Platt v. Minnesota Mining & Mfg. Co.
376 U.S. 240 (1964)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Platt v. Minnesota Mining & Mfg. Co., 376 U.S. 240 (1964)

Platt v. Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co.

No. 113

Argued January 9, 1964

Decided March 9, 1964

376 U.S. 240

Syllabus

Respondent company, indicted for antitrust violations in an Illinois district, filed a motion to transfer the prosecution to the district of Minnesota under Rule 21(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which provides for the transfer of a multi-venue case where it would be "in the interest of justice." The trial judge denied the motion, enumerating ten separate factors, including the difficulty which he felt existed of obtaining a fair and impartial jury in Minnesota. On respondent's petition for a writ of mandamus, the Court of Appeals concluded that the improper finding as to a fair and impartial jury was the "most important" factor in the trial judge's denial of the transfer; made its own evaluation of the factors bearing on transfer; and ordered the transfer, having also decided that a criminal defendant has a right to be prosecuted in the district where he resides.

Held:

1. The District Court's use of an inappropriate factor in denying the transfer to another district of a criminal prosecution does not empower the Court of Appeals to make a de novo examination of the record and exercise a discretionary function, which Rule 21(b) commits to the trial judge, by ordering the transfer itself. Pp. 376 U. S. 243-245.

2. In determining proper venue in a multi-venue criminal case, the location of the main office or "home" of a corporate defendant has no independent significance in determining whether transfer to that district would be "in the interest of justice." Pp. 376 U. S. 245-246.

314 F. 2d 369, reversed and remanded.

Page 376 U. S. 241

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