United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
J. PAPPERT, JUDGE.
Dawood lives in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania. Hummelstown is
located in Derry Township, Dauphin County, within the Middle
District. On October 1, 2015, Dawood was injured in a car
accident near his home, allegedly caused by the negligence of
Christopher LaTouche, who was driving a tractor trailer owned
by Dove Transportation, LLC. Dawood was taken to a local
hospital where he was treated for his injuries. LaTouche
resides in Alabama and Dove is incorporated and maintains its
principal place of business in Alabama. Dawood sued LaTouche
and Dove in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.
(Defs.' Notice of Removal, Ex. A (“Compl.”),
ECF No. 1.) After removing Dawood's Complaint to federal
court, LaTouche and Dove filed a Motion to Transfer Pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). (Defs.' Mot., ECF No. 3).
The Court grants the motion.
and Dove argue that the case should be transferred to the
Middle District because that is the “judicial district
in which a substantial part of the events…giving rise
to the claim occurred[.]” (Defs.' Mot. at 2.) Under
28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), district courts may “[f]or
the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of
justice. . . transfer any civil action to any other district
or division where it might have been brought or to any
district or division to which all parties have
consented.” The purpose of § 1404(a) is “to
prevent the waste ‘of time, energy and money' and
‘to protect litigants, witnesses and the public against
unnecessary inconvenience and expense.'” Van
Dusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 616 (1964) (quoting
Cont'l Grain Co. v. Barge F.B.L.-585, 176 U.S.
19, 26 (1960)). District courts are vested with “broad
discretion” to determine whether transfer is
appropriate. Jumara v. State Farm Ins. Co., 55 F.3d
873, 883 (3d Cir. 1995) (citing Stewart Org., Inc. v.
Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 29 (1988)).
deciding a motion to transfer, courts should consider
“all relevant factors to determine whether on balance
the litigation would more conveniently proceed and the
interests of justice be better served by transfer to a
different forum.” Jumara, 487 U.S. at 879
(citation and internal quotation marks omitted). Courts first
determine “whether venue would be proper in the
transferee district, ” and if so, then “determine
whether a transfer would be in the interests of
justice.” Weber v. Basic Comfort Inc., 155
F.Supp.2d 283, 284 (E.D. Pa. 2001). The moving party bears
the burden of persuasion. See Shutte v. Armco Steel
Corp., 431 F.2d 22, 25 (3d Cir. 1970).
does not contest that venue is proper in the Middle District
under 28 U.S.C. § 1391. He does, however, argue that the
interests of justice weigh against transfer. In evaluating
the propriety of a transfer, “courts have not limited
their consideration to the three enumerated factors in §
1404(a) (convenience of parties, convenience of witnesses, or
interests of justice), and, indeed, commentators have called
on the courts to ‘consider all relevant
factors.'” Jumara, 55 F.3d at 879 (quoting
15 Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal
Practice and Procedure § 2847 (4th ed. 2013)). The
Third Circuit Court of Appeals considers both private and
public interests when deciding whether transfer is
appropriate. See id.
private interests are: (1) the plaintiff's choice of
forum; (2) the defendant's preference; (3) where the
claim arose; (4) the convenience of the parties as indicated
by their relative physical and financial condition; (5) the
convenience of the witnesses to the extent they would be
unavailable in a particular forum; and (6) the location of
evidence to the extent it cannot be produced in a particular
forum. See Id. Public interest factors are: (1) the
enforceability of the judgment; (2) practical considerations
that would make trial easy, expeditious, or inexpensive; (3)
the congestion of the court's docket; (4) the local
forum's interest in deciding the case; and (5) the trial
judge's familiarity with any applicable state law.
Court first examines Dawood's choice of forum, LaTouche
and Dove's preference and where the claim arose. See
Jumara, 55 F.3d at 879. Although a plaintiff's
choice of forum is typically accorded great deference,
Lony v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co.,
886 F.2d 628, 633 (3d Cir. 1989), that choice “is given
less weight if the plaintiff chooses a venue in which he or
she does not reside and in which none of the operative facts
giving rise to the suit occurred.” Wartluft v.
Milton Hershey Sch. & Sch. Tr., No. 16-3594, 2016 WL
5167536, at *2 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 21, 2016) (quoting Cable
v. Allied Interstate, Inc., 2012 WL 1671350, at *3 (E.D.
Pa. 2012)); see also Connors v. UUU Prods., Inc.,
No. 03-6420, 2004 WL 834726, at *6 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 15, 2004)
(same). That is the case here. Dawood lives in the Middle
District and the majority of the events giving rise to the
accident occurred there. “When the vast majority of the
acts giving rise to plaintiff's claim take place in
another forum, that weighs heavily in favor of
transfer.” Hamilton v. Nochimson, 2009 WL
2195138, at *3 (E.D. Pa. July 21, 2009); see also In re
Amkor Tech., Inc. Sec. Litig., No. 06-298, 2006 WL
3857488, at *5 (E.D. Pa. Dec. 28, 2006) (“Typically the
most appropriate venue is where a majority of events giving
rise to the claim arose.”). Dawood's residence and
the location of the accident weigh heavily in favor of
transfer to the Middle District.
fourth factor, convenience of the parties, also weighs in
favor of transfer. See Jumara, 55 F.3d at 879.
Dawood states that “he has not made an issue”
about having to travel to the Eastern District for trial, but
does not argue that the Eastern District would be
more convenient. (Pl.'s Resp. at 3.) LaTouche
and Dove are residents of Alabama, and “presumably
[are] no more or less inconvenienced by defending this
case” in Harrisburg as opposed to Philadelphia.
Andrews v. Encompass Home & Auto Ins. Co., No.
15-0268, 2015 WL 3631749, at *5 (E.D. Pa. June 11, 2015).
final two factors, availability of witnesses and evidence,
are neutral. See Jumara, 55 F.3d at 879. LaTouche
and Dove argue that “[p]olice and medical first
responders are located in the Middle District, ” but
have not shown that any witnesses or evidence would be
unavailable for trial in either District. (Defs.' Mot. at
first public interest factor is the enforceability of the
judgment. See Jumara, 55 F.3d at 879. A judgment in
the Middle District is just as enforceable as one in the
Eastern District. Indeed, “there is little significant
difference in enforcing a judgment in one federal forum than
in another.” E'Cal Corp. v. Office Max,
Inc., No. 01-3281, 2001 WL 1167534, at *4 (E.D. Pa.
Sept. 7, 2001) (citation omitted). As to the second factor,
practical considerations for trial, LaTouche and Dove claim
that witnesses who may be called to testify are located in
the Middle District, though they have not “identified
any specific witnesses they plan to call.” Cable v.
Allied Interstate, Inc., No. 12-96, 2012 WL 1671350, at
*5 (E.D. Pa. May 11, 2012); see also (Defs.'
Mot. at 4). Neither party addressed the third factor,
congestion of the court's docket, which weights slightly
against transfer. See Jumara, 55 F.3d at 879.
Although the Eastern ...