United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division
RODRIGUEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Order Granting Defendants' Motion to Transfer (Docket no.
16) entered March 17, 2017, this case was transferred to the
U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. Now before
the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Findings and
Reconsider Ruling on Transfer (Docket nos. 18, 20) and
Defendants' Response to Plaintiff's Motion (Docket
no. 22). After careful consideration, the motion to amend and
reconsider is DISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction.
Ernest Bustos, a citizen of Texas, filed his original
petition in this breach of contract action in state court on
January 14, 2016, and Defendant Dennis removed the case to
federal court on January 20, 2017. Docket nos. 1, 1-2.
Plaintiff has since filed an amended complaint, in which he
alleges that all defendants are citizens of Nevada. Docket
live complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he entered into an
insurance distribution contract with Defendants in 2015. Docket
no. 9 at 5. Plaintiff alleges that he “was to act as an
independent contractor for marketing and selling”
Defendants' “Tri-Funding” insurance products.
Id. at 4-5. Based on Plaintiff's allegations,
the contract describes a hierarchical sales
model and multi-level marketing distribution
scheme,  which would allow Plaintiff to enlist
others to sell the insurance products. Id.
According to Plaintiff, the contract stipulated that he would
receive training and on-going support throughout the contract
term. Id. at 7-8. Plaintiff alleges that rather than
helping him develop his “distribution system of agents,
” Defendants ignored him and instead engaged
in dealings with an unlicensed third-party that recruited
others who might have otherwise joined Plaintiff's
distribution system. Id. at 8.
removing to this Court, Defendant Dennis filed a motion to
transfer venue under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) on January 27,
2017. Docket no. 5. Dennis bases the motion on a
forum-selection clause in the contract which states:
“[a]ny litigation proceeding will be governed by and in
the State of Nevada.” Docket no. 5 at 2. Plaintiff
filed his opposition to transfer on February 13, and Dennis
replied on February 24. Docket nos. 10, 13.
Court granted the Motion to Transfer Venue on March 17, 2017.
Docket no. 16. The case was closed that day and transferred
from the Western District of Texas to the District of Nevada,
where a new file was opened on March 20, 2017. Docket no. 17;
Bustos v. Dennis, et al., Case no.
2:17-CV-00822-KJD-VCJ (D. Nev. March 20, 2017). On April 3,
2017, Plaintiff filed a motion to amend and reconsider this
Court's March 17 order granting transfer to Nevada.
Docket nos. 18, 20.
This Court lost jurisdiction to hear this case once transfer
to the District of Nevada was complete.
seems uncontroversial . . . that a transfer to another
circuit removes the case from our jurisdiction, and numerous
circuits have stated that rule plainly.” In re Red
Barn Motors, Inc., 794 F.3d 481, 484 (5th Cir. 2015). In
addition, “[i]t is well established that ‘[o]nce
the files in a case are transferred physically to the court
in the transferee district, the transferor court loses all
jurisdiction over the case, including the power to review the
transfer.'” Auto. Body Parts Ass'n. v. Ford
Glob. Techs., LLC., 2015 WL 1517524, at *1 (E.D. Tex.
Apr. 2, 2015) (quoting Schwartz v. Curtis, 2008 WL
4467560, at *1 (S.D. Tex. Oct. 2, 2008)); see also
Chrysler County Corp v. Country Chrysler, Inc., 928 F.2d
1509, 1517 (10th Cir. 1991) (“The date the papers in
the transferred case are docketed in the transferee court . .
. forms the effective date that jurisdiction in the
transferor court is terminated.”).
Fifth Circuit addressed this question in In re Sw. Mobile
Homes, Inc., 317 F.2d 65, 66 (5th Cir. 1963). There, the
district court granted the defendants' motion to transfer
at a hearing where both parties were present. Id.
Three days later, the Northern District of Texas transferred
the case to the District of Colorado. Id. Then, two
days after the case had been transferred and docketed in the
transferor court, the party opposed to transfer filed a
motion for leave to file a petition for mandamus.
Id. As another court said of the decision in Sw.
Mobile Homes, “the Fifth Circuit noted that the
petitioner had not seasonably moved for a stay within which
to seek review of the transfer, ” and that the district
court had lost jurisdiction. Auto. Body Parts, 2015
WL 1517524, at *2 (“[I]t was ‘extremely
doubtful' whether the Fifth Circuit still ‘ha[d]
the power to compel the District Judge to vacate his order
transferring the action.'”); see also March v.
ABM Sec. Servs., Inc., 2010 WL 148405, *1 (S.D. Tex.
Jan. 12, 2010) (holding that the court lacked jurisdiction to
consider Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of a
decision to transfer because the record had already been
transmitted to the transferor court).
this Court granted the motion to transfer on March 17 and
transferred the case on March 21. Plaintiff did not file his
motion to reconsider until April 3-thirteen days after the
transfer-and never moved to stay the transfer order. Docket
nos. 16, 17, 18. The case was transferred and docketed in the
District of Nevada weeks before Plaintiff took any action
with respect to this Court's transfer decision.
Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion to reconsider is
dismissed because the Court lacks jurisdiction to reconsider
The underlying decision to transfer the case was
this Court had jurisdiction to consider Plaintiff's
motion for reconsideration, the Court would not alter its
ruling. Plaintiff contends that the forum-selection clause
(“Any litigation proceeding will be governed by and in
the State of Nevada”) is permissive, and argues that
the Court misapplied the relevant transfer factors under 28
U.S.C. § 1404(a). The Court disagrees on both points
“For 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 or to any district or division to which all
parties have consented.” 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). As
will be explained, the normal § 1404(a) analysis
involves an inquiry into private interest factors and public
interest factors. But this normal analysis changes
significantly where there is a valid forum-selection clause.
Thus, the Court will first re-examine the forum-selection
clause in this case and then re-examine the § 1404(a)
analysis in light of that clause.
The forum-selection ...