Thursday, April 26, 2018

Improper Venue Does Not Limit Applicability of First-to-File Rule

The court granted defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' second-filed declaratory relief action under the first-to-file rule even though the defendants' first-filed action was filed in an improper venue. "The plaintiffs . . . contend that the first-to-file rule is inapplicable because the Eastern District of Texas lacked venue, and therefore, lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the case. Improper venue does not strip a court of subject matter jurisdiction since Congress authorizes district courts to evaluate venue and to transfer a case in which venue is improper to a district where the case could have been brought. For this reason, improper venue in the first-filed court does not limit application of the first-to-file rule or alter this Court’s conclusion that the rule applies here."

Sandoz, Inc. et al v. Duke University et al, 1-17-cv-00823 (NCMD April 24, 2018, Order) (Eagles, USDJ)

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