The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page.(December 2010)
A change of venue is the legal term for moving a trial to a new location. In high-profile matters, a change of venue may occur to move a jury trial away from a location where a fair and impartial jury may not be possible due to widespread publicity about a crime and its defendant(s) to another community in order to obtain jurors who can be more objective in their duties. This change may be to different towns, and across the other sides of states or, in some extremely high profile federal cases, to other states.
In law, the word venue designates the location where a trial will be held. It derives from the Latin word for "a place where people gather."
Notwithstanding its use in high-profile cases, a change of venue is more typically sought when a defendant believes that the plaintiff's selected venue is either improper or less appropriate than another venue. A change of venue request because venue is improper means that the removing defendant believes that the case may not be in that venue because it is improper under procedural rules. A change of venue request can be made if the defendant believes there is a more appropriate venue - called forum non conveniens - even if the current venue is proper under the procedural rules. In these cases, the trial judge is given great deference in most jurisdictions by appellate courts in making the decision as to whether there is a more appropriate venue.
A change of venue may be reflected in the formal language used in a trial. For example, when a bailiff or marshal calls the court to order part of the cry will take the form "in and for the County of San Francisco"; When there is a change of venue the cry will be, "in the County of Alameda for the County of San Francisco."
Notable examples of controversial changes of venue
In 1996, the murder trial for Bernie Tiede had its venue changed from Carthage, Texas on the concern that the defendant was so popular in that community that a jury there would be unavoidably biased in his favor.