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Weir v. Mayze

Supreme Court of Mississippi

January 16, 2020

CASEY WEIR
v.
RENAULTA MAYZE, MARKHAIL MAYZE AND TYDARIUS SAGO

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/29/2018

          HINDS COUNTY COUNTY COURT HON. LARITA M. COOPER-STOKES JUDGE

          TRIAL COURT ATTORNEYS: DESHUN TERRELL MARTIN MICHAEL J. TARLETON

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: MICHAEL J. TARLETON

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES: SAMAC S. RICHARDSON VATERRIA McQUITTER MARTIN DESHUN TERRELL MARTIN

          BEFORE KITCHENS, P.J., BEAM AND ISHEE, JJ.

          ISHEE, JUSTICE.

         ¶1. In this personal-injury case, we consider whether the trial court erred by denying Casey Weir's motion to transfer venue. On March 17, 2018, Renaulta Mayze, Markhail Mayze, and Tydarius Sago ("Mayze") were involved in a vehicle collision with Casey Weir. Mayze filed suit in Hinds County County Court, alleging that the collision had occurred in Hinds County. Weir filed a motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, to transfer venue, alleging that the collision had occurred in Madison County. After review, we find that the trial judge abused her discretion in denying the motion to transfer venue. We reverse the trial court's decision and remand the case to the Hinds County County Court to be transferred to the Madison County County Court.

         FACTS

         ¶2. On March 17, 2018, Renaulta Mayze, Markhail Mayze, and Tydarius Sago were traveling southbound on I-220 when they were rear-ended by Weir. I-220 is an interstate highway in the Jackson metropolitan area that traverses both Hinds and Madison Counties. Mayze filed suit against Weir in the Hinds County County Court, alleging that the accident occurred in Hinds County. Weir filed a Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3) motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, to transfer venue, arguing that venue was not proper in Hinds County because he was not a resident of Hinds County and the accident did not occur in Hinds County. Weir alleged that the accident occurred in Madison County.

         ¶3. Mayze filed a response to Weir's motion and attached an affidavit stating that the accident occurred in "North Jackson, Mississippi," but he did not submit any further proof. Weir then filed his own affidavit that gave a detailed explanation of where the accident had occurred and included pictures and a copy of the accident report, which stated that the accident had occurred in Ridgeland near mile marker 11. The Ridgeland police officer who responded to the accident was subpoenaed and was present at the hearing, but the judge did not allow the police officer to testify because "[the officer's] police report speaks for itself." The county court heard Weir's motion and denied it. Weir then filed a petition for interlocutory appeal, which this Court granted.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶4. This Court reviews "a trial court's grant or denial of a motion for change of venue for an abuse of discretion . . . ." Wilkerson v. Goss, 113 So.3d 544, 547 (Miss. 2013) (internal quotation mark omitted) (quoting Laurel Ford Lincoln-Mercury, Inc. v. Blakeney, 81 So.3d 1123, 1125 (Miss. 2012)). When reviewing fact-based findings, this Court "will only examine whether the trial court abused its discretion and whether there was substantial evidence supporting the determination." Johnson v. Rao, 952 So.2d 151, 154 (Miss. 2007) (internal quotation mark omitted) (quoting Triple "C" Transp., Inc. v. Dickens, 870 So.2d 1195, 1197-98 (Miss. 2004)). Determination of a factual issue by the trial ...


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