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Civil Resource Manual

39. Venue -- Government As Plaintiff

Generally, in personam actions by the government against individual defendants will be brought in the district where the individual defendants reside. See 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). If different defendants, who can be joined as defendants in one suit, reside in different districts in the same state, all may be sued in any judicial district in which any one of the defendants resides in such state. See 28 U.S.C. § 1392(a). Judicial economy and consistency of results suggest joinder of all defendants in one suit, when possible. See 28 U.S.C. § 1393, as to actions involving defendants in different divisions of the same district.

Actions for judicial foreclosure, and similar in rem actions involving property in different districts in the same state, may be brought in any one of the districts where such property is located. See 28 U.S.C. § 1392; 28 U.S.C. § 1655. Actions for damages to government work involving vessels must be brought in any district where such vessel is located. See Admiralty Rules of Procedure, C and E.

Suit may be brought against a corporation in any judicial district where it is incorporated or licensed to do business or is doing business. See 28 U.S.C. § 1391(c). The Civil Division may refer a case involving suit against a corporation to a district other than its state of incorporation or principal place of business, in order to secure speedier disposition or to place the litigation closer to the locale of witnesses or the scene of the incident or facts giving rise to suit. In delegated cases, the USA may wish to ask the Civil Division to consider referring a claim against a corporation to another district for one of the reasons indicated.

Civil penalty actions, and actions for civil monetary forfeitures, must be brought in the district where the cause of action accrues or in which the defendant is found. See 28 U.S.C. § 1395(a). Civil proceedings for the physical forfeiture of property may be brought in any district where the property is found or into which the property is brought. See 28 U.S.C. § 1395(b) and (c). For venue as to admiralty penalties and forfeitures of vessels or cargo, see 28 U.S.C. § 1395(d), (e).

[cited in USAM 4-2.200]