United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
DENNIS R. SERAMUR d/b/a DENNIS & SONS BUILDERS, Individually and as the Representative of a Class of Similarly-Situated Persons, Plaintiff,
FEDERAL INSURANCE COMPANY and ROTOBRUSH INTERNATIONAL LLC, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. BOYLE, JUDGE
12, 2019, Plaintiff Dennis R. Seramur d/b/a Dennis & Sons
Builders, individually and as the representative of a class
of similarly-situated persons, filed suit in this division
against Federal Insurance Company (“Federal”) and
Rotobrush International, LLC (“Rotobrush”). Doc.
same time, Plaintiff filed a notice of a related cases,
The instant insurance coverage action is related to the
following civil case(s) previously pending in this Court:
Dennis R. Seramur d/b/a Dennis & Sons Builders v.
Rotobrush International, LLC, and John Does 1-5, ”
filed as No. 2:16-cv-00277, in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Indiana, and later
transferred pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), to the
Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, where it was
assigned No. 4:16-cv-1087 (the “Underlying
Action”). Judgment was entered in the Underlying Action
by United States Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton on
November 29, 2017 (Dkt. No. 64).
Doc. 2, Notice, 1. Given the related action previously
adjudicated in the Fort Worth Division, the Court considers
whether a sua sponte transfer to that division is
has broad discretion to transfer a case under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1404(a). Jarvis Christian Coll. v. Exxon
Corp., 845 F.2d 523, 528 (5th Cir. 1988). Specifically:
Section 1404 transfers are authorized “[f]or the
convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of
justice....” Decisions to effect a 1404 transfer are
committed to the sound discretion of the transferring judge,
and review of a transfer is limited to abuse of that
Id. (upholding a sua sponte interdistrict
transfer); Mills v. Beech Aircraft Corp., Inc., 886
F.2d 758, 762 (5th Cir. 1989) (upholding a sua
sponte transfer to a different division within the same
district about 150 miles away).
assessing a transfer under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), courts
examine eight private and public factors. In re
Volkswagen of Am., Inc., 545 F.3d 304, 315 (5th Cir.
2008) (en banc)(citing Gulf Oil Corp. v.
Gilbert, 330 U.S. 501 (1947)). “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. (internal quotations
omitted). The public interest factors are: (5) “the
administrative difficulties flowing from court
congestion;” (6) “the local interest in having
localized interests decided at home”; (7) “the
familiarity of the forum with the law that will govern the
case”; and (8) “the avoidance of unnecessary
problems of conflict of laws or in the application of foreign
law.” Id. The balance of these factors must
clearly weigh in favor of transferring to the new venue.
Id. “When the transferee forum is no more
convenient than the chosen forum, the plaintiff's choice
should not be disturbed.” Thomas v. City of Fort
Worth, 2008 WL 4225556, at * 2 (N.D. Tex. Sept. 15,
and private factors aside, a court must also independently
consider how much weight to assign a plaintiff's choice
of forum. Davis v. City of Fort Worth, 2014 WL
2915881, at *2 (N.D. Tex. June 25, 2014). That amount changes
depending on whether a plaintiff has filed suit within his
home forum or outside of it. “A plaintiff's choice
is normally entitled to deference, but when she files suit
outside her home forum, the weight accorded to the choice is
diminished.” Id. (internal citations
omitted)(quoting Sivertson v. Clinton, 2011 WL
4100958, at *4 (N.D. Tex. Sept. 14, 2011)).
addition, a court must ensure that a plaintiff could have
brought that action in the new location originally. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1404(a). A plaintiff could have brought an action in a
district or division initially if, at the time he filed the
action: (1) any defendant resided in that district or
division and (2) all defendants resided within the state. 28
U.S.C. § 1391(b)(1). Venue is also proper in “a
judicial district in ...