Bates v. C & S Adjusters, Inc.
908 F.2d 865 (2d Cir. 1992)

  • Bates received a collection notice from C&S, based on a debt he incurred while living in Pennsylvania. Instead of paying, he sued.
    • Bates alleged a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
  • Bates brought his case in a New York Federal Court. C&S filed a motion to dismiss for improper venue.
    • C&S was located in the Western District of Pennsylvania.
    • Bates presently lived in the Western District of New York.
  • The New York Trial Court dismissed the claim for improper venue. Bates appealed.
    • Bates argued that the case could be brought under 28 USC § 1391(b)(2), which allows action to be brought in a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred.
  • The New York Appellate Court reversed the Trial Court’s ruling, and remanded the case back to the Trial Court.
    • The Appellate Court felt that the venue was proper under 28 USC § 1391(b)(2).
      • 28 USC § 1391(b)(2) had been amended in 1990. Prior to that, it only allowed for a venue in the judicial district where the claim arose.
      • Prior to 1966, the only venue available was the one in which the defendant had a domicile.
    • The Court also noted that even prior to the 1990 amendment to 28 USC § 1391, several Courts had held that, under the FDCPA, a plaintiff could bring suit in their home district if a collection agency had mailed notice to their address in that district, of called them on the phone there.