Oftentimes, legal disputes can turn on very specific aspects of a law that are extremely technical. One technical part of bringing a lawsuit against another party is making sure you file the lawsuit in the proper place. This is known as filing suit in the right venue.
Proper venue is determined when the lawsuit begins, or when the complaint is filed. One reason it is important to think about venue when you’re filing your lawsuit is because certain venues may put your case at an advantage over other places.
A company in Birmingham called Jan-Pro filed a lawsuit against Bright Star Restaurant, Inc. alleging breach of contract and negligence. Jan-Pro entered into a contract to provide cleaning services for Bright Star, and on April 15, 2016, Bright Star terminated that contract. After the contract was terminated, Jan-Pro filed a lawsuit in Jefferson County Circuit court for damages.
Bright Star moved to have the case dismissed, and if not dismissed then to move the action to Jefferson County Circuit Court, Bessemer Division. On June 28th, the trial court granted the request for the change of venue to the Bessemer Division.
Jan-Pro, displeased filed a motion to a higher court to reexamine the issue of transferring the case to the Bessemer venue. Jan-Pro’s motion was granted because Bright Star restaurant did not present any evidence to the court to support its stance that Bessemer was the right place to have the trial. Because Bright Star gave no evidence in support, the court ruled in Jan-Pro’s favor to have the case heard in Jefferson County even though Bessemer is a better place for the case since it is where the restaurant is located and where the incidents occurred.
If you are wondering about whether you are filing your lawsuit in the correct venue, here are some rules to know. Venue is proper:
- In the county where substantial part of the events giving rise to the claim occurred
- In the county where a corporation’s main office is located
- In the county where the plaintiff resides; or
- In any county where the corporation was doing business.
Since Jan-Pro was doing business in Jefferson county, venue is proper in Jefferson county. Remember, venue might be proper in multiple locations, so a party can file a motion with the court after the initial complaint is filed detailing a place they believe is a better venue.
The Bright Star Restaurant is renowned in Alabama and Bessemer is very proud of this business in their community. Bright Star potentially stands a better chance in court if they could have their case heard in their “hometown.”
If you can give your case even a slight advantage, that can make all the difference in the case’s outcome. By doing something as simple as providing evidence to support their claim, Bright Star could have had their case heard in a better courtroom environment.
In order to ensure details like this do not slip through the cracks, hire an attorney with vast experience in business disputes. Mr. Joseph A. Ingram has handled business disputes in almost every venue in Alabama, so he knows how to put your case at the best possible advantage.
Contact Business Attorney Joseph A. Ingram for any contract dispute. Call Ingram Law LLC at (205) 335-2640.