[USC03] 18 USC Ch. 211: JURISDICTION AND VENUE
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18 USC Ch. 211: JURISDICTION AND VENUE
From Title 18—CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDUREPART II—CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

CHAPTER 211—JURISDICTION AND VENUE

Sec.
3231.
District courts.
3232.
District of offense—Rule.
3233.
Transfer within district—Rule.
3234.
Change of venue to another district—Rule.
3235.
Venue in capital cases.
3236.
Murder or manslaughter.
3237.
Offenses begun in one district and completed in another.
3238.
Offenses not committed in any district.
3239.
Optional venue for espionage and related offenses.
3240.
Creation of new district or division.
3241.
Jurisdiction of offenses under certain sections.
3242.
Indians committing certain offenses; acts on reservations.
3243.
Jurisdiction of State of Kansas over offenses committed by or against Indians on Indian reservations.
3244.
Jurisdiction of proceedings relating to transferred offenders.

        

Amendments

1994Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXII, §320909(b), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2127, added item 3239.

1984Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §1204(b), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2152, struck out item 3239 "Threatening communications".

1978Pub. L. 95–598, title III, §314(j)(2), Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2678, added item 3244.

§3231. District courts

The district courts of the United States shall have original jurisdiction, exclusive of the courts of the States, of all offenses against the laws of the United States.

Nothing in this title shall be held to take away or impair the jurisdiction of the courts of the several States under the laws thereof.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 826.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on section 588d of title 12, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Banks and Banking; title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§546, 547 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §§326, 340, 35 Stat. 1151, 1153; Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, §291, 36 Stat. 1167; May 18, 1934, ch. 304, §4, 48 Stat. 783).

This section was formed by combining sections 546 and 547 of title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., with section 588d of title 12, U.S.C., Banks and Banking, with no change of substance.

The language of said section 588d of title 12, U.S.C., 1940 ed., which related to bank robbery, or killing or kidnapping as an incident thereto (see section 2113, of this title), and which read "Jurisdiction over any offense defined by sections 588b and 588c of this title shall not be reserved exclusively to courts of the United States" was omitted as adequately covered by this section.

Senate Revision Amendment

The text of this section was changed by Senate amendment. See Senate Report No. 1620, amendment No. 10, 80th Cong.

§3232. District of offense—(Rule)

See Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure

Proceedings to be in district and division in which offense committed, Rule 18.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 826.)

§3233. Transfer within district—(Rule)

See Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure

Arraignment, plea, trial, sentence in district of more than one division, Rule 19.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 826.)

References in Text

Rule 19 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, referred to in text, was rescinded Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966.

§3234. Change of venue to another district—(Rule)

See Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure

Plea or disposal of case in district other than that in which defendant was arrested, Rule 20.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 826.)

§3235. Venue in capital cases

The trial of offenses punishable with death shall be had in the county where the offense was committed, where that can be done without great inconvenience.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 826.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on section 101 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Judicial Code and Judiciary (Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, §40, 36 Stat. 1100).

§3236. Murder or manslaughter

In all cases of murder or manslaughter, the offense shall be deemed to have been committed at the place where the injury was inflicted, or the poison administered or other means employed which caused the death, without regard to the place where the death occurs.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 826.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §553 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §336, 35 Stat. 1152).

§3237. Offenses begun in one district and completed in another

(a) Except as otherwise expressly provided by enactment of Congress, any offense against the United States begun in one district and completed in another, or committed in more than one district, may be inquired of and prosecuted in any district in which such offense was begun, continued, or completed.

Any offense involving the use of the mails, transportation in interstate or foreign commerce, or the importation of an object or person into the United States is a continuing offense and, except as otherwise expressly provided by enactment of Congress, may be inquired of and prosecuted in any district from, through, or into which such commerce, mail matter, or imported object or person moves.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), where an offense is described in section 7203 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or where venue for prosecution of an offense described in section 7201 or 7206(1), (2), or (5) of such Code (whether or not the offense is also described in another provision of law) is based solely on a mailing to the Internal Revenue Service, and prosecution is begun in a judicial district other than the judicial district in which the defendant resides, he may upon motion filed in the district in which the prosecution is begun, elect to be tried in the district in which he was residing at the time the alleged offense was committed: Provided, That the motion is filed within twenty days after arraignment of the defendant upon indictment or information.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 826; Pub. L. 85–595, Aug. 6, 1958, 72 Stat. 512; Pub. L. 89–713, §2, Nov. 2, 1966, 80 Stat. 1108; Pub. L. 98–369, div. A, title I, §162, July 18, 1984, 98 Stat. 697; Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §1204(a), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2152; Pub. L. 99–514, §2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on section 103 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Judicial Code and Judiciary (Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, §42, 36 Stat. 1100).

Section was completely rewritten to clarify legislative intent and in order to omit special venue provisions from many sections.

The phrase "committed in more than one district" may be comprehensive enough to include "begun in one district and completed in another", but the use of both expressions precludes any doubt as to legislative intent.

Rules 18–22 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure are in accord with this section.

The last paragraph of the revised section was added to meet the situation created by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in United States v. Johnson, 1944, 65 S. Ct. 249, 89 L. Ed. 236, which turned on the absence of a special venue provision in the Dentures Act, section 1821 of this revision. The revised section removes all doubt as to the venue of continuing offenses and makes unnecessary special venue provisions except in cases where Congress desires to restrict the prosecution of offenses to particular districts as in section 1073 of this revision.

References in Text

Section 7203 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (b), is classified to section 7203 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Section 7201 or 7206(1), (2), or (5) of such Code, referred to in subsec. (b), are classified respectively to sections 7201 and 7206(1), (2), (5) of Title 26.

Amendments

1986—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–514 substituted "Internal Revenue Code of 1986" for "Internal Revenue Code of 1954".

1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–473 inserted "or the importation of an object or person into the United States" and ", or imported object or person" in second par.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 98–369 substituted "venue for prosecution of an offense" for "an offense involves use of the mails and is an offense" and inserted "is based solely on a mailing to the Internal Revenue Service".

1966—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89–713 inserted reference to offenses described in section 7203 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

1958Pub. L. 85–595 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsec. (b).

Effective Date of 1966 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 89–713 effective Nov. 2, 1966, see section 6 of Pub. L. 89–713, set out as a note under section 6091 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

§3238. Offenses not committed in any district

The trial of all offenses begun or committed upon the high seas, or elsewhere out of the jurisdiction of any particular State or district, shall be in the district in which the offender, or any one of two or more joint offenders, is arrested or is first brought; but if such offender or offenders are not so arrested or brought into any district, an indictment or information may be filed in the district of the last known residence of the offender or of any one of two or more joint offenders, or if no such residence is known the indictment or information may be filed in the District of Columbia.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 826; Pub. L. 88–27, May 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 48.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on section 102 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Judicial Code and Judiciary (Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, §41, 36 Stat. 1100).

Words "begun or" were inserted to clarify scope of this section and section 3237 of this title.

This section is similar to section 219 of title 22, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Foreign Relations and Intercourse, providing in part that unlawful issuance of passports may be prosecuted in the district where the offender may be arrested or in custody. Said provision is therefore omitted as covered by this section. The remaining provisions of said section 219 are incorporated in section 1541 of this title.

Amendments

1963Pub. L. 88–27 authorized the trial of offenses not committed in any district in the district in which the offender, or any one of two or more joint offenders, is arrested; an indictment or information to be filed in the district of the last known residence of the offender or of any one of two or more joint offenders where the offender or offenders are not arrested or brought into any district; and an indictment or information to be filed in the District of Columbia where there is no knowledge of the residence of the offender or of any one of two or more joint offenders.

§3239. Optional venue for espionage and related offenses

The trial for any offense involving a violation, begun or committed upon the high seas or elsewhere out of the jurisdiction of any particular State or district, of—

(1) section 793, 794, 798, or section 1030(a)(1) of this title;

(2) section 601 of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 421); 1 or

(3) section 4(b) or 4(c) of the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 (50 U.S.C. 783(b) or (c));


may be in the District of Columbia or in any other district authorized by law.

(Added Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXII, §320909(a), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2127.)

References in Text

The National Security Act of 1947, referred to in par. (2), is act July 26, 1947, ch. 343, 61 Stat. 495, which was formerly classified principally to chapter 15 (§401 et seq.) of Title 50, War and National Defense, prior to editorial reclassification in chapter 44 (§3001 et seq.) of Title 50. Section 601 of this Act is now classified to section 3121 of Title 50. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3239, act June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 827, related to threatening communications, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §1204(b), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2152.

1 See References in Text note below.

§3240. Creation of new district or division

Whenever any new district or division is established, or any county or territory is transferred from one district or division to another district or division, prosecutions for offenses committed within such district, division, county, or territory prior to such transfer, shall be commenced and proceeded with the same as if such new district or division had not been created, or such county or territory had not been transferred, unless the court, upon the application of the defendant, shall order the case to be removed to the new district or division for trial.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 827; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, §50, 63 Stat. 96.)

Historical and Revision Notes

1948 Act

Based on section 121 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Judicial Code and Judiciary (Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, §59, 36 Stat. 1103).

Section 121 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Judicial Code and Judiciary, was divided into two sections. Only the portion relating to venue in civil cases was left in title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Judicial Code and Judiciary.

Minor changes of phraseology were made.

1949 Act

This section [section 50] strikes the second sentence of section 3240 of title 18, U.S.C., as unnecessary. Section "119" of title 28, U.S.C., referred to in such sentence, became section 1404 of title 28 upon its revision and enactment into positive law in 1948, but reference to the latter, in said section 3240 of title 18, U.S.C., is surplusage in view of rule 19 et seq. of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and the remainder of such section 3240.

Amendments

1949—Act May 24, 1949, struck out "The transfer of such prosecutions shall be made in the manner provided in section 119 of Title 28".

§3241. Jurisdiction of offenses under certain sections

The District Court of the Virgin Islands shall have jurisdiction of offenses under the laws of the United States, not locally inapplicable, committed within the territorial jurisdiction of such courts, and jurisdiction, concurrently with the district courts of the United States, of offenses against the laws of the United States committed upon the high seas.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 827; Pub. L. 85–508, §12(i), July 7, 1958, 72 Stat. 348; Pub. L. 107–273, div. B, title IV, §4004(e), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1812.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§39, 574; sections 23, 101, 1406 of title 48, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Territories and Insular Possessions; section 39 of title 50, U.S.C., 1940 ed., War and National Defense (June 6, 1900, ch. 786, §4, 31 Stat. 322; Aug. 24, 1912, ch. 387, §3, 37 Stat. 512; June 15, 1917, ch. 30, title XIII, §2, 40 Stat. 231; Mar. 2, 1921, ch. 110, 41 Stat. 1203; June 22, 1936, ch. 699, §28, 49 Stat. 1814).

Section consolidates portions of sections 39 and 574 of title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., with jurisdictional provisions of sections 23, 101, and 1406 of title 48, U.S.C., 1940 ed., and section 39 of title 50 U.S.C., 1940 ed., with changes of phraseology necessary to effect consolidation.

The revised section simplifies and clarifies the Federal jurisdiction of the district courts of the Territories and Possessions. The enumeration of sections in section 574 of title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., was omitted as incomplete and misleading and the general language of the revised section was made applicable to the Canal Zone.

The phrase "the several courts of the first instance in the Philippine Islands" in section 574 of title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., was omitted as obsolete in view of the independence of the Commonwealth of the Philippines effective July 4, 1946.

The last sentence of section 574 of title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., with reference to the powers of district attorneys was omitted as unnecessary and otherwise covered by sections 403 and 404 of title 22, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Foreign Relations and Intercourse.

Definition of United States in section 39 of title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., is incorporated in section 5 of this title.

Amendments

2002Pub. L. 107–273 struck out "United States District Court for the Canal Zone and the" after "The".

1958Pub. L. 85–508 struck out provisions which related to the District Court for the Territory of Alaska. See section 81A of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, which establishes a United States District Court for the State of Alaska.

Effective Date of 1958 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 85–508 effective Jan. 3, 1959, on admission of Alaska into the Union pursuant to Proc. No. 3269, Jan. 3, 1959, 24 F.R. 81, 73 Stat. c16, as required by sections 1 and 8(c) of Pub. L. 85–508, see notes set out under section 81A of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, and preceding former section 21 of Title 48, Territories and Insular Possessions.

§3242. Indians committing certain offenses; acts on reservations

All Indians committing any offense listed in the first paragraph of and punishable under section 1153 (relating to offenses committed within Indian country) of this title shall be tried in the same courts and in the same manner as are all other persons committing such offense within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 827; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, §51, 63 Stat. 96; Pub. L. 89–707, §2, Nov. 2, 1966, 80 Stat. 1101; Pub. L. 94–297, §4, May 29, 1976, 90 Stat. 586.)

Historical and Revision Notes

1948 Act

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §548 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §328, 35 Stat. 1151; June 1932, ch. 284, 47 Stat. 337).

The provisions defining rape in accordance with the law of the State and prescribing imprisonment at the discretion of the court for rape by an Indian upon an Indian are now included in section 1153 of this title. (See also section 6 of this title.)

Section 549 of said title 18, relating to crimes in Indian reservations in South Dakota, was omitted as covered by section 1153 of this title. Accordingly the last sentence of said section 548, extending this section to prosecutions of Indians in South Dakota, was also omitted as unnecessary because this section is sufficient and applicable. Other provisions of said section 548 are incorporated in sections 1151 and 1153 of this title.

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

1949 Act

This section [section 51] conforms section 3242 of title 18, U.S.C., with sections 1151 and 1153 of such title, thus eliminating inconsistency and ambiguity with respect to the definition of Indian country.

Amendments

1976Pub. L. 94–297 substituted provision setting out reference to offenses listed in first paragraph of and punishable under section 1153 of this title, for provision specifically enumerating the covered offenses.

1966Pub. L. 89–707 added carnal knowledge and assault with intent to commit rape as offenses cognizable within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States when committed on and within the Indian country.

1949—Act May 24, 1949, substituted "within the Indian country" for "within any Indian reservation, including rights-of-way running through the reservation,".

§3243. Jurisdiction of State of Kansas over offenses committed by or against Indians on Indian reservations

Jurisdiction is conferred on the State of Kansas over offenses committed by or against Indians on Indian reservations, including trust or restricted allotments, within the State of Kansas, to the same extent as its courts have jurisdiction over offenses committed elsewhere within the State in accordance with the laws of the State.

This section shall not deprive the courts of the United States of jurisdiction over offenses defined by the laws of the United States committed by or against Indians on Indian reservations.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 827.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on section 217a of title 25, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Indians (June 8, 1940, ch. 276, 54 Stat. 249).

The attention of Congress is directed to consideration of the question whether this section should be broadened and made applicable to all states rather than only to Kansas. Such change was not regarded as within the scope of this revision.

Changes were made in phraseology.

§3244. Jurisdiction of proceedings relating to transferred offenders

When a treaty is in effect between the United States and a foreign country providing for the transfer of convicted offenders—

(1) the country in which the offender was convicted shall have exclusive jurisdiction and competence over proceedings seeking to challenge, modify, or set aside convictions or sentences handed down by a court of such country;

(2) all proceedings instituted by or on behalf of an offender transferred from the United States to a foreign country seeking to challenge, modify, or set aside the conviction or sentence upon which the transfer was based shall be brought in the court which would have jurisdiction and competence if the offender had not been transferred;

(3) all proceedings instituted by or on behalf of an offender transferred to the United States pertaining to the manner of execution in the United States of the sentence imposed by a foreign court shall be brought in the United States district court for the district in which the offender is confined or in which supervision is exercised and shall name the Attorney General and the official having immediate custody or exercising immediate supervision of the offender as respondents. The Attorney General shall defend against such proceedings;

(4) all proceedings instituted by or on behalf of an offender seeking to challenge the validity or legality of the offender's transfer from the United States shall be brought in the United States district court of the district in which the proceedings to determine the validity of the offender's consent were held and shall name the Attorney General as respondent; and

(5) all proceedings instituted by or on behalf of an offender seeking to challenge the validity or legality of the offender's transfer to the United States shall be brought in the United States district court of the district in which the offender is confined or of the district in which supervision is exercised and shall name the Attorney General and the official having immediate custody or exercising immediate supervision of the offender as respondents. The Attorney General shall defend against such proceedings.

(Added Pub. L. 95–144, §3, Oct. 28, 1977, 91 Stat. 1220, title 28, §2256; renumbered Pub. L. 95–598, title III, §314(j)(1), Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2677.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 2256 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Savings Provision

Amendment by section 314 of Pub. L. 95–598 not to affect the application of chapter 9 (§151 et seq.), chapter 96 (§1961 et seq.), or section 2516, 3057, or 3284 of this title to any act of any person (1) committed before Oct. 1, 1979, or (2) committed after Oct. 1, 1979, in connection with a case commenced before such date, see section 403(d) of Pub. L. 95–598, set out as a note preceding section 101 of Title 11, Bankruptcy.