United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Victoria Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
F. ATLAS SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case is before the Court on the Motion for Inter-Divisional
and Intradistrict Transfer (“Transfer Motion”)
[Doc. # 80] filed by Plaintiffs Anthony and Michelle Davila.
Defendant Alcoa World Alumina LLC (“Alcoa”) filed
a Response [Doc. # 82], and Plaintiffs filed a Reply [Doc. #
Having reviewed the record and the applicable legal
authorities, the Court denies the Transfer Motion.
Davila (“Davila”), a resident of Port Lavaca,
Texas, worked as a supervisor for W-S Industrial Services,
Inc. (“WSI”). Alcoa hired WSI to perform
industrial cleaning services at Alcoa's facility in Point
Comfort, Texas. Port Lavaca and Point Comfort are located in
the Victoria Division of the Southern District of Texas. On
October 23, 2013, Davila was seriously injured while working
for WSI at the Alcoa facility.
December 31, 2013, Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit in state
court in Calhoun County, Texas. Defendant filed a timely
Notice of Removal [Doc. # 1], removing the case to the
Victoria Division, in which Calhoun County is located. On
November 29, 2016, Plaintiffs filed the pending Transfer
Motion seeking transfer of this case from the Victoria
Division to the Houston Division. The Transfer Motion has been
fully briefed and is now ripe for decision.
APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARD
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). Subject to the
provisions of § 1404(a), district courts have
“broad discretion in deciding whether to order a
transfer.” In re Volkswagen of Am., Inc., 545
F.3d 304, 311 (5th Cir. 2008) (en banc). The party
seeking to transfer venue bears the burden to “satisfy
the statutory requirements and clearly demonstrate that a
transfer is ‘[f]or the convenience of parties and
witnesses, in the interest of justice.'”
Id. at 315. Transfer is appropriate if the movant
demonstrates that the transferee venue is a clearly more
convenient venue. See In re Radmax, Ltd., 720 F.3d
285, 288 (5th Cir. 2013); In re Volkswagen, 545 F.3d
at 315. To “clearly demonstrate” that transfer is
proper, the movant must support the transfer request with
detailed sworn statements addressing the relevant §
1404(a) factors discussed below. See Jelec USA, Inc. v.
Safety Controls, Inc., 2006 WL 3358896, *5 (S.D. Tex.
Nov. 17, 2006) (Miller, J.).
determine whether the movant has satisfied the burden to
demonstrate good cause for a transfer of venue, the Court
considers certain private and public interest factors.
See In re Volkswagen, 545 F.3d 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. The Court
also considers the public interest factors: “(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. These factors “are not
necessarily exhaustive or exclusive” and “none .
. . can be said to be of dispositive weight.”
the Court “must also give some weight to the
plaintiffs' choice of forum.” Atl. Marine
Constr. Co., Inc. v. United States Dist. Court for Western
Dist. of Tex., ___ U.S. ___, 134 S.Ct. 568, 581 n.6
(2013); see also Weber v. PACT XPP Tech., AG, 811
F.3d 758, 767 (5th Cir. 2016).
Plaintiffs' Choice of Venue
case, Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit in Calhoun County, in the
Victoria Division of the Southern District of Texas, where
they resided at the time and where they currently reside.
Now, more than three years after the lawsuit was filed in a
state court in the Victoria Division, Plaintiffs seek to
change their choice of venue and have the case transferred to
Houston. Particularly in light of Plaintiffs' status as
movant, the Court will give some weight to their original
choice of venue.
Private Interest Factors
concede that the relative ease of access to sources of proof
is a neutral factor, and that there are unlikely to be
unwilling witnesses who are required to testify at trial. As