Call Us For Free Consultation

ProveMyFloridaCase.com > Trial Perspectives  > Home Venue Privilege Applies to Government Defendants

Home Venue Privilege Applies to Government Defendants

 Governmental defendants in Florida are entitled, absent waiver or exception, to “home venue privilege,” i.e., to be sued in the county where their headquarters are located.Florida Pace Funding Agency v. Pinellas County, 49 Fla.L.Weekly 660a (Fla. 2d DCA 2024).

This home venue privilege is important to governmental entities since it ensures they are sued in their home county, i.e., where their taxpayers and residents will serve on a jury.

A remote exception to this home venue privilege is known as the sword wielder exception.  The sword wielder exception allows a plaintiff to sue a government defendant outside of the home county “when a plaintiff’s constitutional rights are in ‘real and imminent danger’ of invasion by a governmental defendant.Florida Pace Funding Agency, supra.  The plaintiff raising this exception bears the burden in pleading and proving the basis to trigger this exception. This is not an easy burden because “the decisions in Florida applying this [sword wielder] doctrine to defeat home venue typically involve private plaintiffs (usually individuals) seeking to protect fundamental constitutional rights.”  Florida Pace Funding Agency, supra.

Another (rare) exception, which was the case in Florida Pace Funding Agency, is a venue provision or forum selection clause. In this case, there was a venue provision in an interlocal agreement between a governmental agency and a county.  (An interlocal agreement is an agreement between local government agencies or entities.) The government agency claimed it should be sued where it was located.  The appellate court found that the forum selection clause was a broad clause that applied to the instant dispute.  Thus, while the sword wielder exception did not apply, the broad forum selection did apply to allow the government agency to be sued outside of its home county.


Please contact David Adelstein at [email protected] or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.


Please follow and like us:
Contact Me Now

Prove YOUR Case!


David Adelstein ♦

(954) 361-4720 ♦

[email protected]