Vanderbilt Law Review

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In prescribing the rules governing the place of trial of actions commenced in the federal district courts, Congress might reasonably have been expected to follow one of two courses. On the one hand, it might have treated the continental United States as a single jurisdiction. On this basis service of process would have been permitted throughout the United States, venue rules would have been designed to channel litigation into the most convenient district, and provision would have been made for a motion for change of venue to be granted whenever the suit was commenced in a district which did not have venue. On the other hand, Congress might have treated the individual federal districts as independent states. On this basis service of process would have been restricted to the district in which suit was brought, but venue of transitory actions would have been made proper in any district in which the defendant could be found for service of process. In fact, of course, Congress has adopted neither of these alternatives. Instead it has limited venue to the residence of all the defendants or, in diversity cases, all the plaintiffs while at the same time confining service of process to the boundaries of the state in which the district court is located.

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