Local Action Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

Under the local action doctrine, a local action involving real property must be brought within the territorial boundaries of the state in which the land is located.

Pursuant to 28 USCS § 1392, federal courts must apply the local action doctrine as a matter of federal common law. Any civil action, of a local nature, involving property located in different districts in the same State are brought in any of such districts.

In Hallaba v. WorldCom Network Servs., 196 F.R.D. 630, 648 (D. Okla. 2000), the court held that “the local action doctrine affects venue and not subject matter jurisdiction. The local action doctrine is best characterized as a rule of convenience which, like personal jurisdiction and venue, can be waived if not contested in the first response to the complaint.”