How to Challenge a Court Venue
Updated: Nov 16
I am being sued and the venue or jurisdiction is wrong.
"Venue" refers to the specific court in which your case is heard, whereas "Jurisdiction" refers to the state and county in which the lawsuit is filed. It is up to the person suing you to sue you in the right court. If you believe you were sued in the wrong court or jurisdiction, you can dispute the venue of your case. You have two options:
1. Dispute in Person
Go to court on the day of your trial hearing and request that the case be dismissed.
2. Dispute by Mail
Write to the court explaining why you think the claim was brought to the wrong court. Be sure to send a copy to the other parties.
To ensure your request is brought to a judge, file a Request for Court Order and Answer, also known as an SC-105. Fill out this form to tell the court you were sued in the improper venue and why you believe so. You must serve copies of this request on everyone else involved in the case. The opposing side gets the chance to tell his or her side of the issue using the “Answer” on the second page of the SC-105 form.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are examples of the correct venue?
I live in the county/state where the court is located.
The dispute arose in the county/state where the court is located.
When I made the agreement with the plaintiff, I agreed to be sued in the county/state where the court is located.
I was in the state where the court is located when I received notice of being sued (I got served in the state).
My business is registered to do business in the state where the court is located.
My business's principal place of business or office is in the county/state where the court is located.
My business directly contracts with the state, a business in the state, or a resident of the state where the court is located.
My business seeks to serve businesses or residents of the state where the court is located.
If any of the above applies, then you are likely sued in the right location.
What happens after I dispute the court venue?
Typically disputing the venue may result in your case being transferred to a different court, or dismissed (without prejudice) but the plaintiff may refile the case in a different court, it will not actually close the case. Even if you know you are sued in the wrong court, you can volunteer to have it heard at the court you are sued in, so you can get it over with.
What happens if the judge agrees with me?
If the judge agrees, then your case will either be dismissed or transferred to a different court
What happens if the judge disagrees with me?
If the judge disagrees with you, then your case will be heard that day.
NEED HELP WITH YOUR JUSTICE JOURNEY?
The quest for justice is never easy, particularly when it comes to getting your money back. However, thanks to advances in technology, it has become easier. Quest for Justice’s first app, JusticeDirect, is the only app of its kind designed to support people without lawyers resolve their dispute and get their money back, both in and out of court. The first step to getting money back is through a letter demanding payment from the other party JusticeDirect offers customizable demand letters for free. If the letter demanding payment does not work, then the next step is taking them to court. JusticeDirect* will guide users every step of the way through the small claims court process by helping them:
Understand the legal process;
Evaluate the pros and cons that come with taking someone to court;
Generate small claims court forms; and,
Avoid common mistakes when filing your forms and serving notice on the other side.
*Currently, JusticeDirect can only help litigants sue in California’s small claims court.