Law Essay Example on Jurisdiction and Venue

Published: 2022-09-07
Law Essay Example on Jurisdiction and Venue
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Court system
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 719 words
6 min read

Although the two terms have been used interchangeably, there is a difference between jurisdiction and venue in a legal arena. On one hand, a venue is simply a geographical location where a case would be heard. For instance, if a contract is made in location A, if in any case there is a lawsuit concerning the same lawsuit, then it must also be filed in the same country, and not country B (Gong). It then follows that country A is the proper venue for that lawsuit, affirming that venue in legal terms simply refers to the geographical location where a lawsuit can be made. On the other hand, jurisdiction refers to the legal right of a court to hear and make a judgment on a particular case. This right, however, is connected to the geographical location of the court since a court can only hear and judge cases that are filed within a particular venue. However, this is not all there is about jurisdiction, as it has to do with the type of cases a particular court has the right to hear (Gong). For instance, if a court is designated to hear cases on immigration, then it has no jurisdiction to hear cases that do not fall under immigration, even if they come from the right geographical bounds.

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There are instances which prompt the venue of a case to be changed from one geographical area to another. For instance, when a crime was initiated in one area and it has to be completed in another, then it is possible that the case can be held in either of those locations (Helenius 22). Further, the venue of a case can be changed if multiple crimes have been committed by the same person but in different jurisdictions. The defendant also has a right to request for the change of venue citing some reasons. The reasons could include pretrial publicity, a venue which is deemed improper, or even due to interests of justice (Helenius 22). It is critical to note that interests of justice could include judicial expenditure, the locations of witnesses or evidence in the case, as well as the choice of the applicable law, among other interests. Ideally, when a motion to change the venue of a criminal case is granted, it is moved to an adjacent area where the action initially occurred, although it is always debatable whether that stance would provide the best results for the case (Helenius 22). In any case, courts maintain holding a trial in a venue where the defendant can be tried promptly without undue inconvenience to witnesses or attorneys.

In May 2016, a judge in Georgia granted a change of venue in the murder trial of a man who was accused of intentionally killing his young son by leaving him in a hot car to go and exchange nude pictures with a woman in an online site (McKay). It was due to the intensive media coverage and the negative prejudice, and therefore Justin Ross Harris would not get a fair trial there. In July 2014, a judge in Indianapolis also granted the change of venue to the defendant Mark Leonard who was accused of masterminding a bomb that killed two people and led to the loss of $4 million in property (Rakes). The reason to grant the change of venue was due to the prejudice of the defendant by the community, which would affect the process. Finally, in 2004 (Silverman), the venue of the case of Scott Lee Peterson who was charged with the murder of his pregnant wife was changed from Stanislaus County to San Mateo County due to the heavy publicity and concerned that he would not get a fair trial because of that.

Works Cited

Gong, Kaixuan. "The application of effect rules at establishing jurisdiction by US Courts and enlightenments to People's courts in PRC." Studies in Asian Social Science 1.2 (2014): n. pag. Web.

Helenius, Dan. "The if, how, and when of criminal jurisdiction - What is criminal jurisdiction anyway?." Bergen Journal of Criminal Law & Criminal Justice 3.1 (2015): 22. Web.

Silverman, Stephen. "Peterson judge allows change of venue." N.p., 2004. Web. 6 Oct. 2018.

McKay, Rich. "Change of venue granted in trial over Georgia child's car death." Reuters 2016. Web. 6 Oct. 2018.

Rakes, Amanda. "Judge grants change of venue motion in Richmond Hill case." N.p., 2014. Web. 6 Oct. 2018.

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