Florida District Court of Appeal Declines to Enforce Venue Selection Provision of Contract

In a contract litigation case involving a venue selection provision, the trial court concluded the provision was enforceable and transferred the action to a different Circuit Court within the State of Florida.

On appeal the Fifth District Court of Appeal of Florida concluded the venue provision was merely permissive and not mandatory, because the parties consented to Duval County for venue purposes but did not agree that was the only place where litigation regarding the contract could occur.  Therefore, the appellate court reversed and remanded the action, directing the trial court to transfer the action back to where it was originally filed in Seminole County, Florida.

The case is styled Arturo Penarada v. James Mills, Case No. 5D12-2598, Fifth District Court of Appeal of Florida.  The opinion of the appellate court was issued on October 12, 2012.