WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.

Legal Information: Connecticut

Statutes: Connecticut

View all
Updated: 
October 29, 2020

§ 51-345. Venue in civil actions and housing matters. Return of civil process

(a) Except as provided in section 51-348 and subsections (b) to (h), inclusive, of this section, all civil process shall be made returnable to a judicial district, as follows:

(1) If all of the parties reside outside this state, to the judicial district where (A) the injury occurred, (B) the transaction occurred, or (C) the property is located or lawfully attached.

(2) If the defendant is not a resident, to the judicial district where the attached property is located.

(3) If either or both the plaintiff or the defendant are residents of this state, to the judicial district where either the plaintiff or the defendant resides, except:

(A) If either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Manchester, East Windsor, South Windsor or Enfield, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Hartford or the judicial district of Tolland.

(B) If either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Plymouth, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of New Britain or the judicial district of Waterbury.

(C) If either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Bethany, Milford, West Haven or Woodbridge, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of New Haven or the judicial district of Ansonia-Milford.

(D) If either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Southbury, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Ansonia-Milford or the judicial district of Waterbury.

(E) If either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport or Wilton, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Stamford-Norwalk or the judicial district of Fairfield.

(F) If either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Watertown or Woodbury, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Waterbury or the judicial district of Litchfield.

(G) If either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Avon, Canton, Farmington or Simsbury, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Hartford or the judicial district of New Britain.

(H) If either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Newington, Rocky Hill or Wethersfield, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Hartford or the judicial district of New Britain, except for actions where venue is in the geographical area as provided in section 51-348 or in rules of court.

(I) If either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Cromwell, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Hartford or the judicial district of Middlesex.

(J) If either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of New Milford, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Danbury or the judicial district of Litchfield.

(K) If either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Windham or Ashford, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Windham or the judicial district of Tolland.

(b) In all actions involving the title to land, for trespass to land and to foreclose or redeem mortgages or liens upon real property, civil process shall be made returnable to the judicial district where the real property is located, either entirely or in part, except:

(1) If the land is located in the town of Manchester, East Windsor, South Windsor or Enfield and either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Manchester, East Windsor, South Windsor or Enfield, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Hartford or the judicial district of Tolland.

(2) If the land is located in the town of Plymouth and either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Plymouth, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of New Britain or the judicial district of Waterbury.

(3) If the land is located in the town of Bethany, Milford, West Haven or Woodbridge and either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Bethany, Milford, West Haven or Woodbridge, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of New Haven or the judicial district of Ansonia-Milford.

(4) If the land is located in the town of Southbury and either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Southbury, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Ansonia-Milford or the judicial district of Waterbury.

(5) If the land is located in the town of Weston, Westport or Wilton and either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in any one of these towns, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Stamford-Norwalk or the judicial district of Fairfield.

(6) If the land is located in the town of Watertown or Woodbury and either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Watertown or Woodbury, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Waterbury or the judicial district of Litchfield.

(7) If the land is located in the town of Avon, Canton, Farmington or Simsbury and either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Avon, Canton, Farmington or Simsbury, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Hartford or the judicial district of New Britain.

(8) If the land is located in the town of Newington, Rocky Hill or Wethersfield and either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of Newington, Rocky Hill or Wethersfield, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Hartford or the judicial district of New Britain, except for actions where venue is in the geographical area as provided in section 51-348 or in rules of court.

(9) If the land is located in the town of New Milford and either the plaintiff or the defendant resides in the town of New Milford, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Danbury or the judicial district of Litchfield.

(c) In all actions by a corporation, except actions made returnable under subsection (b), (d) or (g) of this section, civil process shall be made returnable as follows:

(1) If the plaintiff is either a domestic corporation or a United States corporation and the defendant is a resident, either (A) to the judicial district where the plaintiff has an office or place of business or (B) to the judicial district where the defendant resides.

(2) If the plaintiff is either a domestic corporation or a United States corporation and the defendant is a corporation, domestic or foreign, to the judicial district where (A) the plaintiff has an office or place of business, (B) the injury occurred, (C) the transaction occurred, or (D) the property is located or lawfully attached.

(3) If the plaintiff is a foreign corporation and the defendant is a resident, to the judicial district where the defendant resides.

(4) If the plaintiff is a foreign corporation and the defendant is a corporation, domestic or foreign, to the judicial district where (A) the injury occurred, (B) the transaction occurred, or (C) the property is located or lawfully attached.

(d) In all actions involving consumer transactions, civil process shall be made returnable to the judicial district where the consumer resides or where the transaction occurred. For the purposes of this subsection, “consumer transaction” means a transaction in which a natural person obligates himself or herself to pay for goods sold or leased, services rendered or moneys loaned for personal, family or household purposes.

(e) In all actions for the partition or sale of any property, civil process shall be made returnable to the judicial district where the parties, or one of them, reside; but, if none of them resides in this state, then to the judicial district where all or a part of the property is located.

(f) In all actions by a nonresident executor, trustee under a will or administrator, civil process shall be made returnable to the same judicial district as would be proper if the plaintiff resided in the town where the Probate Court which granted administration is held.

(g) Venue for small claims matters shall be at Superior Court facilities designated by the Chief Court Administrator to hear such matters. In small claims matters, civil process shall be made returnable to the Superior Court facility designated by the Chief Court Administrator to serve the small claims area where the plaintiff resides, where the defendant resides or is doing business or where the transaction or injury occurred. If the plaintiff is a domestic corporation, a United States corporation, a foreign corporation or a limited liability company, civil process shall be made returnable to a Superior Court facility designated by the Chief Court Administrator to serve the small claims area where the defendant resides or is doing business or where the transaction or injury occurred.

(h) (1) In all actions involving housing matters, as defined in section 47a-68, civil process shall be made returnable to the judicial district where the premises are located, except that actions described in subdivision (6) of section 47a-68 shall be heard in the geographical area where the premises are located unless otherwise provided in subsection (d) of section 51-348.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection concerning the judicial district to which civil process shall be made returnable:

(A) If the premises are located in Avon, Canton, Farmington, Newington, Rocky Hill, Simsbury or Wethersfield, the action may be made returnable at the option of the plaintiff to either the judicial district of Hartford or the judicial district of New Britain.

(B) If the premises are located in Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Oxford, Seymour or Shelton, the action shall be made returnable to the judicial district of Ansonia-Milford. After the filing of the action, the plaintiff or the defendant may request a change in venue to the judicial district of New Haven or the judicial district of Waterbury.(C) If the premises are located in Milford, Orange or West Haven, the action shall be made returnable to the judicial district of New Haven.