Cameron Mutual Insurance Company v. Lewellen et al

Filing 14

ORDER granting in part and denying in part 7 Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss; granting 11 Defendant's Motion to Change Venue to Helena, Arkansas. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 1/23/2013. (jak)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS JONESBORO DIVISION CAMERON MUTUAL INSURANCE CO. v. PLAINTIFF/ COUNTER DEFENDANT No. 3:12-cv-238-DPM ROY LEWELLEN and DORIS LEWELLEN DEFENDANTS/ COUNTER CLAIMAINTS ORDER Cameron Mutual has moved to dismiss the Lewellens' counterclaim for bad faith and counterclaims under the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Trade Practices Act. Document No. 7. The Lewellens concede that the ADTPA and ATPA claims must go. Document No.9. But they argue, and the Court agrees, that their pleading gives enough notice of their counterclaim for bad faith. It is thin but plausible. The Court notes, however, that the Lewellens have a high hill to climb. McClellan v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 3:10-cv-84-DPM, 2011 WL 4737046, at *2-3 (E.D. Ark. 7 Oct. 2011). We'll see what discovery reveals. The Lewellens have moved for a change of venue. Document No. 11. Cameron Mutual says that it's too soon to make a fact-based decision about the better divisional venue. Document No. 13. This is a stall. The Lee Countycentered nature of this dispute, and the location of most of the likely witnesses, is obvious. Cameron Mutual's choice of the Jonesboro division carries much weight. But the convenience of likely witnesses, and the roots of the case, outweigh that choice. If the case looks different when any trial is imminent, then the Court will reconsider on motion at Cameron Mutual's request. Motion, Document No. 7, granted in part and denied in part. Motion, Document No. 11, granted. The Court thanks Cameron Mutual and the Lewellens for recognizing that, as Judge Richard S. Arnold used to say, brief is an adjective as well as a noun. So Ordered. D.P. Marshall Jr.~ United States District Judge -2-

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