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DENVER & R. G. W. R. CO. V. TRAINMEN, 387 U. S. 556 (1967)

U.S. Supreme Court

Denver & R. G. W. R. Co. v. Trainmen, 387 U.S. 556 (1967)

Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Co. v.

Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen

No. 794

Argued April 19, 1967

Decided June 5, 1967

387 U.S. 556


Petitioner, railroad, brought suit in federal court in Colorado against respondent union, an unincorporated association with headquarters in Ohio, and certain individual members, for damages resulting from a strike in violation of the Railway Labor Act. At the time the suit was brought, venue in federal question cases lay only in the district "where all defendants reside." 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). The statute did not define the residence of an unincorporated association. Subsequently that statute was amended to permit suits also in the district where the claim arises. The union's motion to dismiss for improper venue was overruled, the case was tried, and judgment was entered for petitioner. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the union could be sued under § 1391(b) only in the district of its residence, and that its residence was not in Colorado.


1. The residence of an unincorporated association (which should be viewed as an entity for venue purposes) under the previous version of § 1391(b) refers to wherever it is "doing business." Pp. 387 U. S. 559-563.

2. The District Court should now determine whether or not respondent was "doing business" in Colorado; if it finds that respondent was not, the appropriateness of venue under the current version of § 1391 (i.e., whether the claim "arose" in Colorado) should be considered. Pp. 387 U. S. 563-564.

367 F.2d 137, reversed and remanded.

Page 387 U. S. 557

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