FULTZ v. ROTHERMEL et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER THAT THE MOTION OF DEFENDANTS TO TRANSFER THIS ACTION TO THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA; ETC.. SIGNED BY HONORABLE HARVEY BARTLE, III ON 11/6/17. 11/6/17 ENTERED AND E-MAILED.(jl, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
JACOB L. FULTZ
JACOB C. ROTHERMEL, et al.
November 6, 2017
Plaintiff, a former Pennsylvania State Trooper, has
brought this action against defendants, Jacob C. Rothermel, a
Pennsylvania State Trooper, and Tyree C. Blocker, the State
Police Commissioner, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for denial of his
right to equal protection under the Constitution.
also alleges a claim for tortious interference with contract
under Pennsylvania law.
The defendants have filed a motion to transfer venue
to the United States District Court for the Middle District of
Pennsylvania pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) which provides:
For the convenience of 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.
It is undisputed that plaintiff as well as defendant
Rothermel are residents of the Middle District of Pennsylvania
while defendant Blocker is a resident of Chester County in the
It is also conceded that all of the relevant
events alleged in the complaint occurred in the Middle District.
In addition, the office of the plaintiff’s counsel is in
Mechanicsburg in Cumberland County in the Middle District while
the Deputy Attorney General, the counsel for the defendants, has
his office in Harrisburg in Dauphin County, also in the Middle
Since one of the defendants resides in the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania and both defendants reside in the
Commonwealth, venue is proper in this District under 28 U.S.C.
Venue is also proper in the Middle District not
only under § 1391(b)(1) because one of the two Pennsylvania
defendants resides there but also under § 1391(b)(2) because “a
substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the
claim[s] occurred” in that district.
The question before the
court is simply whether defendants have established that it is
appropriate to transfer the action to the Middle District under
§ 1404(a) and the admitted facts of the case.
The analysis is
governed by the decision of our Court of Appeals in Jumara v.
State Farm Insurance Co., 55 F.3d 873, 879 (3d Cir. 1995).
The Court in Jumara outlined a series of private and
public interests that the court should consider in deciding
whether to transfer a case “for the convenience of the parties
and witnesses, in the interest of justice.”
The Court has
cautioned that in the process the “plaintiff’s choice of venue
should not be lightly disturbed.”
Id. at 879.
plaintiff’s choice is not dispositive, particularly where all
other factors favor transfer.
See, e.g., Askerneese v.
NiSource, Inc., No. 12-7167, 2013 WL 1389750, at *2 (E.D. Pa.
April 4, 2013).
We need not engage in a detailed discussion.
it to say the relevant public and private interests set forth in
Jumara strongly point to the transfer of the action to the
Middle District of Pennsylvania.
The plaintiff, one of the two
defendants, and all of the relevant events occurred there.
one defendant who resides in the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania has his office as Pennsylvania State Police
Commissioner in the Middle District.
is also located in that District.
The plaintiff’s attorney
The only factor favoring
denial of the motion to transfer is plaintiff’s choice to sue
With the scales tipping so far in favor of transfer,
plaintiff’s choice of forum is an insufficient reason under the
circumstances to keep the case in this jurisdiction.
In sum, defendants have met their burden of proof.
Accordingly, their motion for transfer of the action under
§ 1404(a) to the United States District Court for the Middle
District will be granted.
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