Location, Location, Location: Connecticut Legislature Clarifies Venue Rules

Steven J. Stafstrom

Public Act 24-108, passed at the conclusion of Connecticut’s 2024 Legislative Session and signed into law by Governor Lamont on June 4, brings needed statutory clarity to where a business entity may initiate a lawsuit in State Court. 

Under current law and the new legislation, actions by a corporation generally are returnable to the judicial district where the (1) corporation has an office or place of business, (2) defendant lives, if the defendant is a resident, (3) injury occurred, (4) transaction occurred, or (5) property is located or lawfully attached. Conn. Gen. Stat. 51-345(c).  Current law, however, made no specific provision for venue in actions brought by business entities that are not domestic or foreign “corporations.” Accordingly, practitioners and courts were left to assume that the corporate venue statute applied to other business entities. 

Public Act 24-108 now makes clear that the same venue rules apply to actions brought by all “domestic business organizations,” including sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, associations, firms, and other forms of businesses or legal entities. Public Act 24-108 at § 503. 

The new legislation preserves venue choice by giving domestic business organizations with an office or place of business in certain towns the option of selecting between neighboring judicial districts. While many Connecticut practitioners had long believed that the existing venue choice rules of Conn. Gen. Stat. 51-345(a)(3) applied to both business organizations and individuals, some courts were sua sponte re-assigning cases in situations where, for example, an LLC based in Westport chose to file in Bridgeport because the court read 51-345(a)(3) as applying only to individuals.  The new statute now makes clear that businesses located in most of lower Fairfield County (including the town of Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport, or Wilton) can choose between filing in Stamford or Bridgeport. 

Likewise, businesses in Avon, Canton, Farmington, Simsbury, Newington, Rocky Hill, or Wethersfield can choose between Hartford and New Britain. The New Haven or Ansonia-Milford Judicial Districts are the choices for businesses with a place of business in Bethany, Milford, West Haven, or Woodbridge.

Selecting the right venue for filing a lawsuit can sometimes impact the handling of the case.  It is now clear that an attorney bringing a contract or other claim on behalf of a Connecticut business in towns that straddle judicial districts can consider convenience, case backlog, judicial environment, reputation and local practices in deciding where to file. 

Attorney Stafstrom is a member at Pullman & Comley, LLC, where his practice includes litigation or commercial, business, real estate and environmental disputes.  He also serves as House Chairman of the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee.


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