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Change Of Venue Cases

United States v. Moody, 762 F.Supp. 1485 (N.D.Ga. 1991): Roy Moody's mail bomb trial would be transferred from the Northern District of Georgia to the District of Minnesota because of the pretrial publicity which was widespread and prejudicial. Some of the publicity was generated by agents of the government.

United States v. Tokars, 839 F.Supp. 1578 (N.D.Ga. 1993): Concluding that the pretrial publicity in this case exceeded the publicity in Moody, the trial court changed the venue from Atlanta to Birmingham, Alabama. The defendant, an attorney, was charged with RICO and money laundering and, in a related state court proceeding, was charged with arranging for the murder of his wife. Tokars had been nominated by a local magazine as winner of the year's "worst villain" award; and a local rock station broadcast a song depicting his crimes. A poll conducted by the defense indicated that most people in the community considered him guilty.

In the Matter of Balsimo, 68 F.3d 185 (7th Cir. 1995): A refusal to transfer a criminal case can be challenged by means of a petition for a writ of mandamus. In this case, the lower court used the incorrect legal standard in evaluating a motion for change of venue under Rule 21(b). The lower court held that a change of venue would only be appropriate if the movant established "truly compelling circumstances." It is enough if, all relevant things considered, the case would be better off transferred to another district.

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