Code-Jet, Inc v. Independent Ink, Inc.
Memorandum Opinion and Order. Case transferred to the Central District of California. (Ordered by Judge John McBryde on 9/16/2016) (trt)
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NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEX S
FORT WORTH DIVISION
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MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Carne on for consideration the "Specially Appearing Defendant
Inc.'s Rule 12 (B) (2) Motion to Dismiss for Lack
of Personal Jurisdiction Subject Thereto and in the Alternative
its Motion to Transfer Venue under 28 U.S.C. §1404(A)" filed on
August 22, 2016,
in the above-captioned by defendant,
Inc. After having considered the motion, the opposition of
Inc., to the motion, defendant's reply, and
applicable authorities, the court has concluded that the action
should be transferred to the United States District Court for the
Central District of California.
Background and Procedural History
On June 22, 2016, plaintiff, a Utah corporation that
operates principally within Texas, sued defendant, a California
corporation that operates principally in California, in the
District Court of Tarrant County, Texas,
96th Judicial District,
alleging claims for breach of contract and misrepresentation
arising from the sale of allegedly defective ink developed and
manufactured by defendant that was purchased by plaintiff in
2012 . Doc . 1 at App. 1. 1 On August 16, 2016, defendant removed
the case to this court, asserting subject matter jurisdiction
under 28 U.S.C.
1332, and on August 22, 2016, defendant moved
to dismiss or transfer the case.
Defendant seeks dismissal on the grounds that plaintiff has
failed to sufficiently plead the Court's personal jurisdiction
over defendant , arguing that defendant lacks sufficient minimum
contacts with Texas and that asserting such jurisdiction would
offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.
Doc. 8 at 1-2. For support in this claim, defendant "requests an
evidentiary hearing be set by the Court on its Motion Dismiss for
Lack of Personal Jurisdiction wherein Plaintiff has the burden to
prove its grounds for personal jurisdiction by a preponderance of
the evidence . " Id. at 2. Alternatively, defendant seeks transfer
of the cause of action "to the United St ates District Court for
The " Doc. _ " references are to the numbers assigned to the referenced documents on the docket of th is
case, No . 4: 16-CV -764-A.
the Central District of California because of a valid
forum-selection clause executed between the parties." Id.
Relevant Legal Principle
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1404, "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" when such transfer is "for the
"convenience of parties and witnesses and in the interest of
justice." "[A] proper application of§ 1404(a) requires that a
forum-selection clause be 'given controlling weight in all but
the most exceptional cases.' Atl. Marine Const. Co. v. U.S. Dist.
s. Ct. 568, 579 (2013) (quoting
Court for W. Dist. of Texas, 134
Stewart Org., Inc. v. Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 33
(Kennedy, J., concurring)). Thus,
"[o]nly under extraordinary
circumstances unrelated to the convenience of the parties should
a§ 1404(a) motion be denied." Atl. Marine, 134 S. Ct. at 581
(emphasis added) . When a court concludes that the forum selection
cause requires transfer of the cause, the court need not
determine the propriety of exercise personal jurisdiction over
defendant in the transferor forum and instead may transfer the
cause to the contractually selected venue. See Goldlawr,
Heiman, 369 U . S. 463, 466
(1962); Ellis v. Great Sw . Corp., 646
F.2d 1099, 1107 (5th Cir. 1981).
After a study of defendant's motion to transfer venue,
plaintiffs response, and the applicable legal authorities, the
court has concluded that defendant's motion to transfer venue
should be granted.
Defendant's motion to transfer venue is based upon an
agreement between the parties that provides:
"Any legal action or any controversy , claim or dispute
arising from the interpretation or enforcement or from
a breach or alleged breach of this Agreement shall be
heard or tried only in the courts of the State of
California, County of Los Angeles or the Federal
District Court for the Central District of
. Both parties hereby submit to the
jurisdiction of the court(s) so designated , to the
exclusion of any other court(s) which might have
jurisdiction apart from this section . "
Doc. 10 at App. 8 (emphasis added). In opposing the defendant ' s
motion, plaintiff does not dispute the applicability of the forum
selection clause or provide any basis for overcoming the strong
presumption of enforcability of such a clause. Instead, plaintiff
focuses almost exclusively on the issue of personal jurisdiction
before briefly asking that the court give deference to the
plaintiff's choice of forum.
As explained above, such
considerations are of no importance in determining whether to
enforce a presumptively valid forum selection agreement and thus
provide no basis for denying defendant ' s motion to transfer .
Therefore , the court grants defendant ' s alternative motion to
For the reasons discussed herein , the court ORDERS that the
above-captioned action be, and is hereby, transferred to the
United States District Court for the Central District of
SIGNED September 16 , 2016.
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