United States District Court, D. Arizona
JOHN J. TUCHI, District Judge.
At issue is Defendant Dependable Highway Express, Inc. dba The Dependable Companies and Dependable Logistics Solutions' Motion to Transfer Venue to the Central District of California Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) (Doc. 15, Mot.), to which Plaintiff Triple Buy LLC filed a Response (Doc. 17, Resp.), and Defendant filed a Reply (Doc. 19, Reply). The Court finds this matter appropriate for decision without oral argument. See LRCiv 7.2(f). For the following reasons, the Court will deny the Motion.
This case arises out of a shipment from Fremont, California to Phoenix, Arizona of 2, 080 laptop computers from Asus Computer International (the "Shipment"). Triple Buy alleges that it purchased the 2, 080 laptop computers from Asus on or around March 5, 2014, and on or about March 6, 2014, it accepted Dependable Highway Express ("DHE")'s offer to deliver the laptops and paid DHE $2, 200.00. Triple Buy alleges that several hours before the laptops were to be picked up in Fremont, California, DHE informed Triple Buy that it brokered out the delivery of the laptops to an outside carrier. On March 6, 2014, a truck owned by Westline Freight, Inc. ("Westline"), and driven by Bayron Jose Vallecillo, arrived to pick up the Shipment. On or about March 7, 2014, while en route to Phoenix, Mr. Vallecillo stopped to have a meal in Ontario, California, and parked the truck in the parking lot of the restaurant. When he returned, the truck was missing. The truck was recovered the next day, but the laptops were missing.
Plaintiff initially filed this case in Arizona state court alleging the following claims: 1) fraud against DHE; 2) negligent misrepresentation against DHE; 3) breach of contract and the covenant of good faith and fair dealing against DHE; 4) broker negligence against DHE; 5) negligence against DHE and Westline; and 6) statutory liability under 49 U.S.C. § 14706 against DHE and Westline. (Doc. 1-1, Ex. A, Compl.) On July 14, 2015, DHE filed a Notice of Removal (Doc. 1). As of Plaintiff's Response to this Motion, Plaintiff had not yet served Westline. The Court now resolves Defendant DHE's Motion to Transfer Venue.
II. LEGAL STANDARD
Section 1404(a) provides that "[f]or the convenience of the 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." 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). The purpose of this statute "is to prevent the waste of time, energy and money and to protect litigants, witnesses and the public against unnecessary inconvenience and expense." Airbus DS Optronics GmbH v. Nivisys LLC, No. CV-14-02399-PHX-JAT, 2015 WL 3439143, at *2 (D. Ariz. May 28, 2015) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). It is the defendant's burden to show transfer is warranted and "[t]he defendant must make a strong showing of inconvenience to warrant upsetting the plaintiff's choice of forum." Decker Coal Co. v. Commonwealth Edison Co., 805 F.2d 834, 843 (9th Cir. 1986); see also Jones v. GNC Franchising, Inc., 211 F.3d 495, 499 (9th Cir. 2000).
Courts employ a two-step analysis when determining whether a transfer is proper. Airbus DS Optronics, 2015 WL 3439143, at *2. First, a court considers whether "the case could have been brought in the forum to which the moving party seeks to transfer the case." Id. In order to meet this requirement, the court in the proposed transferee district "must have subject matter jurisdiction and proper venue, and the defendant must be amenable to service of process issued by that court." Id. "Second, a court must consider whether the proposed transferee district is a more suitable choice of venue based upon the convenience of the parties and witnesses and the interests of justice." Id. The Ninth Circuit has set forth factors that a court may consider in making this determination:
(1) the location where the relevant agreements were negotiated and executed, (2) the state that is most familiar with the governing law, (3) the plaintiff's choice of forum, (4) the respective parties' contacts with the forum, (5) the contacts relating to the plaintiff's cause of action in the chosen forum, (6) the differences in the costs of litigation in the two forums, (7) the availability of compulsory process to compel attendance of unwilling non-party witnesses, and (8) the ease of access to sources of proof.
Jones, 211 F.3d at 498-99.
Defendant moves to transfer this action to the Central District of California pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Plaintiff does not challenge the motion to change venue on the basis that the Central District of California is not a proper venue for this lawsuit. (Resp. at 2.) Accordingly, the Court limits its analysis to whether the convenience of the parties and witnesses and interests of justice justify a change of venue.
A. Location of Agreement Negotiation
Defendant contends that this factor favors transfer because the transaction at issue was negotiated electronically and the paperwork for the transaction was generated in California. (Mot. at 10.) The Court disagrees. Because the agreement was negotiated electronically, and each party negotiated from their own respective offices in California and Arizona, there is no reason to believe that transfer to California ...