United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. Russell, Senior Judge United States District Court
matter is before the Court upon a motion to dismiss this
action, or in the alternative, to transfer this action to the
Bowling Green Division of the Western District of Kentucky by
Defendant Seneca Specialty Insurance Company, Inc.
("Seneca"). [DN 5]. Plaintiff David Miller has
responded, [DN 8], and Seneca has replied [DN 9]. Fully
briefed, Defendant's motion is ripe for review, and for
the following reasons, it is DENIED.
October 10, 2013, a fire damaged Plaintiffs commercial
building in Elkton, Kentucky and damaged Plaintiffs personal
property located on the premises as well. [DN 1 at 2].
Defendant insured Plaintiffs business. [Id] In his
complaint, Plaintiff claims that he submitted a valuation
report to Defendant as proof of loss but that Defendant has
failed to pay under the terms of the insurance policy and
that Defendant has been unwilling to negotiate under the
terms of the contract. [Id.At3].
filed this action in the Western District of Kentucky,
Paducah Division. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a) and Local
Rule of Civil Practice 3.2, Defendant claims that venue is
improper in the Paducah Division of the Western District of
Kentucky and seeks to dismiss this action, or in the
alternative, transfer this action to the Bowling Green
Division of the Western District of Kentucky. [DN 5].
law provides that "[a] civil action may be brought in .
. . a judicial district in which a substantial part of the
events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred."
28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2). "The district court of a
district in which is filed a case laying venue in the wrong
division or district shall dismiss, or if it be in the
interest of justice, transfer such case to any district or
division in which it could have been brought." 28 U.S.C.
§ 1406(a). Even if venue is proper, however, "[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). "Once
challenged, Plaintiff bears the burden of showing that its
initial choice of venue is proper." Sechel Holdings,
Inc. v. Clapp, No. 3:12-CV-00108-H, 2012 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 108298, 2012 WL 3150087, at *2 (W.D. Ky. Aug. 2,
2012) (Heyburn, J.) (citing Crutchfield v. Santos,
No. 5:07-CV-94-R, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86558, 2007 WL
4124713, at *1 (W.D. Ky. Nov. 19, 2007) (Russell, J.)).
"The Court may examine facts outside the complaint but
must draw all reasonable inferences and resolve factual
conflicts in favor of the plaintiff." NHCLC-Seattle,
LLC v. Kauffman, No. 13-12804, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
174421, 2013 WL 6474197, at *2 (E.D. Mich. Dec. 10, 2013)
(quoting Audi AG & Volkswagen of Am., Inc. v.
Izumi, 204 F.Supp.2d 1014, 1017 (E.D. Mich. 2002)).
is no statutory requirement that venue in federal civil cases
be laid in a particular division within a district. In re
Gibson, 423 Fed.Appx. 385, 388 (5th Cir. 2011). Both the
Western and Eastern Districts of Kentucky, however, have
adopted Joint and Local Rules of Civil Practice which contain
standardized procedures for the assignment and transfer of
civil actions filed within the district. The local rules
"must be construed ... to secure the just, efficient and
economical determination of civil actions." Local Rule
1.1. Local Rule 3.2(f) addresses the transfer of venue, it
Any civil action or proceeding may, in the discretion of the
Court, be transferred from the jury division in which it is
pending to any other division for the convenience of the
Court, parties, witness, or in the interest of justice.
standards of the general venue transfer statutes-28 U.S.C.
§ 1404 and § 1406-apply to motions to transfer
under the local rules, including motions for intra-district
transfers. See Monroe v. Walmart Stores Texas, LLC,
2012 WL 3887006, *4 (E.D. Tex. 2012). Where venue is proper
in the district where the action is pending, 28 U.S.C.
1404(a) provides that for "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." In deciding
whether to transfer a case § 1404(a) requires a two-part
analysis. The Court must first determine if the action could
have originally been filed in the transferee district.
Van Dusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 616 (1964). If
so, the Court must then determine "whether, on balance,
a transfer would serve 'the convenience of the parties
and witnesses' and otherwise promote 'the interest of
justice.'" Atl. Marine. Constr. Co. v. U.S.
Dist. Court for the W. Dist. of Tex., 134 S.Ct. 568, 581
(2013) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a)).
second step in the Court's analysis requires it to
evaluate various private and public-interest factors,
typically "giv[ing] some weight to the [plaintiffs]
choice of forum." Id. Factors relevant to the
parties' private interests include (1) the convenience of
the parties, (2) the convenience of the witnesses, (3) the
accessibility of relevant evidence, (4) the availability of
compulsory process to make reluctant witnesses testify, (5)
the cost of obtaining willing witnesses' testimony, and
(6) any other practical problems that make trial of a case
easy, expeditious, and inexpensive. Reese v. CNH Am.
LLC, 574 F.3d 315, 320 (6th Cir. 2009); see also
Atl. Marine, 134 S.Ct. at 581 n.6. Relevant
public-interest factors include (1) administrative
difficulties flowing from court congestion, (2) the local
interest in deciding the controversy at home, and (3) in a
diversity case, the interest of having the trial in a forum
familiar with governing law. Atl. Marine, 134 S.Ct.
at 581 n.6. While this list of factors is non-exhaustive, it
is illustrative of the issues typically considered by the
courts of this Circuit. "As the permissive language of
the transfer statute suggests, district courts have
'broad discretion' to determine when party
'convenience' or 'the interest of justice'
make a transfer appropriate." Reese, 574 F.3d
at 320. The movant bears the burden of showing that transfer
is appropriate. Boiler Specialists, LLC v. Corrosion
Monitoring Servs., Inc., No. 1:12-CV-47, 2012 WL
3060385, at *2 (W.D. Ky. July 26, 2012) (collecting cases).
in the Western District of Kentucky is proper under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1391(b)(2) because a substantial part of the events
giving rise to this claim occurred in Todd County, Kentucky.
In fact, both parties agree that the events giving rise to
this claim occurred in the Western District of Kentucky [DN 5
at 2; DN 8 at 1-2]. Because venue is proper in the ...