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Shirley Murphy v. Trans Union

August 15, 2012

SHIRLEY MURPHY
v.
TRANS UNION, LLC, ET AL.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Surrick, J.

MEMORANDUM

Presently before the Court is Defendant Equifax Information Services, LLC's Motion to Transfer Venue. (ECF No. 21.) For the following reasons, the Motion will be granted.

I. BACKGROUND*fn1

A. The Parties

Plaintiff Shirley Murphy is an individual who resides in Syracuse, Utah. (Compl. ¶ 2, ECF No. 1.) Defendant Trans Union, LLC ("Trans Union") is a Delaware limited liability company having a principal place of business in Chicago, Illinois. (Halvorsen Decl. ¶ 3, Pl.'s Resp. Ex. C, ECF No. 23-4.)*fn2 Trans Union has consumer relations facilities in Crum Lynne,

Pennsylvania and in Fullerton, California. (Compl. ¶ 3; Halvorsen Decl. ¶ 4.) Trans Union's consumer reporting database is located in Chicago, Illinois. (Halvorsen Decl. ¶ 6.) Defendant Equifax Information Services, LLC ("Equifax") is a Georgia limited liability company having a principal place of business, and its headquarters, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Smith Decl. ¶ 8, Def.'s Mot. Ex. A, ECF No. 21-1.)*fn3 Defendant Experian Information Solutions, Inc. ("Experian") is an Ohio corporation. (Compl. ¶ 5; Experian Answer ¶ 5, ECF No. 9.) Experian's North American headquarters are located in Costa Mesa, California, and it has United States offices in New York, New York, Parsippany, New Jersey, Lincoln, Nebraska, Schaumburg, Illinois, Atlanta, Georgia, Allen, Texas, and Costa Mesa, California. (See Experian Answer ¶ 5); see also http://www.experian.com/corporate/experian-locations.html (last visited on Aug. 13, 2012).*fn4

B. Plaintiff's Allegations and Procedural History

Plaintiff alleges that from at least April 2011 to the date on which she filed the instant Complaint, Defendants have reported derogatory statements and inaccurate information related to Plaintiff and Plaintiff's credit history to third parties. (Compl. ¶ 8.) The inaccurate information concerns various medical accounts; financial accounts, such as Capital One, Sears/CBSD, First Premier, Chase Card Services, AMC Mortgage Services, America First Credit Union, Aspen COLL, MTN Land COL, Revenue Cycle, National City Mortgage, Chase Card Services, Metabank/Fingerhut, RC Willey, GDYR/CBSD, ACCRED Home, Bankfirst, West Asset Management, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Chase, GEMB/JCP, Gottschalks, Wells Fargo Bank, GEMB/Dillards, GEMB/Mervyns, GEMB/Old Navy, Wells Fargo Bank, NV, WFFINANCE, Green Point Savings, PNC Mortgage, Bank of the West, Citifinancial, Citizens CAF, Employees First Credit, WFDS/WDS, CBUSASEARS, Kohls/Chase, Wells Fargo Bank North, WFF Cards and WFNNB/Lane Bryant; and other personal identifying information. (Id. at ¶ 9.) Plaintiff alleges that the inaccurate information consists of accounts and "tradelines" that do not belong to her, but rather belong to another consumer. (Id. at ¶ 10.)

Plaintiff claims that Defendants have disseminated the inaccurate credit information and consumer credit reports to third parties. (Id. at ¶ 11.) She states that she has applied for, and has been denied, various loans and extensions of consumer credit. (Id. at ¶ 12.) The inaccurate information that appears on Plaintiff's credit reports was a substantial factor in these denials. (Id. at ¶¶ 12-13.) Plaintiff claims that she has suffered actual damages in the form of lost credit opportunities, harm to her credit reputation and credit score and emotional distress, including humiliation and embarrassment. (Id. at ¶ 14.)

On January 31, 2012, Plaintiff filed a Complaint, alleging that Defendants violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b). (Id. at ¶¶ 17-22.) She claims that Defendants "willfully and negligently fail[ed] to employ and follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of Plaintiff's credit report, information and file." (Id. at ¶ 21.) On March 13, 2012, Trans Union filed an Answer and Affirmative Defenses. (ECF No. 8.) On March 14, 2012, Experian filed an Answer and Affirmative Defenses. (ECF No. 9.) On April 17, 2012, Equifax filed an Answer. (ECF No. 12.) On May 9, 2012, Equifax filed the instant Motion to Transfer Venue to the Northern District of Georgia. (Def.'s Mot., ECF No. 21.) On June 1, 2012, Plaintiff filed a timely response opposing the Motion. (Pl.'s Resp., ECF No. 23.) On June 8, 2012, Equifax filed a Reply in support of its Motion. (Def.'s Reply, ECF No. 24.) Defendants Trans Union and Experian have not filed any responses with respect to Equifax's Motion.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

"For the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil action to any other district or division where it might have been brought . . . ." 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Section 1404(a) applies when venue is proper both in the district originally chosen and in the proposed transfer district. A defendant moving for transfer of venue bears the burden of demonstrating that: (1) the case could have been brought initially in the proposed transferee forum; (2) the proposed transfer will be more convenient for the parties and witnesses; and (3) the proposed transfer will be in the interest of justice. Id.; Jumara v. State Farm Ins. Co., 55 F.3d 873, 878 (3d Cir. 1995). Once the defendant establishes that the action could have been brought in the proposed district, the court must weigh several private and public interest factors to determine whether the balance of conveniences tips in favor of transfer. Jumara, 55 F.3d at 879-80.

The private interest factors that a court considers include:

[1] [The] plaintiff's forum preference as manifested in the original choice; [2] the defendant's preference; [3] whether the claim arose elsewhere; [4] the convenience of the parties as indicated by their relative physical and financial condition; [5] the convenience of the witnesses-but only to the extent that the witnesses may actually be unavailable for trial in one of the fora; and [6] the location of books ...


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