Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Strehl v. Zale Corporation

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

April 13, 2017

ZALE CORPORATION d/b/a Zales Outlets AND CRAIG REALTY GROUP d/b/a Outlets at Silverthorne, Defendants.



         Plaintiffs Norman and Regina Strehl, husband-and-wife citizens of Arkansas, allege that, while they were on vacation in Silverthorne, Colorado, on December 26, 2015, Regina slipped, fell, and injured herself while entering a Zales Outlet jewelry store located at The Outlets of Silverthorne, an open-air outlet mall. See Dkt. No. 3.

         This pro se tort action, filed in January 2017, is based on that incident, and the Strehls have sued Zale Corporation, a Delaware corporation with its corporate offices in Irving, Texas, in the Dallas Division of this district, and Craig Realty Group, a California corporation, alleged to own, develop, and manage The Outlets at Silverthorne. See id.

         This case has been referred to the undersigned United States magistrate judge for pretrial management under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and a standing order of reference from United States District Judge David C. Godbey.

         Both defendants have answered. See Dkt. Nos. 8 & 15. And Craig Realty has moved to transfer this case, under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), to the District of Colorado. See Dkt. Nos. 7 & 8. The Strehls have filed a response in opposition to that motion. See Dkt. No. 14. Craig Realty has filed a reply brief. See Dkt. No. 17. And, while Zale Corporation has not weighed in on the pending motion to transfer, its answer asserts that venue is not proper in this district. See Dkt. No. 15 at 1, 2-3, & 9.

         For the reasons explained below, Craig Realty's motion to transfer should be granted, and this action should be transferred to the District of Colorado.

         Legal Standards and Analysis

         Section 1404(a) provides that, “[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.” In applying Section 1404(a), the Court must first determine “whether the judicial district to which transfer is sought would have been a district in which the claim could have been filed.” In re Volkswagen AG, 371 F.3d 201, 203 (5th Cir. 2004) (“Volkswagen I ”). Once this initial determination is made, the Court

turn[s] to the language of § 1404(a), which speaks to the issue of “the convenience of parties and witnesses” and to the issue of “in the interest of justice.” The determination of “convenience” turns on a number of private and public interest factors, none of which [is] given dispositive weight. The private concerns include: (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. The public concerns include: (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 of the application of foreign law.

Id. (citations omitted).

         Transfer of venue under Section 1404(a) is at the Court's discretion, considering “‘[a]ll relevant factors to determine whether or not on balance the litigation would more conveniently proceed and the interests of justice be better served by transfer to a different forum.'” El Chico Restaurants of Tex., Inc. v. Carroll, No. 3:09-cv-2294-L, 2010 WL 2652286, at *2 (N.D. Tex. June 29, 2010) (quoting Peteet v. Dow Chem. Co., 868 F.2d 1428, 1436 (5th Cir. 1989)).

         A plaintiff's original choice of forum is entitled to some deference, which dictates that the moving party must “demonstrate[ ] that the transferee venue is clearly more convenient.” In re Volkswagen of Am., Inc., 545 F.3d 304, 315 (5th Cir. 2008) (“Volkswagen II ”). But, while a plaintiff's choice of forum “should be respected” unless “the transferee venue is clearly more convenient, ” a plaintiff's “choice of forum ... is not an independent factor within ... the § 1404(a) analysis.” Id. at 314 n.10, 315. Rather, “a plaintiff's choice of venue is to be treated as a burden of proof question.” Id. at 314 n.10 (internal quotation marks omitted).

         As an initial matter, the Court determines that this action could have been brought in the District of Colorado. Civil diversity actions, such as this one, may be brought in “a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, ” among other locations. 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2); see, e.g., Osgood v. Discount Auto Parts, LLC, 981 F.Supp.2d 1259, 1264 (S.D. Fla. 2013) (“Here, Plaintiff's accident occurred in Lake City, which is located in the Middle District of Florida. Thus, this case could have been brought there in the first instance.” (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2)); cf. Dover v. Resort Cos., Inc., Civ. No. 2:12-cv-03785 (WJM), 2013 WL 827432, at *1 (D.N.J. Mar. 6, 2013) (“[U]nder 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2), venue is proper only in the Western District of Virginia, as the only event giving rise to the claim - Derrick Dover's alleged slip and fall - occurred in Rockingham, Virginia.”).

         The Fifth Circuit's convenience factors also weigh in favor of transferring the action to the District of Colorado, as the only connection to this district is that ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.