McGlathery v. Corizon, Inc., et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER directing the 8 motion to transfer is granted and this lawsuit is transferred in its entirety to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, as further set out. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 3/30/12. (Furnished to Calendar and AG.)(Term'd: Final PTC 03/08/2012 and Jury Trial 04/01/2012.) (Attachments: # 1 Civil Appeals Checklist)(scn, )
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, NORTHERN DIVISION
GARON L. McGLATHERY,
CORIZON, INC., et al,
CIVIL ACTION NO.
OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Garon L. McGlathery brought state-law claims
Amendment deliberate-indifference claim, as enforced by 42
U.S.C. § 1983, against the following defendants: Corizon,
Inc., Correctional Medical Services, Inc., Doctor Gregory
Nayden, and Warden Freddie Butler.
filed suit in Montgomery County Circuit Court, but Corizon
removed the case to this federal court in the Middle
District of Alabama.
The case is now before this court on
Corizon’s motion to transfer to the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
reasons that follow, the motion will be granted.*
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404, a district court may
transfer a civil action to any other district in which it
might have been brought for “the convenience of parties
and witnesses, in the interest of justice.”
federal courts normally accord deference to a plaintiff’s
choice of forum in ruling on motions to transfer, the
burden is on the movant to show that the suggested forum
* While McGlathery alleged that he and one of the
defendants are Alabama residents” and thus while there is
jurisdiction at the time of removal, McGlathery has filed
an amended complaint that added an Eight Amendment claim.
Thus, this court now has federal-question jurisdiction
over this case. See Grubbs v. General Electric Credit
Corp., 405 U.S. 699 (1972) (holding that if jurisdiction
existed at the time of judgment, improper removal count
not be raised for the first time on appeal); Cotton v.
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insur. Co., 402 F.3d 1267, 1280
(11th Cir. 2005) (explaining how an amended complaint can
create jurisdiction even if it did not exist at the time
of removal); Barbara v. New York Stock Exchange, Inc., 99
F.3d 49, 55-56 (2d Cir. 1996) (“A federal appellate court
will not remand a case to state court ... if the federal
district court would have had subject matter jurisdiction
if the suit had been filed in federal court in the
posture it had at the time of the entry of final
is more convenient or that litigation there would be in
the interest of justice.
In re Ricoh Corp., 870 F.2d 570,
573 (11th Cir. 1989) (per curiam).
However, a district
court has “broad discretion in weighing the conflicting
Industries, Inc., 856 F.2d 1518, 1520 (11th Cir. 1988).
A court faced with a motion to transfer must engage in an
“individualized, case-by-case consideration of convenience
and fairness.” Stewart Organization, Inc. v. Ricoh Corp.,
487 U.S. 22, 29 (1988).
Resolution of a transfer motion requires a two-step
First, the court must determine whether the
action could “originally have been brought in the proposed
transferee district court.” Folkes v. Haley, 64 F. Supp.
2d 1152, 1155 (M.D. Ala. 1999) (DeMent, J.).
court “must decide whether the balance of convenience
Factors to consider when making
this second determination include:
“(1) the convenience of the witnesses;
(2) the location of relevant documents
and the relative ease of access to
sources of proof; (3) the convenience of
the parties; (4) the locus of operative
facts; (5) the availability of process
to compel the attendance of unwilling
witnesses; (6) the relative means of the
parties; (7) a forum's familiarity with
the governing law; (8) the weight
accorded a plaintiff's choice of forum;
and (9) trial efficiency and the
interests of justice, based on the
totality of the circumstances.”
Manuel v. Convergys Corp., 430 F.3d 1132, 1135 n.1 (11th
As McGlathery concedes this case could have
been brought in the Northern District of Alabama, the sole
question is whether the balance of these factors militates
in favor of a transfer.
Hamilton Correctional Facility in Marion County, which is
located in the Northern District of Alabama.
The witnesses and documents are also
in the Northern District.
Moreover, the Northern District
is more convenient for the parties, given that all the
Huntsville. While McGlathery presumably has less financial
means than the defendants do, this factor cannot logically
support keeping the case in this court, since McGlathery
himself resides in the Northern District.
concludes that the Northern District of Alabama is the
forum that most advances trial efficiency and the interests
The sole reason to hear this case in the Middle
District is that it is the federal forum to which this case
was removed by Corizon. The normal heft of the plaintiff’s
District is not McGlathery’s “home forum,” the “presumption
in the plaintiff’s favor applies with less force, for the
assumption that the chosen forum is appropriate is then
Sinochem Int’l Co. v. Malaysia Int’l
quotation marks omitted).
Indeed, McGlathery admits that
he filed this case in the Montgomery County Circuit Court
rather than in Marion County because he interpreted an
Alabama venue statute to require that suits involving state
prisons be filed in Montgomery County.
whether McGlathery correctly interpreted Alabama’s venue
statute, a defendant may move to transfer after removal.
Hollis v. Florida State University, 259 F.3d 1295, 1296
(11th Cir. 2001) (holding that “[u]pon removal the question
of venue is governed by federal law, not state law”).
Accordingly, it is the ORDER, JUDGMENT, and DECREE of
the court that the motion to transfer (Doc. No. 8) filed
by defendant Corizon, Inc., is granted and this lawsuit is
transferred in its entirety to the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
The clerk of the court is DIRECTED to take appropriate
steps to effect the transfer.
This case is closed.
DONE, this the 30th day of March, 2012.
/s/ Myron H. Thompson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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