Erickson Productions Inc et al v. Kraig R Kast

Filing 452

ORDER Denying 448 Motion for Intradistrict Transfer filed by Kraig Rudinger Kast. Case Management Statement due by 6/28/2023. Further Case Management Conference set for 7/5/2023 01:30 PM in Oakland, - Videoconference Only. Signed by Chief Mag istrate Judge Donna M. Ryu on 5/19/2023. (dmrlc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/19/2023)Any non-CM/ECF Participants have been served by First Class Mail to the addresses of record listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 ERICKSON PRODUCTIONS INC, et al., Plaintiffs, 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 Case No. 13-cv-05472-DMR ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR INTRADISTRICT TRANSFER v. KRAIG RUDINGER KAST, et al., Re: Dkt. No. 448 Defendants. On April 5, 2023, the Ninth Circuit reversed this court’s February 12, 2021 judgment 13 awarding Plaintiffs Erickson Productions, Inc. and Jim Erickson $450,000 in statutory damages 14 for Defendant Kraig Kast’s willful copyright infringement and remanded the case for a jury trial 15 on the issues of willfulness and statutory damages. Erickson Prods., Inc. v. Kast, No. 21-15459, 16 2023 WL 2783243, at *2 (9th Cir. Apr. 5, 2023). On April 24, 2023, Kast, who is representing 17 himself, filed a motion to withdraw his consent to magistrate judge jurisdiction and to reassign the 18 case to the San Francisco courthouse. [Docket No. 448.] On April 26, 2023, Chief Judge Richard 19 Seeborg denied Kast’s motion to withdraw consent and noted that determination of the transfer 20 motion was reserved for the undersigned. [Docket No. 450.] The motion to transfer is suitable for 21 resolution without a hearing. Civ. L.R. 7-1(b). 22 Kast asks the court to move the trial to the San Francisco courthouse, which the court 23 construes as a motion to transfer the action from the Oakland Division to the San Francisco 24 Division of this district. Under the Local Rules, transfers to a different division are permitted in 25 certain circumstances: 26 27 28 Whenever a Judge finds, upon the Judge’s own motion or the motion of any party, that (1) a civil action has not been assigned to the proper division within this district in accordance with this rule, or (2) that the convenience of the parties and witnesses and the interests of justice will be served by transferring the action to a different division within United States District Court Northern District of California 1 the district, the Judge may order such transfer, subject to the provisions of the Court’s Assignment Plan. 2 Civ. L.R. 3-2(h). Subsection (2) of the rule is consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 1404(b), which provides 3 that “[u]pon motion, consent or stipulation of all parties, any action, suit or proceeding of a civil 4 nature or any motion or hearing thereof, may be transferred, in the discretion of the court, from the 5 division in which pending to any other division in the same district.” Intradistrict transfers 6 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(b) “are discretionary transfers subject to the same analysis as under 7 28 U.S.C. [§] 1404(a), which governs interdistrict transfers.” Stribling v. Picazo, No. 15-CV- 8 03337-YGR, 2018 WL 620146, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 30, 2018). Section 1404(a) states, “[f]or the 9 convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court may transfer any 10 civil action to any other district or division where it might have been brought or to any district or 11 division to which all parties have consented.” Kast argues that the San Francisco courthouse is closer to his home and is more accessible 12 13 to him via public transportation, although he does not state where he lives.1 Kast asserts that he 14 does not have access to a car and that a trial in Oakland would be a “hardship” for him. Mot. 10. 15 According to Kast, traveling to Oakland from his home “would be time consuming and expensive 16 and make it difficult for [him] to prepare his defense, appear in pre-trial meetings and appear for 17 trial.” Id. 18 Given the existence of numerous public transportation options close to the Oakland 19 courthouse, as well as the close proximity of the courthouses in the two divisions, the court 20 concludes that Kast has failed to show that he or any other party or witness would face any 21 difficulty or hardship if they are required to appear for trial or other proceedings in Oakland. 22 Accordingly, the motion to transfer is denied. See Safarian v. Maserati N. Am., Inc., 559 F. Supp. 23 2d 1068, 1072 (C.D. Cal. 2008) (where there was “only a modest distance” between courthouses 24 at issue, concluding that “the convenience of the parties and witnesses does not strongly favor one 25 Division over the other” and denying motion for intradistrict transfer). The court will conduct a further case management conference via Zoom webinar on July 5, 26 27 28 1 Kast’s mailing address is a post office box in Foster City, California. 2 2023 at 1:30 p.m. A joint CMC statement is due by June 28, 2023. 2 S a onn Judge D H ER 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 FO RT 8 R NIA ______________________________________ Donna M. Ryu Chief Magistrate Judge M. Ryu 7 United States District Court Northern District of California DERED O OR IT IS S NO 6 Dated: May 19, 2023 LI 5 UNIT ED 4 IT IS SO ORDERED. RT U O 3 ISTRIC ES D TC T A T A 1 N F D IS T IC T O R C

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