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Thompson v. Greyhound Lines, Inc. - No. 12-0576-WS-B, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176441 (S.D. Ala. Dec. 13, 2012)

Rule:

Venue is proper in "a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred." 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2). Under this provision, only the events that directly give rise to a claim are relevant.

Facts:

A man had a court hearing in Tunica, Mississippi, and purchased a one-way ticket from Greyhound in Pensacola. The trip would require the passenger to switch buses twice. While in transit, the passenger took a nap. To his dismay, he did not wake up in the stop where he was suppose to switch buses and the bus he rode was returning to its original destination. As a result, the passenger missed his court date and and was found guilty in absentia. The passenger sued the bus companies as well as the driver in Alabama on several state law causes of action. Subject matter jurisdiction is based on diversity of citizenship. A motion to dismiss was filed by the defendants for improper venue.

Issue:

Is the venue proper?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The Court found Alabama to be the improper venue to file a claim because the only event that occurred in Alabama was that the plaintiff changed buses here, and that event did not "directly give rise to a claim" as it is not a "part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim," much less a "substantial" part. Nevertheless, 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a) requires that the district court of a district in which is filed a case laying venue in the wrong division or district shall dismiss, or if it be in the interest of justice, transfer such case to any district or division in which it could have been brought. As such, the court transferred the action to the Southern District of Mississippi.

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