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Wainwright v. Thomas

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division

September 30, 2014

LAUREN SHAY WAINWRIGHT, Plaintiff,
v.
MATTHEW THOMAS, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

W. KEITH WATKINS, Chief District Judge.

Before the court are Defendant Matthew Thomas's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction and Improper Venue (Doc. # 6) and Plaintiff's Motion to Transfer Venue (Doc. # 14). Based upon careful consideration of the arguments of counsel, the relevant law, and the record, Defendant's motion to dismiss is due to be denied and Plaintiff's motion to transfer is due to be granted. This action, which undisputedly is in the wrong venue, will be transferred in the interest of justice to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a).

I. JURISDICTION AND VENUE

The court exercises subject-matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Defendant objects to personal jurisdiction and venue.

II. STANDARDS OF REVIEW

A. Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

A Rule 12(b)(2) motion tests the court's exercise of personal jurisdiction over a defendant. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2). Where a Rule 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss is decided without an evidentiary hearing, a plaintiff bears the burden of "establish[ing] a prima facie case of personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant." Madara v. Hall, 916 F.2d 1510, 1514 (11th Cir. 1990). Allegations in the complaint are presumed true, if uncontroverted by the defendant's evidence. Id.

B. Motion to Dismiss for Improper/Wrong Venue

The federal venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a), applicable in this diversity action, provides that venue is proper in:

(1) a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same state;
(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; or
(3) a judicial district in which any defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction at the time the action is commenced, if there is no district in which the action may otherwise be brought.

Id.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3) permits a defendant to move to dismiss a complaint for "improper venue, " and 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a) provides that "[t]he district court of a district in which is filed a case laying venue in the wrong... district shall dismiss, or if it be in the interest of justice, transfer such case to any district... in which it could have been brought." Rule 12(b)(3) and § 1406(a) authorize dismissal, therefore, when venue is "improper" or "wrong" in the district in which the plaintiff commenced this action. Additionally, § 1406(a) permits a transfer to an appropriate forum "in the interest of justice, " even if personal jurisdiction over the defendant is lacking. See Goldlawr, Inc. v. Heiman, 369 U.S. 463, 466 (1962) ("The language of [§] 1406(a) is amply broad enough ...


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