OF JUDGMENT: 11/29/2018
COUNTY COUNTY COURT HON. LARITA M. COOPER-STOKES JUDGE
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
KITCHENS, P.J., BEAM AND ISHEE, JJ.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...