Forum Selection: Venue, Forum Non Conveniens, & Removal

AuthorJennifer Duncan-Brice
Def‌initions: Venue means the geographic location (county) where an action is heard. In general, venue is proper
where any defendant resides or where the cause of action arose. Often, proper venue may lie in more than one county.
In those cases, the choice of venue is plaintiff’s. But actions to determine title to real property or possession of personal
property must be brought were the property is located. And, in certain cases, a special venue statute may confer on
defendant a venue privilege that requires plaintiff to sue in a particular county.
If plaintiff selects an improper venue, defendant may have the case transferred to a proper venue. Even if the selection
is proper, defendant may request a venue change to promote party or witness convenience, or to better obtain a fair
trial. Further, based on the forum non conveniens doctrine, the court will refuse to exercise jurisdiction, even if venue is
technically proper, because the case may be tried more conveniently in a different forum, either within or without the state.
A defendant may remove to federal district court any civil action brought in a state court over which the federal district
courts have original jurisdiction.
Scope of Chapter: Bases of venue; venue statutes; venue selection; transfer from improper venue; change of venue
to obtain a fair trial; forum non conveniens; removal to federal court.
Strategies and Tactics:
Venue: In theory, venue considerations should promote convenience, economy, and fairness. In practice, however,
some plaintiffs use venue selection to pick a forum advantageous for them and disadvantageous for defendants,
thereby enhancing plaintiffs’ prospects for settlement and award. Thus defendants must be ready to challenge venue
if it is warranted.
Inconvenient forum. The venue selected by the plaintiff may be proper but may be inconvenient to the defendant. The
court will balance the private interests of the litigants and public interests affecting the administration of justice and only
if these factors, viewed in the totality, strongly favor a different forum, will the court grant a motion to change the forum.
Removal. Defendants use removal to force plaintiffs into a federal forum that is advantageous to them, or at least less
disadvantageous than the state forum selected by plaintiffs. Differences in the rules of practice and procedure, the per-
sonalities and abilities of the judges, or the familiarity of opposing counsel with federal court practice may recommend
this change. Plaintiffs may avoid removal by relying only on state claims and by joining a local defendant. Defendants
must follow removal procedures exactly. And plaintiffs may have the case remanded to state court if removal is unwar-
ranted or defendants make a procedural misstep.
Illinois Pretrial Practice 8-2
Statutes and Rules: 735 ILCS 5/2-101 through 5/2-109, 5/2-1001, 5/2-1001.5, 5/2-1103,5/3-104, 5/9-106,
5/13-217, 5/16-103, 5/17-101; SCR 187, 273, 306; 28 USC §§1441-1452.
Related Topics: Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Ch 6, Personal Jurisdiction, Ch 7; Motion Practice, Ch 14.
Forms: See digital access for the following forms:
Form 8:10, Forum Selection Clause.
Form 8:20, Motion to Transfer Venue: Improper Venue.
Form 8:30, Motion to Transfer Venue: Fraudulently Joined Party.
Form 8:40, Aff‌idavit in Support of Motion to Transfer Venue.
Form 8:50, Motion to Dismiss for Forum Non Conveniens.
Form 8:60, Aff‌idavit in Support of Motion to Dismiss for Forum Non Conveniens.
A. Nature of Venue
§8:01 “Venue” Def‌ined
§8:02 Jurisdiction Distinguished
B. Signif‌icance of Venue
§8:10 Basic Strategy
§8:11 Home-Court Advantage
§8:12 Client Convenience
§8:13 Witness Convenience
§8:14 Demographics
§8:15 Notoriety
§8:16 Backlog of Cases Awaiting Trial
A. General Venue Statute
1. Basic Rules
§8:30 Defendant’s Residence or Place of Occurrence
§8:31 Purpose
§8:32 Multiple Defendants
§8:33 Plaintiff’s Election
§8:34 When All Defendants Are Non-Residents
§8:35 Third Party Actions
2. Defendant’s Residence
a. Individuals
§8:40 Where Defendant “Resides”
§8:41 Facts Showing Residence
§8:42 Only One Residence
§8:43 Determined at Time of Filing
§8:44 Establishment of New Residence
b. Entities
§8:50 Corporations
§8:51 Railroad or Bridge Companies
§8:52 Other Off‌ice
§8:53 Partnerships
§8:54 Voluntary Unincorporated Associations
§8:55 Doing Business
3. Where Claim Accrued
§8:60 Governing Statutes
§8:61 Meaning of Transaction
8-3 Forum Selection: Venue, Forum Non Conveniens, & Removal
§8:62 Meaning of “Some Part” of the Transaction
§8:63 Transactional Venue vs. Doing Business Venue
B. Special Venue Statutes
1. General Points
§8:70 Override General Statute
§8:71 Multiple Claims
§8:72 Conf‌licting Statutes
§8:73 Severance
§8:74 Waiver
§8:75 Challenging Special Venue Statutes
2. Ac tions Involving Real Property
§8:80 Forcible Entry and Detainer
§8:81 Partition Actions
§8:82 Foreclosure; Quiet Title; Possession
§8:83 River Conservancy District Eminent Domain
§8:84 Land Outside Illinois
3. Statutes in Code of Civil Procedure
§8:90 Administrative Review
§8:91 Attachment Proceedings
§8:92 Confession of Judgment
§8:93 Ne Exeat Proceedings
§8:94 Insurance Companies
§8:95 Libel: Newspapers and Magazines
§8:96 Replevin
4. Other Special Venue Statutes
§8:110 Adoption
§8:111 Banking Act
§8:112 Commerce Commission
§8:113 Corporate Fiduciary Act
§8:114 Election Code
§8:115 Estate and Transfer Taxes
§8:116 Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices
§8:117 Freedom of Information Act
§8:118 Guardian for Minors
§8:119 Guardians for Disabled Adults
§8:120 Human Rights Act
§8:121 Marriage and Dissolution Act
§8:122 Probate of Will
§8:123 Uniform Arbitration Act
§8:124 Administrative Review
C. Venue Agreements (Forum Selection Clauses)
§8:130 Mandatory vs. Permissive Agreements
§8:131 Remedies for Breach: Transfer or Dismiss
§8:132 Personal Jurisdiction Waived
§8:133 Challenge to Venue Agreement
D. Government Entities
1. Special Statutes
§8:140 Actions Against Municipal Corporations
§8:141 Actions by Municipal Corporations
§8:142 Actions by or Against a County
§8:143 Claims Against the State for Money
§8:144 Drainage Districts
2. Home Count y Privilege
§8:150 Basis and Nature of Privilege

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