28 U.S. Code § 1406 - Cure or waiver of defects
Subsection (a) provides statutory sanction for transfer instead of dismissal, where venue is improperly laid.
Subsection (b) is declaratory of existing law. (See Panama R.R. Co. v. Johnson, 1924, 44 S.Ct. 391, 264 U.S. 375, 68 L.Ed. 748.) It makes clear the intent of Congress that venue provisions are not jurisdictional but may be waived.
This section removes an ambiguity in section 1406(a) of title 28, U.S.C., by substituting “may” for “shall”, thus making it clear that the court may decline to transfer a case brought in the wrong district under circumstances where it would not be in the interest of justice to make such transfer. [The amendment to section 1406(a) of this title described in this note was altered in the bill as enacted. See Cong. Rec., vol. 95, pt. 5, pp. 5826, 5827, 6283, 6284.]
1996—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–317 amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (c) read as follows: “As used in this section, ‘district court’ includes the United States District Court for the District of the Canal Zone; and ‘district’ includes the territorial jurisdiction of that court.”
1982—Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 97–164 redesignated subsec. (d) as (c). Former subsec. (c), which provided that if a case within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Claims were filed in a district court, the district court, if it were in the interest of justice, was required to transfer the case to the Court of Claims where the case would proceed as if it had been filed in the Court of Claims on the date that it was filed in the district court, was struck out.
1962—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 87–845 added subsec. (d).
1960—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 86–770 added subsec. (c).
1949—Subsec. (a). Act May 24, 1949, inserted “dismiss, or if it be in the interest of justice”.
Amendment by Pub. L. 104–317 applicable to cases pending on Oct. 19, 1996, and to cases commenced on or after such date, see section 610(c) of Pub. L. 104–317, set out as a note under section 1404 of this title.