February 8th, 2010 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Cops and Courts, CLEAN UP

City to Judge: Move Chasse Trial to Eastern Oregon (Pretty Please?)


Those who are following the city's attempts to fend off a lawsuit by James Chasse Jr's family know that the city is trying to convince U.S District Court Judge Garr King to move the trial out of Portland.

City lawyers requested the move last month, arguing they couldn't get a fair jury trial in Portland because of the deluge of media coverage about Chasse's 2006 death in police custody. Attorneys for Chasse's family countered the request was unjustified and the court has no jurisdiction to order a move.

King asked the city for its response by last Friday, Feb. 5. The city's filing (PDF) cites legal precedent for the move but then seems to concede that the judge may not be willing to move the case outside Oregon.

Besides Portland, there are three other divisions in the federal court in Oregon: Eugene, Pendleton and Medford.

Of those three, Eugene is quite a bit more left-leaning than rural Pendleton and Medford. Is it just a coincidence the city's request to King at the conclusion of their filing treats Eugene as a sort of second-tier afterthought?
"[T]he defendants respectfully submit that the Court could and should consider ordering trial of this matter elsewhere within this District, giving consideration to Pendleton and Medford, as well as Eugene."

Stay tuned for King's decision on the change of venue.
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