Bank of Brewton v. The Travelers Companies, Inc. et al
ORDER that Bank of Brewton's 17 Motion for the Court to Reconsider its Transfer of Venue is DENIED as further set out in the order. Signed by Honorable Judge Mark E. Fuller on 8/5/2013.(dmn, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
BANK OF BREWTON,
THE TRAVELERS COMPANIES, INC.,
CASE NO. 2:13-cv-151-MEF
(WO—Do Not Publish)
Before the Court is Plaintiff Bank of Brewton’s Motion for the Court to Reconsider
its Transfer of Venue (Doc. #17) filed on April 10, 2013. Upon consideration of the venue
issues briefed by the parties, the Court finds this motion is due to be DENIED.
Plaintiff Bank of Brewton (“Plaintiff”), a community bank located in Brewton,
Escambia County, Alabama, originally filed this insurance-coverage action alleging breach
of contract and bad faith in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Alabama, on February
15, 2013. (Doc. #1-4.) On March 11, 2013, Defendants St. Paul Guardian Insurance
Company and the Travelers Companies, Inc. (“Defendants”) properly removed this action
to federal court. (Doc. #1.)
On March 12, 2013, Defendants moved to transfer venue to the Southern District of
Alabama. (Doc. #2.) The Court gave the parties the opportunity to brief the issues relevant
to the transfer decision, and once the issues were ripe for disposition, the Court entered an
order granting Defendants’ Motion to Transfer Venue. (Doc. #16.)
In that Order, the Court decided that venue was improper in the Middle District of
Alabama. (Doc. #16.) In its Motion for the Court to Reconsider its Transfer of Venue,
Plaintiff argues that venue was proper in the Middle District of Alabama due to the residency
of Defendants, which are corporations, citing 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(b)(1), 1391(c)(2), and
1391(d). (Doc. #17, at 1–3.) The Court does not find this argument meritorious.
Even if venue is proper in the Middle District, changing venue is within the district
court's broad discretion. See 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Section 1404(a) provides:
For the convenience of the 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.
The Eleventh Circuit has further provided courts with the following factors to consider on
a motion to transfer venue pursuant to Section 1404(a):
(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 Cir. 2005).
Considering these factors, the Court finds that they weigh in favor of a transfer of
venue to the Southern District of Alabama. The Court finds particularly significant the fact
that the locus of operative facts is in the Southern, as opposed to the Middle, District. See
id. This is an insurance-coverage case involving whether Bank of Brewton, a community
bank located in Brewton, Alabama, sustained a covered loss. (Doc. #1-4, at 1.) Brewton,
Alabama is located in Escambia County in the Southern District. The Court believes it
preferable for controversies to be resolved where they arise, which in this case would be the
Southern District. Furthermore, the Court finds that venue in the Southern District is
supported by the convenience of the non-party witnesses primarily located in Brewton, the
location of relevant documents and sources in Brewton, and the interests of justice, based on
the totality of the circumstances, including the location of the Bank of Brewton. See id.
Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendants’ motion (Doc. #17) is DENIED.
DONE this the 5th day of August, 2013.
/s/ Mark E. Fuller
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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