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Bates v. C&S Adjusters, Inc. Case Brief

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?

Holding: Yes

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.



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