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Which Court Can I File My Lawsuit in Connecticut?

25 Nov 2016 0

Where a lawsuit can be filed depends on where the parties to the lawsuit reside and in certain cases where the injury occurred. The place a lawsuit is filed is known as the “venue” for that lawsuit. Venue is a legal term that defines the legally proper place where a particular type of lawsuit should be filed. Every state has statutes for determining the proper venue for different types of cases.

When there is a choice of where to file a lawsuit, attorneys typically make tactical decisions about the best venue. This often depends on the demographics of a particular venue, the demographics of the plaintiff and defendant, and the nature of the lawsuit.

In Connecticut, the proper location for the typical lawsuit such as one that resulted from a motor vehicle collision, negligence, or medical malpractice would be determined, at the option of the plaintiff, by where the plaintiff or defendant reside, or if neither party resides in Connecticut, where the accident or injury occurred. In certain cases, depending upon the facts of the case, a plaintiff can choose between two different judicial districts.

In Connecticut, there are thirteen Judicial Districts for the Superior Court, as established by Connecticut General Statute § 51-344.

  1. The judicial district of Ansonia-Milford, consisting of the towns of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Milford, Orange, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton and West Haven
  2. The judicial district of Danbury, consisting of the towns of Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield and Sherman
  3. The judicial district of Fairfield, consisting of the towns of Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull
  4. The judicial district of Hartford, consisting of the towns of Avon, Bloomfield, Canton, East Granby, East Hartford, East Windsor, Enfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Granby, Hartford, Manchester, Marlborough, Simsbury, South Windsor, Suffield, West Hartford, Windsor and Windsor Locks
  5. The judicial district of Litchfield, consisting of the towns of Barkhamsted, Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Canaan, Colebrook, Cornwall, Goshen, Hartland, Harwinton, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Hartford, New Milford, Norfolk, North Canaan, Roxbury, Salisbury, Sharon, Thomaston, Torrington, Warren, Washington and Winchester
  6. The judicial district of Middlesex, consisting of the towns of Chester, Clinton, Cromwell, Deep River, Durham, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Middlefield, Middletown, Old Saybrook, Portland Westbrook
  7. The judicial district of New Britain, consisting of the towns of Berlin, Bristol, Burlington, New Britain, Newington, Plainville, Plymouth, Rocky Hill, Southington and Wethersfield
  8. The judicial district of New Haven, consisting of the towns of Bethany, Branford, Cheshire, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Meriden, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Wallingford and Woodbridge
  9. The judicial district of New London, consisting of the towns of Bozrah, Colchester, East Lyme, Franklin, Griswold, Groton, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Lyme, Montville, New London, North Stonington, Norwich, Old Lyme, Preston, Salem, Sprague, Stonington, Voluntown and Waterford
  10. The judicial district of Stamford-Norwalk, consisting of the towns of Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton
  11. The judicial district of Tolland, consisting of the towns of Andover, Bolton, Columbia, Coventry, Ellington, Hebron, Mansfield, Somers, Stafford, Tolland, Union, Vernon and Willington
  12. The judicial district of Waterbury, consisting of the towns of Middlebury, Naugatuck, Prospect, Southbury, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott and Woodbury
  13. The judicial district of Windham, consisting of the towns of Ashford, Brooklyn, Canterbury, Chaplin, Eastford, Hampton, Killingly, Plainfield, Pomfret, Putnam, Scotland, Sterling, Thompson, Windham and Woodstock

Connecticut General Statute Section 51-345 further provides that if the venue is in a certain town or city then, at the option of the plaintiff, the action can be commenced in one of two judicial districts. Those limited towns and cities are as follows:

(A) If either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Manchester, East Windsor, South Windsor or Enfield, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Hartford or the judicial district of Tolland.

(B) If either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Plymouth, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of New Britain or the judicial district of Waterbury.

(C) If either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Bethany, Milford, West Haven or Woodbridge, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of New Haven or the judicial district of Ansonia-Milford.

(D) If either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Southbury, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Ansonia-Milford or the judicial district of Waterbury.

(E) If either the plaintiff or defendant resides in the town of Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport or Wilton, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Stamford-Norwalk or the judicial district of Fairfield.

(F) If either the plaintiff or defendant resides in the town of Watertown or Woodbury, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Waterbury or the judicial district of Litchfield.

(G) If either the plaintiff or defendant resides in the town of Avon, Canton, Farmington or Simsbury, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Hartford or the judicial district of New Britain.

(H) If either the plaintiff or defendant resides in the town of Newington, Rocky Hill or Wethersfield, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Hartford or the judicial district of New Britain, except for actions where venue is in the geographical area as provided in section 51-348 or in rules of court.

(I) If either the plaintiff or defendant resides in the town of Cromwell, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Hartford or the judicial district of Middlesex.

(J) If either the plaintiff or defendant resides in the town of New Milford, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Danbury or the judicial district of Litchfield.