United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant's Motion to Transfer Venue
(Doc. 6). Plaintiffs filed an opposition, (Doc. 9).
Oral argument is not required. For the reasons stated herein,
the Motion to Transfer Venue (Doc. 6) is
February 14, 2018, Patricia Latino ("Plaintiff) was
injured in a Dillard's store in Slidell, Louisiana. (Doc.
1-1 at p.1). Plaintiff alleges that she slipped on perfume
that accumulated on the floor. (Doc 1-1 at p. 1, 3). On
February 12, 2019, Plaintiff filed a lawsuit in the 19th
Judicial District for the Parish of East Baron Rouge against
Dillard Department Stores, Inc. ("Defendant")
alleging her injuries were a result of an unreasonable risk
of harm that was created by, known, or should have been known
to Defendant. (Id. at p.3).
March 28, 2019, the case was removed to this Court, Defendant
later filed the instant motion to transfer this case to the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Louisiana. (Doc. 6). Plaintiff filed a memorandum in
opposition to Defendant's motion. (Doc. 9).
the transfer statute, a district court may transfer a case
upon a motion or sua sponte. 28 U.S.C. § 1404 and §
1406." Caldwell v. Palmetto State Savings Bank of
South Carolina, 811 F.2d 916, 919 (5th Cir. 1987).
U.S.C. § 1404 and § 1406 give federal courts the
right to transfer a case to another court. 28 U.S.C §
1404(a) provides that “[f]or 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). 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a) permits a transfer
"in the interest of justice" when a case is filed
"in the wrong division or district." 28 U.S.C.
§ 1406(a). This Court can transfer a case when the
public and private interest factors for 28 U.S.C. § 1404
warrant a transfer or when the venue is improper under 28
U.S.C. § 1391.
analyzing whether an action may be transferred under 28
U.S.C. § 1404(a), the Court first must first determine
"whether [the] action 'might have been brought'
in the destination venue." In re Volkswagen of
America, Inc., 545 F.3d 304, 312 (5th Cir. 2008)
(quoting 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a)). Second, the Court must
evaluate the "private and public interest factors"
that are utilized under the forum non conveniens
doctrine to determine whether a transfer of venue under 28
U.S.C. § 1404(a) "is for the convenience of the
parties and witnesses and in the interest of justice."
Id. at 315."The private interest factors are .
. . '(1) the relative ease of access to sources of proof;
(2) the availability of compulsory process to secure the
attendance, of witnesses; (3) the cost of attendance for
willing witnesses; and (4) all other practical problems that
make trial of a case easy, expeditious and
inexpensive.'" Id. (quoting In re
Volkswagen AG, 371 F.3d 201, 203 (5th Cir. 2004)). The
public interest factors are:
'(1) the administrative difficulties flowing from court
congestion[, ] (2) the local interest in having localized
interests decided at home[, ] (3) the familiarity of the
forum with the law that will govern the case[, ] and (4) the
avoidance of unnecessary problems of conflict of laws [or in]
the application of foreign law. Id. (quoting In
re Volkswagen AG, 371 F.3d at 203).
order to warrant a transfer of venue under 28 U.S.C. §
1404(a), a movant simply must demonstrate "that the
transferee venue is clearly more convenient."
Id. at 315.
the private interest factors, Defendant argues that the
Eastern District of Louisiana is the most appropriate venue
for this case. (Doc. 7 at p. 2). Defendant asserts that the
event giving rise to the suit, Plaintiffs residence, and the
residence of every Defense witness are in the Eastern
District of Louisiana. (Id.). Defendant claims a
trial in the Middle District would place a burden on all of
the witnesses that would be alleviated should the trial be
moved to the Eastern District. (Id. at p. 3).
Defendant further claims the public interest factors dictate
that the Middle District has no interest in retaining the
case and transfer to the Eastern District would make the
legal process easy, expeditious, and inexpensive.
asserts that the public and private interest factors weigh in
favor of the Middle District retaining the case. (Doc. 9 at
p. 2-4). Plaintiff claims the evidence in this case is
electronic, and the Middle District's access to the
evidence will therefore be unimpaired. (Id. at p.
2). Additionally, Plaintiff argues that the Middle District,
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45(c)(1), can subpoena
witnesses in virtually all of St. Tammany ...