Hineline v. Elgin Joliet & East
ORDER denying as moot 15 Motion to Transfer Case filed by Defendant Elgin Joliet and Eastern Railway Company and DIRECTING Defendant to re-file venue transfer motion by July 9, 2012: For the reasons stated in the attached Order, the Court denies/mo ots Defendant's July 2, 2012 venue transfer motion and ORDERS Defendant to re-file the motion (correcting several minor errors therein) on or before July 9, 2012. See Order for details. (Action due by 7/9/2012.) Signed by Judge Michael J. Reagan on 7/3/2012. (soh )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
ELGIN, JOLIET AND EASTERN
Case No. 02-cv-0738-MJR-PMF
ORDER REGARDING VENUE TRANSFER MOTION
REAGAN, District Judge:
Ten years ago, William Hineline filed suit in this Court against his former
employer (Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway Company) under the Federal Employers’
Liability Act and the Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act. Hineline alleged that he was
injured by his on-the-job exposure to asbestos-containing products while he worked in
Defendant’s various railroad facilities, including the shops in and around Gary, Indiana
(Complaint, Doc. 1, ¶ 5).
The case was assigned to Judge William D. Stiehl in this
Court. In September 2002, the case was transferred to the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania, as part of MultiDistrict Litigation (MDL) Panel Docket
Over two months later, on November 20, 2002, Defendant filed in this
District Court a motion to transfer venue to either the Northern District of Indiana or the
Northern District of Illinois. (The motion was actually included in the same document
as Defendant’s answer, Doc. 3.) Because the case was no longer pending in this District
and Judge Stiehl no longer enjoyed jurisdiction to rule on motions, the Clerk’s Office
mooted the motion immediately.
In April 2012, the case was remanded to this District from the MDL Court.
When the case came back to this District, Judge Stiehl recused. The case was randomly
reassigned to the undersigned Judge, who recently conducted a telephone conference to
discuss scheduling issues. During the telephone conference, Defendant raised the issue
of venue. The Court noted that no motion was pending here (indeed, a check of the
docketing information revealed that no motion was ever properly filed here), but
Defendant could file a venue transfer motion, and the Court would promptly rule
On July 2, 2012, Defendant (now known as Gary Railway Company) filed
a “Motion to Transfer Venue” (Doc. 15).
The motion asks the undersigned Judge to
transfer this case to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
or the Northern District of Illinois, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a).
The Court is
cognizant that defense counsel endeavored to quickly file the motion, as encouraged by
the Court. The undersigned Judge DIRECTS counsel to re-file the motion to correct a
number of errors therein.
First, as to docketing errors, the motion bears an incorrect case number (it
still bears Judge Stiehl’s initials in the caption, lacks Judge Frazier’s initials, and should
instead say “Case No. 02-cv-0738-MJR-PMF”). Additionally, attached to the motion is a
certificate of service with blank signature lines. If all parties are represented by counsel
who participate in electronic filing, no signed certificate of service is needed (electronic
service of the “Notice of Electronic Filing” satisfies the certificate of service
requirement). But if a certificate of service is used, it should be signed (not left blank as
on Defendant’s motion). See, e.g., Electronic Case Filing Rule 9.
Two substantive errors bear note as well. First, the motion does not cite
the venue provision(s) under which venue is proper for this action, whether that is 28
U.S.C. § 1391(b)(1) or § 1391(b)(2) or § 1391(b)(3).
Second, the motion states that
Defendant filed its venue motion in this Court on November 20, 2002, the motion “was
not responded to nor ruled upon,” and the case “was transferred to the MDL panel”
(Doc. 15, p. 1). This is incorrect in that the motion was not filed here until two months
after the case left this District and was pending in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
For that reason, the Clerk’s Office of this Court cleared/mooted the motion
immediately upon its filing here.
Simply put, Defendant’s transfer motion appears well-taken, but the
Court finds it prudent to get an accurate and complete motion on file before ruling on
the issue. The Court DIRECTS Defendant to re-file its venue motion, using a proper
case number and certificate of service, and including an explanation of (and citation to)
the venue provision under which venue is proper for this action.
correct these minor errors and re-file its venue motion by July 9, 2012. Plaintiff should
still respond by July 11, 2012. Any docketing questions (regarding electronic case filing
requirements, certificates of service, etc.) may be addressed to the Clerk’s Office of this
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated July 3, 2012.
s/ Michael J. Reagan
Michael J. Reagan
United States District Judge
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