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Franco v. Mabe Trucking Co. Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division

March 8, 2018

DAVID FRANCO
v.
MABE TRUCKING CO., INC.

          JUDGE ROBERT G. JAMES

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          KAREN L. HAYES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         On February 8, 2018, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion [doc. #46] seeking reconsideration of the order transferring this case from the Eastern District of Texas (“EDTX”) to the Western District of Louisiana (“WDLA”).[1] For reasons that follow, Plaintiff's Motion for reconsideration is DENIED.[2]

         Background

         On November 22, 2016, Plaintiff filed this action in the United States District Court of the EDTX. See Complaint, doc. #1. On February 10, 2017, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue, or, alternatively, to transfer venue [doc. #4]. In his sur-reply to Defendant's motion [doc. #10], Plaintiff states the following:

In the unlikely event that this Court determines it does not have jurisdiction over the defendant, Plaintiff would request the Court transfer the case to the Western District of Louisiana in Shreveport, as the Middle District of North Carolina would be extremely inconvenient for all nonparty witnesses, including doctors in Texas and first responders in Louisiana.

Sur-Reply, doc. #10, pp. 2-3. At the hearing on Defendant's motion, Magistrate Judge Roy S. Payne stated that he would grant Defendant's request to transfer venue and inquired into Plaintiff's preference of new venue:

Court: ….I would assume that your preferred course would be to transfer it to the Western District of Louisiana as opposed to dismissal.
Mr. Ross: Yes, your Honor. Transcript of Motion Hearing, June 13, 2017, doc. 49-1, p: 15, lines 8-11.
On June 13, 2017, Magistrate Judge Payne entered an order transferring the case to the WDLA [doc. #13]. In that order, Magistrate Judge Payne held as follows:
Because the Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Mabe, and hence venue under § 1391(b)(1) is improper, the Court finds it suitable in the “interests of justice” to transfer the case to the Western District of Louisiana, the district where the accident occurred. See 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a). Defendant's Motion to Transfer Venue (Dkt. 4) is GRANTED.

Order, doc. #13, p. 2.

         In his Motion for reconsideration, Plaintiff's argues that transferring his case to the WDLA, where the accident giving rise to his claims occurred, created an unintended and unjust result.[3] See Plaintiff's Motion, doc. #46, p. 2. Rather, Plaintiff argues, the court should have transferred the case to the Middle District of North Carolina (“MDNC”) where Defendant resides. See Id. at p. 3. Plaintiff's argument relies on his concession, for the purpose of the Motion only, that his claims are time-barred in Louisiana by its one-year prescriptive period. See Id. at p. 2. However, Plaintiff argues that he could pursue his claims in the MDNC, which would apply North Carolina's three-year prescriptive period. See Id. at p. 3. In his Reply, Plaintiff also argues that the Court's transfer of this case to the WDLA should have been done pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1631, and that, to the extent the Court transferred the case under 28 U.S.C. 1406(a) only, it did so in error. Defendant argues that Plaintiff's Motion is untimely; Plaintiff waived any argument that venue is improper in the WDLA; and transfer to the MDNC would be futile. See Defendant's Response, doc. #49.

         Law ...


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