, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 801-815
Date: 22 May 2011

Integrating Census Data to Support a Motion for Change of Venue

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This applied demography case study illustrates the practical application of demographic concepts and methods to an issue facing the court. We show how census data can be used to support a legal motion for a change of venue. “Change of venue,” the legal term for moving a trial to a new location, usually is sought to avoid prejudice against one of the parties to a lawsuit. The case study will interest demographic practitioners, and it can be used as an instructional case in teaching applied demography: students can replicate it using data for any particular pair of populous metropolitan communities. By doing so, students would gain proficiency working with Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) household records—and the person records within household records—to identify and categorize family and nonfamily relationships among household members, and practical experience translating legal issues into questions that can be answered empirically using American Community Survey (ACS) data.