The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable David O. Carter, Judge
Julie Barrera Not Present Courtroom Clerk Court Reporter
ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR PLAINTIFFS: ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR DEFENDANTS: NONE PRESENT NONE PRESENT
PROCEEDING (IN CHAMBERS): GRANTING MOTION TO TRANSFER
Before the Court is Defendant American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc.'s ("Defendant" or "AHMSI") Motion to Transfer the Action Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) ("Motion to Transfer") (Docket 16). The Court finds this matter appropriate for decision without oral argument. FED. R. CIV. P. 78; Local R. 7-15. After considering the moving, opposing, and replying papers, the Court GRANTS the Motion to
Plaintiff Dr. Bradley-Brown ("Plaintiff") filed the present action on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated who have had a residential mortgage loan or line of credit serviced by Defendant, its affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions and/or predecessors, and been subjected to a force-placed hazard or flood insurance policy. Plaintiff alleges that if mortgagors fail to maintain required floor or hazard insurance policies, Defendant replaces borrowers' existing insurance policies with more expensive ones, known as "force-placed" insurance policies. Plaintiff asserts claims for violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 ("RESPA"), breach of contract (including breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing), violations of California's Unfair Competition Law, unjust enrichment/disgorgement, and declaratory and injunctive relief. On behalf of a proposed Pennsylvania subclass, Plaintiff asserts a claim for violations of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.
Defendant's corporation maintains its headquarters in Coppell, Texas. Plaintiff, a resident of Pennsylvania, filed her Complaint in the Central District of California. Defendant now seeks to transfer this case to the Northern District of Texas, claiming that it is a more convenient venue for the parties
28 U.S.C. § 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." The district court enjoys broad discretion in determining whether transfer is appropriate under section 1404(a). See Jones v. GNC Franchising, Inc., 211 F.3d 495, 498 (9th Cir. 2000) (citing Stewart Org., Inc. v. Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 29, 108 S.Ct. 2239 (1988)), cert. denied,531 U.S. 928, 121 S.Ct. 307 (2000). The moving party bears the burden of showing that transfer is appropriate. The Carolina Casualty Co. v. Data Broad. Corp., 158 F. Supp. 2d 1044, 1048 (N.D. Cal. 2001).
Two factors control the appropriateness of transfer under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). First, a court must determine whether "the case could have been brought in the forum to which transfer is sought." Inherent.com v. Martindale-Hubbell, 420 F. Supp. 2d 1093, 1098 (N.D. Cal. 2006); Hatch v. Reliance , 758 F.2d 409, 414 (9th Cir. 1985). After completing this step, the court must engage in an "individualized, case-by-case consideration of convenience and fairness." Jones, 211 F.3d at 498. The factors relevant to the court's determination include: "(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 nonparty witnesses; (8) the ease of access to sources of proof and (9) any relevant public policy of the forum Inherent.com, 420 F. Supp. 2d at 1098 (citing Jones, 211 F.3d at 498-99).
Defendant seeks to transfer this case to this Northern District of Texas. Because both parties agree that the case could have been brought in the Northern District of Texas, see Opposition, 5, fn. 2, the Court will begin its inquiry at the convenience and fairness stage. The Court agrees with Defendant's argument that the Northern District of Texas is a more convenient venue because (1) most witnesses and documents are located in Texas; (2) Texas is significantly more convenient for Defendants and will not be any less convenient for Plaintiff; (3) the ...