United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM RE: MOTION TO TRANSFER VENUE TO THE
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Julie Rodoslogolu (“Plaintiff”) brings this
premises liability action against Macerich Deptford, LLC
(“Defendant”) to recover damages resulting from a
February 12, 2015 slip and fall at the Deptford Mall in
Deptford, New Jersey. (ECF No. 4, “Pl.'s Am.
Compl.” ¶¶ 1-2, 11-12). Before the Court is
Plaintiff's Motion to Transfer Venue to the District of
New Jersey. For the reasons explained below, Plaintiff's
Motion will be GRANTED.
Factual Background, Procedural History, and
Plaintiff's allegations as true, the factual background
is as follows. While at the Deptford Mall in Deptford, New
Jersey, Plaintiff suffered a “slip and fall.”
(Pl.'s Am. Compl. ¶ 11). In order to recover damages
resulting from the slip and fall, Plaintiff filed a complaint
in this District on January 11, 2017 against “the
Macerich Company d/b/a The Deptford Mall.” (ECF No. 5,
“Pl.'s Mot. to Transfer Venue” ¶ 1). The
Macerich Company is located in Deptford, New Jersey but
Plaintiff believed in good faith that the Macerich Company
did business in Philadelphia. (Id. ¶¶ 1,
Defendant informed Plaintiff through a Motion to Dismiss on
February 23, 2017 that she had sued the wrong defendant.
(Id. ¶¶ 5-6). In its Motion to Dismiss,
Defendant contended that Macerich Deptford, LLC, a Delaware
corporation that does not do business in Philadelphia or
anywhere else in Pennsylvania, is the proper defendant.
(Id.). On March 8, 2017, Plaintiff filed an Amended
Complaint “correcting the name of the Macerich Company
to Macerich Deptford, LLC.” (Id. ¶ 7).
Following this change, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Transfer
Venue to the District of New Jersey on March 8, 2017.
(Id.). Defendant does not oppose the transfer.
(Id. ¶ 12).
Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332. However, venue is not proper under 28 U.S.C.
Plaintiff relies on 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) in support of
her motion, the correct authority to transfer this case is 28
U.S.C. § 1406(a). Section 1404(a) is a transfer statute,
but governs transfers “when venue is proper” in
the transferring court. Lafferty v. Riel, 495 F.3d
72, 78 (3d Cir. 2007). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1391, venue is
(1) a judicial district in which any defendant resides, if
all defendants are residents of the State in which the
district is located;
(2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the
events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a
substantial part of property that is the subject of the
action is situated; or
(3) if there is no district in which an action may otherwise
be brought as provided in this section, any judicial district
in which any defendant is subject to the court's personal
jurisdiction with respect to such action.
Defendant does not reside in Pennsylvania, does not have any
contacts with Pennsylvania, and the action arose in New
Jersey, venue is not proper in this District. Therefore, the
case cannot be transferred pursuant to §
the proper authority to transfer this case is § 1406(a).
This statute states, in relevant part: “[t]he district
court of a district in which is filed a case laying venue in
the wrong division or district shall dismiss, or if it be in
the interest of justice, transfer such case to any district
or division in which it could have been brought.” 28
U.S.C. § 1406(a). In other words, § 1406(a) is used
to transfer cases “where plaintiffs file suit in an
improper forum.” Lafferty, 495 F.3d at 77.
§ 1406(a), this case can be transferred to any forum
“in which it could have been brought” so long as
it is in the “interest of justice.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1406(a). This case could have originally been brought
in the District of New Jersey, because it is a proper venue
and can properly exercise jurisdiction over this case. Venue
is proper in the District of New Jersey because the incident
occurred at the Deptford Mall, which is located in New
Jersey. 28 U.S.C. § 1391(2). In addition, the District
of New Jersey has subject matter jurisdiction over this case
pursuant to § 1332. It can exercise ...