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§ 17-7-150 - Procedures for change of venue; transfer of case; appeal from denial of change of venue

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O.C.G.A.17-7-150 (2010) 17-7-150.Procedures for change of venue; transfer of case; appeal from denial of change of venue (a)(1)The defendant, in any criminal case in which a trial by jury isprovided, may move in writing for a change of venue, whenever, in thedefendant's or defense counsel's judgment, an impartial jury cannot beobtained in the county where the crime is alleged to have beencommitted. Upon the hearing of the motion it shall not be necessary toexamine all persons in the county liable to serve on juries, but thejudge shall hear evidence by affidavit or oral testimony in support ofor against the motion. If, from the evidence submitted, the judge issatisfied that an impartial jury cannot be obtained to try the case, thejudge shall grant a change in venue; the judge shall transfer the caseto any county that may be agreed upon by the prosecuting attorney andthe defendant or the defense counsel, to be tried in the county agreedupon. The judge has the discretion to reject any county agreed upon; if acounty is not thus agreed upon, or if the judge, in the exercise ofdiscretion, rejects a county agreed upon, the judge shall select suchcounty as in the judge's judgment will afford a fair and impartial juryto try the case and have it transferred accordingly.(2)Inthe exercise of such discretion, the judge shall consult with the chiefsuperior court judge of the circuit in which a county of transfer liesand consider the following factors:(A)The existing criminal and civil trial calendars of the transfer county;(B)The frequency of use as a transfer county;(C)The estimated length of trial;(D)The proposed date of trial;(E)Whether or not the jury is to be sequestered;(F)Whichcounty shall be responsible for court security, prisoner security,bailiffs, jailers, and clerks of court personnel;(G)Jury transportation;(H)Securing hotel accommodations in the event of jury sequestration;(I)Securing of meals for jurors and other court personnel;(J)Which county will guarantee and pay vendors for services rendered;(K)The necessity for deposit or prepayment of expenses by the county of the crime venue; and(L)Allother matters which reasonably may affect the orderly administration ofjustice in the transfer county. In the event of disagreement betweenthe trial judge and the chief judge of the transfer circuit, thedistrict administrative judge for the proposed transfer of venue shallhave final responsibility for resolving the dispute.(3)Eitherby the agreement of the defense counsel, the prosecuting attorney, andthe judge or by the exercise of discretion by the judge the trial jurymay be selected from qualified jurors of the transfer county, althoughthe trial of the criminal case may take place in the county of the venueof the alleged crime. In the exercise of discretion, to select the juryin the transfer county but to try the case in the county of venue ofthe alleged crime, the judge shall consult with the chief superior courtjudge of the circuit in which the county of transfer lies and considerall of the factors provided in subparagraphs (A) through (L) ofparagraph (2) of this subsection as well as the following factors:(A)The hardship of sequestration a distance from home on the jurors;(B)The comparison of court space available;(C)The comparison of security, jail, clerical, and support staff;(D)The costs to conduct the trial in each place;(E)The impact of trial on the orderly administration of justice in each county;(F)The impact on witnesses;(G)The availability of hotel accommodations and meals for jurors in each county;(H)The effect on the prosecuting attorney and defense counsel in each county; and(I)All other matters which would afford a fair trial and the orderly administration of justice.Inthe event of disagreement between the trial judge and the chief judgeof the transfer circuit, the district administrative judge for theproposed transfer of venue shall have final responsibility for resolvingthe dispute.(b)The judge of the court inwhose jurisdiction a crime is alleged to have been committed may changethe venue for trial of the case on his own motion whenever, in hisjudgment, there is danger of violence being committed on the defendant,if carried back to, or allowed to remain in the county where the crimeis alleged to have been committed. If a motion is made by the defendantfor a change of venue, the judge shall hear the motion at such time andplace as the judge may direct. If the evidence submitted shallreasonably show that there is probability or danger of violence, itshall be mandatory on the judge to change the venue to such other countyas, in his judgment, will reasonably avoid violence.(c)Notwithstandingother laws, the denial of a motion to change venue shall be appealableimmediately only with a certificate of immediate review. Otherwise, thedenial shall be appealed with the merits of the case.
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  • O.C.G.A. 17-7-150 (2010)
    17-7-150. Procedures for change of venue; transfer of case; appeal from denial of change of venue


    (a) (1) The defendant, in any criminal case in which a trial by jury is provided, may move in writing for a change of venue, whenever, in the defendant's or defense counsel's judgment, an impartial jury cannot be obtained in the county where the crime is alleged to have been committed. Upon the hearing of the motion it shall not be necessary to examine all persons in the county liable to serve on juries, but the judge shall hear evidence by affidavit or oral testimony in support of or against the motion. If, from the evidence submitted, the judge is satisfied that an impartial jury cannot be obtained to try the case, the judge shall grant a change in venue; the judge shall transfer the case to any county that may be agreed upon by the prosecuting attorney and the defendant or the defense counsel, to be tried in the county agreed upon. The judge has the discretion to reject any county agreed upon; if a county is not thus agreed upon, or if the judge, in the exercise of discretion, rejects a county agreed upon, the judge shall select such county as in the judge's judgment will afford a fair and impartial jury to try the case and have it transferred accordingly.

    (2) In the exercise of such discretion, the judge shall consult with the chief superior court judge of the circuit in which a county of transfer lies and consider the following factors:

    (A) The existing criminal and civil trial calendars of the transfer county;

    (B) The frequency of use as a transfer county;

    (C) The estimated length of trial;

    (D) The proposed date of trial;

    (E) Whether or not the jury is to be sequestered;

    (F) Which county shall be responsible for court security, prisoner security, bailiffs, jailers, and clerks of court personnel;

    (G) Jury transportation;

    (H) Securing hotel accommodations in the event of jury sequestration;

    (I) Securing of meals for jurors and other court personnel;

    (J) Which county will guarantee and pay vendors for services rendered;

    (K) The necessity for deposit or prepayment of expenses by the county of the crime venue; and

    (L) All other matters which reasonably may affect the orderly administration of justice in the transfer county. In the event of disagreement between the trial judge and the chief judge of the transfer circuit, the district administrative judge for the proposed transfer of venue shall have final responsibility for resolving the dispute.

    (3) Either by the agreement of the defense counsel, the prosecuting attorney, and the judge or by the exercise of discretion by the judge the trial jury may be selected from qualified jurors of the transfer county, although the trial of the criminal case may take place in the county of the venue of the alleged crime. In the exercise of discretion, to select the jury in the transfer county but to try the case in the county of venue of the alleged crime, the judge shall consult with the chief superior court judge of the circuit in which the county of transfer lies and consider all of the factors provided in subparagraphs (A) through (L) of paragraph (2) of this subsection as well as the following factors:

    (A) The hardship of sequestration a distance from home on the jurors;

    (B) The comparison of court space available;

    (C) The comparison of security, jail, clerical, and support staff;

    (D) The costs to conduct the trial in each place;

    (E) The impact of trial on the orderly administration of justice in each county;

    (F) The impact on witnesses;

    (G) The availability of hotel accommodations and meals for jurors in each county;

    (H) The effect on the prosecuting attorney and defense counsel in each county; and

    (I) All other matters which would afford a fair trial and the orderly administration of justice.

    In the event of disagreement between the trial judge and the chief judge of the transfer circuit, the district administrative judge for the proposed transfer of venue shall have final responsibility for resolving the dispute.

    (b) The judge of the court in whose jurisdiction a crime is alleged to have been committed may change the venue for trial of the case on his own motion whenever, in his judgment, there is danger of violence being committed on the defendant, if carried back to, or allowed to remain in the county where the crime is alleged to have been committed. If a motion is made by the defendant for a change of venue, the judge shall hear the motion at such time and place as the judge may direct. If the evidence submitted shall reasonably show that there is probability or danger of violence, it shall be mandatory on the judge to change the venue to such other county as, in his judgment, will reasonably avoid violence.

    (c) Notwithstanding other laws, the denial of a motion to change venue shall be appealable immediately only with a certificate of immediate review. Otherwise, the denial shall be appealed with the merits of the case.

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