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Why which court hears your case can make a difference

Whether a lawsuit is heard in state or federal court in Ohio may not seem like it matters much, but it can make a big difference. Often, venue is something the parties fight over, each believing that one court will be more favorable to them.

In an example, a chain of nursing homes facing a lawsuit from the attorney general of New Mexico has failed in its attempt to remove the suit from state court and move it to the federal level. The AG preferred to keep the case in state court, and is said to be pleased with the ruling, according to a news report.

The lawsuit alleges that the nursing home company provided negligent care to residents, due in part to understaffing. The company is also accused of fraudulent billing practices.

In petitioning to move the case to federal court, the company argued that the case had “significant federal issues,” giving the local U.S. District Court jurisdiction over the case. But the federal judge rejected that argument. She said that the allegations were all based on state law, making the state court the appropriate place for the suit to proceed.

In some cases, such as when a business operates in more than one state, determining venue can be complex. It can be to the advantage of an individual or business being sued for personal injury to fight for one venue over another, say when federal or state law in one court seems more favorable than in another court.

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