Carlile v. Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission

354 So. 2d 362 (1977)

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Carlile v. Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission

Florida Supreme Court
354 So. 2d 362 (1977)

Facts

Patrick Carlile (plaintiff) was injured in a hunting accident in a Palm Beach County wildlife management area controlled by Florida’s Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission (the commission) (defendant). Carlile brought a tort action against the commission in Palm Beach County. The commission moved to dismiss or to transfer venue to Leon County, where the commission was headquartered, arguing that, under Florida’s home-venue privilege, also called the common-law venue privilege, a state agency could only be sued in the county in which its principal headquarters was located. Carlile countered, arguing that venue was appropriate in Palm Beach County because (1) the cause-of-action accrued in Palm Beach County; (2) under Florida’s waiver of sovereign immunity for tort actions, the state is subject to tort lawsuits in the same manner as private individuals; and (3) because private individuals can be sued in the county in which a tort cause-of-action accrued, the state can also be sued in the county in which a tort cause-of-action accrued. The trial court denied the commission’s motion, holding that the state’s home-venue privilege was inapplicable in private tort actions against the state. The commission appealed. The appellate court reversed and ordered Carlile’s tort action transferred to Leon County. Carlile appealed to the Florida Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hatchett, J.)

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