United States District Court, D. Minnesota
JEN HOBAN d/b/a MASTERPIECE VAPORS; THE PLUME ROOM LLC; J.H.T. VAPE LLC; LAKES VAPE SUPPLY LLC; and TOBACCO HARM REDUCTION 4 LIFE, PLAINTIFFS,
UNITED STATES FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION; SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D., in his official capacity as Commissioner of Food and Drugs; and ALEX AZAR, in his official capacity as Secretary of Health and Human Services, DEFENDANTS.
N. ERICKSEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
move to transfer this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1404(a) to the United States District Court for the District
of Columbia. ECF Nos. 17, 19. Plaintiffs oppose the motion.
ECF No. 24. As set forth below, the Court grants the motion.
the five Plaintiffs before this Court currently reside in
Minnesota. Defendants are located in the D.C. metropolitan
area. ECF No. 1. On January 30, 2018, Plaintiffs filed a
Complaint against Defendants challenging the
constitutionality of the FDA's “deeming
rule.” Id. The “deeming rule”
“subjects e-cigarettes, vaping devices, and other
electronic nicotine delivery systems (among other products)
to regulation under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
in much the same manner as cigarettes and smokeless
tobacco.” ECF No. 19 at 2.
ask the Court to set aside the deeming rule for two reasons.
First, they assert that the FDA promulgated the deeming rule
in violation of the Appointments Clause of the United States
Constitution. Second, they argue that a premarket review
provision in the deeming rule violates the First Amendment.
ECF No. 1.
same day counsel for Plaintiffs filed the above case in this
Court, they filed a case in the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Texas and in the United States
District Court for the District of Columbia. See Moose
Jooce v. FDA, 18-cv-203 (D.D.C.); Rave Salon Inc. v.
FDA, 18-cv-237 (N.D. Tex.). The Texas and District of
Columbia cases raise the same challenges against the same
Defendants as those before this Court. The sole
difference is the Plaintiffs.
in the Texas case moved to transfer to the District of
Columbia, and the district court in Texas granted the motion.
ECF No. 28; Rave Salon Inc. v. FDA, 18-cv-237 (N.D.
Tex. June 4, 2018), ECF No. 27. To consolidate all three
cases, Defendants likewise move to transfer the case before
this Court to the District of Columbia.
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). To resolve a
motion to transfer, the Court must thus weigh three
categories of factors: “(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). As
to the third category-the interests of justice-courts should
consider the following factors, to the extent they are
(1) judicial economy, (2) the plaintiff's choice of
forum, (3) the comparative costs to the parties of litigating
in each forum, (4) each party's ability to enforce a
judgment, (5) obstacles to a fair trial, (6) conflict of law
issues, and (7) the advantages of having a local court
determine questions of local law.
Id. at 696.
must undertake a “case-by-case evaluation of the
particular circumstances at hand and a consideration of the
relevant factors.” Id. at 691. Though courts
have “much discretion, ” they generally give
“deference to a plaintiff's choice of forum.”
Id. at 695, 697. The party seeking to transfer bears
the burden of proving the need for it. Id. at 695.
balance of the above factors favors granting the ...