Change of venue

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A change of venue means moving a lawsuit or criminal trial to another place (venue) for trial.

It is often requested in a criminal trial when a defendant believes that pre-trial publicity has made it impossible for him/her to have a truly impartial jury, and therefore seeks the trial proceedings moved to an area with less publicity. Unlike a bench trial, where a defendant has an absolute right to (openly) waive his/her right to a jury trial, changes of venue are not automatic and are often opposed by the prosecution; the judge has the final say on whether to grant such.

The Latin term forum non conveniens is not the same, as it involves one party seeking a change for the purpose of gaining unfair advantage (an example would be a Texas plaintiff suing a Minnesota corporation for breach of contract, and the Minnesota corporation seeking the trial to be moved there, so as to cause added expense to the Texas plaintiff).