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SB 301: "An Act relating to granting certain defendants an absolute right to change venue in civil actions; setting venue for civil actions based on employment at the employer's principal place of business; allowing multiple defendants to control venue by agreement; amending Rule 3, Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure; and providing for an effective date."

00                             SENATE BILL NO. 301                                                                         
01 "An Act relating to granting certain defendants an absolute right to change venue in                                    
02 civil actions; setting venue for civil actions based on employment at the employer's                                    
03 principal place of business; allowing multiple defendants to control venue by agreement;                                
04 amending Rule 3, Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure; and providing for an effective date."                                 
05 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
06    * Section 1. AS 22.10.040 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                           
07            (b)  Notwithstanding (a) of this section, a defendant has an absolute right to                               
08       change the place of trial if an action is commenced against the defendant in a venue                              
09       district in the state other than where the defendant resides, the location of the                                 
10       defendant's principal place of business, or the location of the defendant's main                                  
11       corporate office in the state. The right provided under this subsection may be                                    
12       exercised as follows:                                                                                             
13                 (1)  at the request of the defendant, the court shall order a change of the                             
14       location of the trial to a venue district in the state that is where the defendant resides,                       
01       the location of the defendant's principal place of business, or the location of the                               
02       defendant's main corporate office;                                                                                
03                 (2)  in an action based on conduct in the course and scope of                                           
04       employment, a corporation or other entity has the right to trial in the venue district of                         
05       the employer's principal place of business in the state;                                                          
06                 (3)  if more than one defendant has the right to change the location of                                 
07       trial under this subsection, a choice of trial locations is available, and all defendants                         
08       agree on the choice of venue district, the court shall order that the trial be located in                         
09       the venue district agreed on among the defendants; however, if the defendants cannot                              
10       agree on a trial location, the court shall select a venue district within the state where a                       
11       defendant resides, that is the location of a defendant's principal place of business, or                          
12       that is the location of a defendant's main corporate office;                                                      
13                 (4)  this subsection does not preclude the court from exercising its                                    
14       authority to change venue when it has reason to believe that an impartial trial is not                            
15       possible under (a)(1) of this section;                                                                            
16                 (5)  this subsection does not apply to causes of action listed in Rules                                 
17       3(b) and 16(g), Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure, or to a matter in which venue for the                            
18       proceeding is otherwise specifically provided by law;                                                             
19                 (6)  in this subsection, "defendant" includes a third-party defendant.                                  
20    * Sec. 2. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                          
21 read:                                                                                                                   
22       INDIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT. AS 22.10.040(b), added by sec. 1 of this                                           
23 Act, has the effect of amending Rule 3(d), Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure, by modifying the                            
24 rule that a trial and related hearings be conducted in a venue district within the judicial district                    
25 that would best serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses by establishing the right of                         
26 a defendant to seek and obtain a venue change and setting out the power of the court relating                           
27 to a change of venue motion.                                                                                            
28    * Sec. 3. This Act takes effect January 1, 2007.