[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Circuit Court, CV-18-904442.
J. Simpson of Smith, Tyra, Thomas, and Haggard, LLC,
Alabaster, for petitioner.
Kenneth E. Riley and Meredith K. Maitrejean of Farris, Riley
& Pitt, LLP, Birmingham, for appellant.
Myelia Reed petitions this Court for a writ of mandamus
directing the Jefferson Circuit Court to vacate its order
denying Reed's motion for a change of venue and to enter
an order transferring the underlying action to the Marshall
Circuit Court. We grant the petition and issue the writ.
and Procedural History
22, 2017, a vehicle driven by Reed collided with a vehicle
driven by Judy Watwood, at or near the intersection of
Gilliam Springs Road Northwest and U.S. Highway 231 in
Marshall County. Reed is a resident of Jefferson County.
Watwood is a resident of Cullman County. An officer with the
Arab Police DePartment and emergency personnel from Samaritan
Medical Services, Inc., responded to the
accident. Samaritan Medical Services transported
Watwood from the accident scene to Huntsville Hospital in
Madison County for medical treatment. According to the
accident report, two persons witnessed the accident; one of
the witnesses is a resident of Marshall County and the other
is a resident of Blount County.
November 5, 2018, Watwood sued Reed in the Jefferson Circuit
Court, alleging negligence and wantonness and seeking damages
for her accident-related injuries. Reed filed a motion for a
change of venue under Alabama's
forumnonconveniens statute, § 6-3-21.1, Ala.
Code 1975, requesting that the action be transferred to
Marshall County in the interest of justice. Watwood filed a
response in opposition to the motion for a change of venue.
Following a hearing on the matter, the circuit court denied
the motion. Reed then filed this petition.
"The proper method for obtaining review of a denial of
a motion for a change of venue in a civil action is to
petition for the writ of mandamus. Lawler Mobile Homes,
Inc. v. Tarver, 492 So.2d 297, 302 (Ala. 1986).
`Mandamus is a drastic and extraordinary writ, to be issued
only where there is (1) a clear legal right in the
petitioner to the order sought; (2) an imperative duty upon
the respondent to perform, accompanied by a refusal to do
so; (3) the lack of another adequate remedy; and (4)
properly invoked jurisdiction of the court.' Ex
parte Integon Corp., 672 So.2d 497, 499 (Ala. 1995).
`When we consider a mandamus petition relating to a venue
scope of review is to determine if the trial court
[exceeded] its discretion, i.e., whether it exercised its
discretion in an arbitrary and capricious manner.'
Id. Our review is further limited to those facts
that were before the trial court. Ex parte American