United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Jagdfeld for Plaintiff.
Feriancek for Defendant.
FRANKLIN L. NOEL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
MATTER came before the undersigned United States
Magistrate Judge on February 26, 2018, on Defendant's
motion to transfer venue (ECF No. 43). For the reasons set
forth below, Defendant's motion (ECF No. 43) is
STATEMENT OF FACTS
Stergios Roumeliotis alleges that on June 23, 2014, as he was
riding a bicycle through the intersection of Fifteenth Avenue
Southeast and Fifth Street Southeast, in Minneapolis,
Minnesota, a commercial tractor-trailer being operated by an
employee of Defendant J. B. Hunt Transport, Inc., abruptly
lurched in front of him and caused him to crash. ECF No. 1 at
3. Plaintiff claims that the crash was caused by the
negligence, carelessness, and unlawful conduct of Defendant
and its employee. Id.
matter was originally filed in Hennepin County District
Court, in Minneapolis Minnesota, but was removed to the
District of Minnesota, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1332 and 1446. Id. at 1-2. Defendant is a Georgia
corporation, with its principle place of business in
Arkansas. Id. This case has been assigned to the
Honorable Wilhemina M. Wright, chambered in St. Paul,
Minnesota. See ECF No. 3.
CONCLUSION OF LAW
moves the Court, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), to
transfer venue from Saint Paul, Minnesota, to Duluth,
Minnesota. See ECF No. 43. According to Defendant,
on November 26, 2017, Hernandez Solano was fatally struck by
a Sport Utility Vehicle at the intersection of West Seventh
Street and Grand Avenue in Saint Paul. ECF No. 45 at 1. Based
on the amount of publicity surrounding the Solano accident,
the amount of support the Solano family received from the
community, and the vilification of the driver in the Solano
matter, Defendant believes that venue in Saint Paul risks the
likelihood of a biased jury pool, and unfair prejudice to the
Defendant. Id. at 1-2. Plaintiff opposes
Defendant's motion to transfer venue, and asserts that
Plaintiff has failed to establish any basis for transferring
the case from Saint Paul to Duluth. See ECF No. 49.
This Court agrees.
the convenience of the 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). In
considering a motion to transfer under § 1404(a), the
court must consider: “(1) the convenience of the
parties, (2) the convenience of the witnesses, and (3) the
interests of justice.” Terra Int'l., Inc. v.
Miss. Chem. Corp., 119 F.3d 688, 691 (8th Cir. 1997).
The court's determination, however, is not limited to
these factors but “require[s] a case by case evaluation
of the particular circumstances at hand and a consideration
of all relevant factors.” Id. “[T]he
party seeking a transfer under section 1404(a) typically
bears the burden of proving that a transfer is
warranted.” Id. at 695. The moving party must
“show that the balancing of the . . . factors strongly
favors transfer.” Brockman v. Sun Valley Resorts,
Inc., 923 F.Supp. 1176, 1179 (D. Minn. 1996). Transfer
“should not be freely granted.” In re Nine
Mile Ltd., 692 F.2d 56, 61 (8th Cir. 1982).
“Merely shifting the inconvenience from one side to the
other . . . is not a permissible justification for a change
of venue.” Terra Int'l Inc., 119 F.3d at
Convenience of the parties
evaluating the convenience of the parties, courts may
consider the location of the two courthouses and the travel
expenses that the parties ‘would likely incur . . . for
airfare, meals, and lodging, and losses in productivity from
time spent away from work.'” Oien v.
Thompson, 824 F.Supp.2d 898, 903 (D. Minn. 2010)
(quoting In re Apple Inc., 602 F.3d 909, 913 (8th
Cir. 2010)). “However, it is axiomatic that convenience
to [the defendant's] counsel ‘is not a factor to be
considered in deciding the propriety of transfer.”
Nelson v. Soo Line R. Co., 58 F.Supp.2d 1023, 1027
(D. Minn. 1999) (quoting Hoppe v. G.D. Searle &
Co., 683 F.Supp. 1271, 1276 (D. Minn. 1988)).
present case, Plaintiff is a professor at the University of
Minnesota, and is currently in California on a two-year
contract with Google. ECF No. 49 at 2. Defendant is a
corporation headquartered in Arkansas. See ECF No.
45 at 5. Defendant argues that any inconvenience to the
parties based on venue being in Duluth as opposed to Saint
Paul is minimal. Id. Plaintiff disagrees, noting
that travel to Duluth for out of state parties and witnesses
is more expensive as there are fewer flights traveling to
Duluth than to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International
Airport. See ECF No. 49 at 10. Because Defendant has
not offered any reason that it would be more convenient for
it to litigate in Duluth, and because Plaintiff has made a
good showing that travel to Duluth would be more
expensive, the Court finds that the first factor, the
convenience of the parties, weighs in favor of not