Joseph v. Buffalo News, Inc.
MEMORANDUM regarding Motion to Transfer (D.I. 5 ), and Motion for Leave to Amend. Signed by Judge Richard G. Andrews on 8/3/2017. (nms)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE
JOEL D. JOSEPH,
: Civil Act. No. 16-1325-RGA
BUFFALO NEWS, INC.,
Plaintiff Joel D. Joseph, a resident of Los Angeles, California, filed this copyright
infringement action pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 101, et seq. (D.I. 1.) He was, and perhaps
is, a lawyer and appears pro se.
The action is brought against Buffalo News, Inc., a Delaware corporation. (Id. at
7). The Complaint alleges that on September 13, 2015, Defendant published an
article authored by Plaintiff in The Buffalo News and refused to compensate Plaintiff for
publication of the article. (Id. at mf 8-10). On February 2, 2017, Defendant filed a
motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment, and to transfer this
matter to the United States District Court for the Western District of New York (Buffalo
Division). (D.I. 5). Plaintiff opposes.
A civil action may be brought in: "(1) a judicial district in which any defendant
resides, ... ; (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions
giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property that is the subject of
the action is situated ... " 28 U.S.C. § 1391 (b). The court may transfer a case "[f]or the
convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, ... to any other district
or division where it might have been brought ... " 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
The affidavit of Joseph T. Giglia, vice-president of human resources and general
counsel for Defendant, states that: (1) The Buffalo News is a newspaper with its
principal place of business in Buffalo, New York; (2) Defendant is incorporated in the
State of Delaware; (3) Defendant does not have operations in the State of Delaware;
(4) Defendant's witnesses reside in or near Buffalo, New York; (5) Plaintiffs claim arose
in connection with transactions and communications exchanged between Plaintiff in
California and Defendant in Buffalo, New York; (6) the publication at issue took place in
Buffalo, New York; (7) no possible witnesses reside in Delaware; (8) all relevant records
will be located either in Buffalo, New York or California; and (9) Buffalo, New York has
an interest in the controversy as The Buffalo News is the main newspaper in the locale.
(D.I. 7 at pp.1-2).
Plaintiff states that he commenced the lawsuit in Delaware because:
(1) Defendant is incorporated in Delaware; (2) Delaware is a neutral forum; (3) the
records in question are primarily emails and are located on the parties' computers;
(4) it is easier for Plaintiff to fly nonstop from Los Angeles, California to Washington,
D.C., than for Plaintiff to fly from California to attend proceedings in Buffalo, New York; 1
and (5) Plaintiffs son lives in Washington, D.C., and it is more convenient for the case
to be heard in Wilmington (a short distance from Washington, D.C.) than in Buffalo,
There is little difference in terms of time and money between getting from Los
Angeles to Buffalo and from Los Angeles to Wilmington via Washington, D.C.
Here, none of the events or omissions giving rise to Plaintiff's claim occurred in
Delaware. Plaintiff could have brought the suit in the Western District of New York.
The only connection to Delaware is the fact that Defendant is incorporated in the State
of Delaware. The Court has considered the positions of both parties as well as the
allegations in the Complaint and finds that the interests of justice favor transferring the
action to the United States District Court for the Western District of New York (Buffalo
Division), where Defendant is located, where based upon the allegations, a substantial
part of the events giving rise to the claim took place, and where most of the witnesses
are located. See Jumara v. State Farm Ins. Co., 55 F.3d 873 (3d Cir. 1995) (listing
factors for courts to consider in relation to transfer motions). Other than Plaintiff's
choice of forum, there is no factor favoring keeping the case here. That choice is
clearly outweighed by the factors favoring transfer to the Western District of New York.
For the above reasons, the Clerk of Court will grant Defendant's motion to
transfer venue (D.I. 5) and will dismiss without prejudice to renew its motion to dismiss
or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. The Court will also dismiss without
prejudice to renew Plaintiff's motion for leave to amend (D.I. 16). The Clerk of Court
will be directed to transfer this action to the United States District Court for the Western
District of New York (Buffalo Division).
A separate order shall issue.
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