PR 110908

The concept of venue is place oriented. The general rule is that cases must be tried in the place where the crime was committed, where a party resides, or where another consideration justifies a trial in that place. Legislation establishes mandatory venue for some types of cases and preferred venue for others. In criminal cases, the trial is usually held in the place where the crime was committed, but the venue may be changed and the trial held in another place for causes specified by law.


This change is made to ensure the accused of a fair and impartial trial in cases that have had such massive pretrial publicity or strong community prejudice as to make it difficult to select an impartial jury. The motion for a change of venue is usually filed by the defendant. The decision of a trial judge to grant or deny the motion is seldom reversed on appeal. Court cases, particularly those decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, are important because they constitute case law and set precedents for cases decided by lower courts throughout the country.


The full text of Court decisions can be found in law publications, often available in libraries, and on the Internet. To use these sources, you must know the basics of case citations, which provide the road map for where to find original court decisions as printed in various publications.