United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER RE: MOTION TO TRANSFER
VENUE ECF NO. 4
PARADISE BAXTER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
factual allegations of the complaint pertain to gender
discrimination and retaliation arising out of Ms.
Beuchat's employment at the State Correctional
Institution at Muncy. Ms. Beuchat has named the Commonwealth
of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and SCI Muncy as
Defendants to this action. Presently pending before this
Court is Defendants' motion to transfer venue to the
Middle District of Pennsylvania. ECF No. 4.
federal court, venue questions are governed either by 28
U.S.C. § 1404(a) or 28 U.S.C. § 1406."
Jumara v. State Farm Ins. Co., 55 F.3d 873, 878 (3d
Cir. 1995). If venue is inappropriate, a court may either
dismiss the action or transfer it to the court which has
appropriate venue. 28 U.S.C. § 1404; 28 U.S.C. §
1406. Section 1406 "applies where the original venue is
improper and provides for either transfer or dismissal of the
case." Jumara, 55 F.3d at 878. Section 1404(a)
provides for transferring a case in which both the original
and the requested venue are proper.
U.S.C. § 1391(b) provides that venue lies in:
(1) A judicial district in which any defendant resides, if
all defendants are residents of the State in which the
district is located; [or] (2) a judicial district in which a
substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to
the claim occurred ...
Id. It is the defendant's burden to show that
venue is improper. Bockman v. First Am. Mktg. Corp.]
459 Fed.Appx. 157, 160 (3d Cir. 2012).
Ms. Beuchat's allegations as true, the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections maintains an office
and place of business within the Western District of
Pennsylvania, while SCI Muncy is located in Lycoming County
within the Middle District of Pennsylvania. All of the events
giving rise to Ms. Beuchat's claims occurred at SCI Muncy
within the Middle District. So, under § 1391(b), venue
is appropriate in both the Western and Middle Districts.
burden of establishing the need for transfer of venue rests
with the movant. Jurnara, 55 F.3d at 879. The Third
Circuit has instructed that 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
Jumara Court identified twelve interests (six public
and six private) "protected by the language of §
1404(a)." Id. The private interests include
"(1) plaintiffs 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 and
records (similarly limited to the extent that the files could
not be produced in the alternative forum.)" Id.
at 879. The public interests are "(7) the enforceability
of the judgment; (8) practical considerations that could make
the trial easy, expeditious, or inexpensive; (9) the relative
administrative difficulty in the two fora resulting from
court congestion; (10) the local interest in deciding local
controversies at home; (11) the public policies of the fora;
and (12) the familiarity of the trial judge with the
applicable law in diversity cases." Id. These
factors will be considered in turn.
Beuchat's choice of forum weighs against transferring
venue as a plaintiffs "choice of venue should not be
lightly disturbed." Jumara, 55 F.3d at 879.
See also Shutte v. Armco Steell Corp., 431 F.2d 22,
25 (3d Cir. 1970). The defendant's choice of forum favors
transfer. The facts underlying Ms. Beuchat's claim
occurred in Lycoming County, so this factor favors transfer
to the Middle District.
do not advance any particular argument as to the convenience
of the parties. Presumably, the Western District is more
convenient for Ms. Beuchat because it is where she resides,
while the convenience of the Department of Corrections does
not favor one District over another as the Department of
Corrections is present in both Districts. This factor favors
the denial of transfer.
Court has no information on the physical condition of Ms.
Beuchat, so this factor is neutral.
this action may have financial consequences for Ms. Beuchat.
Meanwhile, Defendants presumably have the financial ability
to defend themselves in either forum.
convenience of the witnesses and the location of records
weighs in favor of transfer as all of these are likely to be