Jurisdiction/Venue

Jurisdiction

Misdemeanor; Criminal and Civil Traffic; Felonies through the preliminary hearing; Orders of Protection; Injunctions Against Harassment; Small Claims up to $2,500.00; Civil up to $10,000.00; Forcible Detainer / Evictions where total damages do not exceed $10,000.00

Venue and Change of Venue or Judge:

ARTICLE 1. IN GENERAL

§ 12-401. Venue

No person shall be sued out of the county in which such person resides, except:

  1. When a defendant or all of several defendants reside without the state or their residence is unknown, the action may be brought in the county in which the plaintiff resides.
  2. A married person may be sued in the county in which such person’s spouse resides unless such spouse is living separate and apart from the defendant.
  3. Transient persons may be sued in any county in which found.
  4. Persons who have contracted a debt or obligation in one county and thereafter remove to another county may be sued in either county.
  5. Persons who have contracted in writing to perform an obligation in one county may be sued in such county or where they reside.
  6. Persons who have contracted a debt or obligation without the state may be sued in any county in which found.
  7. When there are several defendants residing in different counties, action may be brought in the county in which any of the defendants reside.
  8. Actions against personal representatives, administrators, guardians and conservators as such, to establish a money demand against the estate represented by them, shall be brought in the county in which the estate is being administered.
  9. In cases of fraud and defalcation of public officers action may be brought in the county in which the fraud was committed or the defalcation occurred, or in which the defendant or any of several defendants reside or may be found.
  10. When the foundation of the action is a crime, offense or trespass for which an action in damages may lie, the action may be brought in the county in which the crime, offense or trespass was committed or in the county in which the defendant or any of the several defendants reside or may be found, but any action for damages against the editor, proprietor or publisher of a newspaper or periodical published in the state for publication of an alleged libelous statement shall be brought in the county in which the principal publication office of the newspaper or periodical is located or in the county where the plaintiff resided at the time of publication of such statement.
  11. Actions for the recovery of personal property may be brought in the county in which the property may be or in which the defendant or any of several defendants may be found.
  12. Actions for the recovery of real property, for damages thereto, for rents, profits, use and occupation thereof, for partition thereof, to quiet title thereto, to remove a cloud or incumbrance on the title thereto, to foreclose mortgages and other liens thereon, to prevent or stay waste or injuries thereto and all other actions concerning real property, shall be brought in the county in which the real property or a part thereof is located.
  13. Actions for dissolution of marriage or legal separation shall be brought in the county in which a petitioner is residing at the time the action is filed.
  14. Actions to enjoin execution of judgments or to stay proceedings in any action shall be brought in the county in which the judgment was rendered or the action is pending.
  15. Actions against counties shall be brought in the county sued unless several counties are defendants, when it may be brought n any one of the counties.
  16. Actions against public officers shall be brought in the county in which the officer, or one of several officers, holds office.
  17. Actions on behalf of the state shall be brought in the county in which the seat of government is located.
  18. Actions against railroad companies, insurance companies, telegraph or telephone companies, joint stock companies and other corporations may be brought in any county in which the cause of action, or a part thereof, arose, or in the county in which defendant has an agent or representative, owns property or conducts any business.
  19. Where part of a river, watercourse, highway, road or street is the boundary line between two counties, the courts of each of the counties shall have concurrent jurisdiction in actions over such parts of the river, watercourse, highway, road or street.

§ 12-404. Action brought in wrong county; jurisdiction; application for transfer; hearing

  1. If an action is not brought in the proper county, the court shall nevertheless have jurisdiction and may hear and determine the action unless the defendant, before expiration of the time allowed to answer, files with the clerk of the court in which the action is brought an affidavit of the defendant, his agent or attorney, stating that the county in which the action is brought is not the proper county and stating the county of the defendant’s residence; and praying that the action be transferred to the proper county.
  2. A copy of the affidavit shall be served upon plaintiff, and unless the affidavit is controverted under oath, within five days after service, the court shall order the action transferred to the proper county.
  3. If the affidavit is controverted, the court shall hear the issue thus presented and shall order the action retained in the court in which in which it is brought, or transferred to the proper county.

§ 12-405. Change of venue by consent

A superior court may, upon written consent of the parties or their attorneys filed in an action, by an order entered on the minutes, transfer the action for trial to the superior court of another county.

§ 12-406. Change of venue for cause; grounds, bond; appeal

  1. If either party to a civil action pending in the superior court, after answer has been filed, files an affidavit in the action alleging any of the grounds specified in subsection B and gives five days notice to the opposite party, the venue may be changed as provided in § 12-407.
  2. Grounds which may be alleged as provided in subsection A for change of venue are:
    1. That there exists in the county where the action is pending so great a prejudice against the party requesting a change of venue that he cannot obtain a fair and impartial trial.
    2. That the convenience of witnesses and the ends of justice would be promoted by the change.
    3. That there is other good and sufficient cause, to be determined by the court.
  3. The party applying for the change of venue shall at the time of application file a bond to be approved by the judge of the court conditioned that he will pay all costs that may be adjudged against him in the action if the application is granted. The truth and sufficiency of the grounds shall be determined by the court, but a decision thereon refusing the change may be assigned as error on appeal.

 

§ 12-407. Order for change of venue; transmittal of papers; payment of fees and costs; effect of failure to pay

  1. If a change of venue is ordered, the court shall transfer the action to the most convenient adjoining county, unless the parties agree to some other county in which case the court shall transfer the action to the agreed upon county.
  2. The clerk shall promptly transmit the papers and transcript of the proceedings in the action to the clerk of the court to which the venue is changed. Except as provided in subsection E of this section, the party applying for the change of venue shall pay a transmittal fee established pursuant to § 12-284 within twenty days after the order directing the change. If payment is not timely made, the application for change of venue and the order for change of venue shall be deemed abandoned. If the change is abandoned, the action shall proceed as if the order for change of venue had not been made.
  3. On payment by the party applying for a change of venue of the fee required on the filing of a complaint, the clerk of the court to which the action is transferred shall docket the action in its order. The action shall be tried or otherwise disposed of as if it had originated in that court.
  4. Except as provided in subsection E of this section, failure to pay the fee as required in subsection C of this section within thirty days from the date the new court receives the file shall be deemed an abandonment. The clerk of the court to which the action was transferred shall promptly transmit all papers to the court in which the action originated, and the action shall be disposed of as if no change of venue had been granted.
  5. If a change of venue is ordered pursuant to § 12-204, the plaintiff shall pay the transmittal fee established pursuant to § 12-284 within twenty days after the order directing the change and, within thirty days from the date of new court receives the file, the plaintiff shall pay to the clerk of the court to which the action is transferred the fee required on the filing of a complaint as provided in subsection C of this section. If the plaintiff fails to timely pay either the transmittal fee or the filing fee in the county to which the action is transferred, the court shall dismiss the case without prejudice.

§ 12-408. Procedure for change of venue when county is a party

  1. In a civil action pending in the superior court in a county where the county is a party, the opposite party is entitled to a change of venue to some other county without making an affidavit therefor.
  2. The party applying for the change of venue shall pay the cost thereof and give a bond to the opposite party as in other cases.

§ 12-409. Change of judge; grounds; affidavit

  1. If either party to a civil action in a superior court files an affidavit alleging any of the grounds specified in subsection B, the judge shall at once transfer the action to another division of the court if there is more than one division, or shall request a judge of the superior court of another county to preside at the trial of the action.
  2. Grounds which may be alleged as provided in subsection A for change of judge are:
    1. That the judge has been engaged as counsel in the action prior to appointment or election as judge.
    2. That the judge is otherwise interested in the action.
    3. That the judge is of kin or related to either party to the action.
    4. That the judge is a material witness in the action.
    5. That the party filing the affidavit has cause to believe and does believe that on account of the bias, prejudice, or interest of the judge he cannot obtain a fair and impartial trial.

§ 12-410 Punishment for contempt for filing affidavit for change of judge prohibited

No judge or court shall punish for contempt any one making, filing or presenting the affidavit provided for by § 12-409, or any motion founded thereon.

§ 12-411. Limitation on change of venue or judge; selection of county or judge

  1. Not more than one change of venue or one change of judge may be granted in any action, but each party shall be heard to urge his objections to a county or judge in the first instance.
  2. A change of venue or judge shall be to the most convenient county, or judge, to which the objections of the parties do not apply or are least applicable.
  3. If the parties agree upon a county or judge, such county or judge shall be selected.

Forms

Motion and Affidavit for Change of Venue for Cause

Motion and Affidavit for Change of Venue for Improper Venue