Lawsuit Venue

Each county in the state has its own trial courts, all of which are part of the state system. The county in which your case is filed and litigated is referred to as the “venue”. In most cases, a proper venue is any county in which any party to the litigation (i.e. a plaintiff or defendant) resides. So consider the following car accident scenario. Driver A resides in Queens and Driver B resides in Brooklyn (Kings County). The owner of Vehicle A (Owner A) resides in Staten Island and Owner B resides in the Bronx. In a case involving both drivers and owners, venue is proper in any of the outer boroughs. So how do you choose which county to bring your action? With some limitations beyond the scope of this post, every citizen has a constitutional right to have the facts of their case decided by a jury of their peers. While there is no requirement that the specific jurors assigned to your case be a fair representation of the community (individuals who may be biased towards either side are weeded out through a process called “voir dire”), the pool of available jurors is comprised of people from backgrounds as diverse as the city around us, with the exception of one common thread: your jury pool will be comprised entirely of people who reside in the county where your case is venued. Every New Yorker knows that the prevailing economic views, political affiliations, and social dynamics vary greatly from borough to borough, from Long Island to the city, and so forth. So the question is, who do you want on your jury? The answer to that question dictates where your case is venued.