Courts have the authority to transfer a civil or criminal case from one county or judicial circuit to another. If any party to a case believes that the case should be transferred, he may file a motion for a change or transfer of venue with the currently presiding court. Although the procedures and requirements for changing venue vary from state to state, several common steps exist for making such a motion regardless of location.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Write the style of the case at the top of the motion. The style is the header at the top of a legal document that identifies the case for which the document is filed. The style includes the name of the court, the plaintiff and defendant, the case number, and any other identifying information used in a particular jurisdiction.
State the reasons why the case should be transferred to another venue. The most common reasons for changing venue are when another court would provide a more convenient location for the parties and when prejudice to one or more parties exists in the current forum.
Provide the court with any legal precedents supporting your request. Refer the court to any previous cases in which a motion for change of venue was granted under similar circumstances; cite cases from the same court, county, or state if possible. Include references to any statutes supporting your argument.
File the motion with the clerk of court, either in person or by mail. Provide the clerk with at least three copies of each motion, keep two copies for yourself, and mail or fax a copy to the judge and all other parties.
Set the motion for a hearing. Procedures for setting a hearing often vary from one county to the next. Call the judicial assistant of the judge assigned to your case for directions regarding how to set a motion for hearing.
Write a notice of hearing to the judge and all other parties, and file it with the clerk of court. A notice of hearing is a document provided to all parties to a case, the judge, and the clerk confirming the date, time, and location of a hearing as set by the court.
Tips and warnings
- Templates for motions for a change of venue and notices of hearing can be downloaded from www.findforms.com or http://forms.findlaw.com. Templates are organised by state.
- Include only what is necessary in a motion for change of venue. Avoid emotional language and lengthy narratives in writing the motion.
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