a general rule, in a federal diversity or federal question case, venue is proper in a jurisdiction where: 1. all defendants reside, or 2. where a substantial part of the claim arose. But if there is no district anywhere in the U.S. that meets either of these two, then venue is proper : 1. in a federal question case, in any district where any defendant is found; or 2. in a diversity case, in any district where any defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction.