ARS 12-408 Interpretation

In Yuma County v. Keddie, 132 Ariz. 552, 647 P.2d 1150 (1982), the plaintiffs waited until the day before trial to move for a change of venue from Yuma County pursuant to 12-408. Although the trial court granted their motion and ordered the case transferred to Maricopa County, an adjoining county, the supreme court vacated that order, finding the plaintiffs had waived their right to a change of venue by delay. Nothing in the opinion indicates why the trial court had ordered the case transferred to Maricopa County rather than another county. In Yavapai County v. Superior Court, 13 Ariz. App. 368, 476 P.2d 889 (1970), the appellate court ruled that, by waiting until after two "substantially identical" lawsuits had been consolidated before moving for a change of venue from Yavapai County to Coconino County, the plaintiffs had waived their right under 12-408 to have the case transferred to another county. Because the plaintiffs had specifically requested the change be from Yavapai to Coconino County, however, this case does not address the applicability of 12-407(A) to 12-408. In Maricopa County v. Barkley, 168 Ariz. 234, 812 P.2d 1052 (App. 1990), the county had filed a condemnation action in Maricopa County where the property to be condemned was located. Upon motion by the property owners, venue was transferred pursuant to 12-408 to Yavapai County, one of the six counties (Gila, La Paz, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai, and Yuma) adjoining Maricopa County. The reason for the choice of Yavapai County was not discussed in the decision.