United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Charleston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. GOODWIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the court is Defendant Fairmont Federal Credit
Union's (“Fairmont Federal”) Motion to
Transfer [ECF No. 17]. The period for filing a response has
passed, and the plaintiff has not responded. For the
following reasons, the Motion is GRANTED.
November 15, 2018, the plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint
in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County, West Virginia. The
Amended Complaint alleges, inter alia, violations of the
Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and the West Virginia Consumer
Credit and Protection Act arising out of the sale of a new
motor vehicle by Defendants FCA U.S. LLC (“FCA”)
and Urse Dodge, Inc (“Urse Dodge”). On December
26, 2018, Defendant FCA removed this action to the Southern
District of West Virginia. Not. Removal [ECF No. 1].
According to the Amended Complaint [ECF No. 1-2], the
plaintiff is a resident of Marion County, West Virginia.
Defendant Urse Dodge is a West Virginia corporation doing
business in Marion County. Defendant Fairmont Federal is a
West Virginia credit union doing business in West Virginia;
specifically, Marion County. The only defendant that does not
operate in Marion County is Defendant FCA. Defendant FCA is a
foreign corporation incorporated in Michigan and authorized
to do business in West Virginia. Defendant FCA is the alleged
manufacturer of the vehicle and maintains an address for
service of process in Charleston, West Virginia. On January
14, 2019, Defendant Fairmont Federal filed its Motion to
Transfer [ECF No. 17] from the Southern District of West
Virginia to the Northern District of West Virginia,
Clarksburg Division. The plaintiff did not respond.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), “[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 or to any district
or division to which all parties have consented.” On
deciding a motion to transfer, a court should consider the
following case-specific factors:
(1) ease of access to sources of proof; (2) the convenience
of parties and witnesses; (3) the cost of obtaining the
attendance of witnesses; (4) the availability of compulsory
process; (5) the possibility of a view; (6) the interest in
having local controversies decided at home; and (7) the
interests of justice.
McJunkin Corp. v. Cardinal Sys., 190 F.Supp.2d 874,
878 (S.D. W.Va. 2002); see also Trs. of the Plumbers
& Pipefitters Nat'l Pension Fund v. Plumbing
Servs., 791 F.3d 436, 444 (4th Cir. 2015).
find that the interest of justice militates in favor of
transfer to the Northern District of West Virginia,
Clarksburg Division. The transactions and occurrences contained
in the Amended Complaint occurred in Marion County, West
Virginia. The vehicle was allegedly bought and sold in Marion
County, and the loan to purchase it was provided in Marion
County. The plaintiff resides in Marion County, and most if
not all of the witnesses and evidence is in Marion County.
Defendant Fairmont Federal's financing records, Defendant
Urse Doge's records, as well as the vehicle itself are
all likely in Marion County. Because all of the alleged
transactions and events took place in Marion County, there is
a greater interest in having the citizens of that district
and division deciding a local controversy.
with the exception of Defendant FCA, all of the remaining
defendants operate in Marion County. As far as the court can
tell, the only connection to the Southern District of West
Virginia is that Defendant FCA has listed Charleston, West
Virginia, as its address for service of process in this
state. While the plaintiff's choice of forum is typically
entitled to significant weight, the plaintiff did not oppose
transfer, and the remaining factors here outweigh any weight
the plaintiff's choice would otherwise have. See,
e.g., Klay v. AXA Equitable Life Ins., No.
5:08cv118, 2009 WL 36759, at *3 (N.D. W.Va. Jan. 6, 2009)
(“[W]here the plaintiffs choice of forum is a place
where neither the plaintiff nor the defendant resides and
where few or none of the events giving rise to the cause of
action accrued, that plaintiffs choice loses its place status
in the court's consideration”). Therefore, I
FIND that for convenience of the parties and
in the interest of justice, the equities favor transfer.
foregoing reasons, Defendant Fairmont Federal's Motion to
Transfer [ECF No. 17] is GRANTED. The court
TRANSFERS this action the Clarksburg
Division of the United States District Court for the Northern
District of West Virginia. The court DIRECTS
the Clerk to send a copy of this Memorandum Opinion and Order
to counsel of record, any unrepresented party, and to the
Clerk of the United States District Court for the Northern
District of West Virginia.