Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, December 21, 2009

White: Right to Venue Waived

In U.S. v. White, No. 08-10702 (Dec. 21, 2009), the Court held that the defendant waived any constitutional objection to the district court’s sua sponte decision to change the venue of the case from the Southern District of Alabama to the Middle District of Alabama, when he waited until after he was convicted to object to venue. .

The Court noted that an objection to a change of venue, like most rights, can be waived unless timely asserted. Here, the defendant moved pre-trial for a change of division (not of district), and his motion demonstrated his awareness of his right to a venue where the offense allegedly took place. Thus, when the district court announced before trial that it was changing the venue of the case and the defendant failed to object, he waived his right to venue. His silence was construed as an implied waived.