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JENKINS v. WILSON FREIGHT FORWARDING CO.

April 29, 1952

JENKINS et al.
v.
WILSON FREIGHT FORWARDING CO., Inc. et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: KAUFMAN

The defendants seek to transfer this action to the United States District Court, for the District of New Jersey, sitting at Newark, New Jersey, for the convenience of parties and witnesses and in the interests of justice under the provisions of Title 28, U.S.C. § 1404(a).

I shall first deal with the criteria used to determine whether transfer is in order. The required elements for transfer are those enumerated by the Supreme Court in Gulf Oil Corporation v. Gilbert, 1947, 330 U.S. 501, 67 S. Ct. 839, 91 L. Ed. 1055 and by the District Court and the United States Court of Appeals, second Circuit, in Ferguson v. Ford Motor Company, D.C.S.D.N.Y. 1950, 89 F.Supp. 45; Ford Motor Co. v. Ryan, 2 Cir., 1950, 182 F.2d 329, certiorari denied 1950, 340 U.S. 851, 71 S. Ct. 79, 95 L. Ed. 624. Generally, the criteria to be considered are the relative ease of access to sources of proof; availability of compulsory process for attendance of unwilling witnesses; and other practical considerations that make trial of a case easy, expeditious and inexpensive. Dolly Toy Co. v. Bancroft-rellim Corp., D.C.S.D.N.Y. 1951, 97 F.Supp. 531.

 In order to sustain their position, the defendants offer the affidavit of their attorney, Daniel Oppenheim, a member of the bar of the State of New Jersey. He asserts that this case should be transferred because:

 (1) a request will be made at the trial to permit the jury to visit the scene of the accident;

 (2) the case requires interpretation of New Jersey law since the accident occurred at Route 17, in Ramsey, New Jersey;

 (3) the individual defendant is a resident of New Jersey and the corporate defendant is incorporated in Ohio but licensed to do business in New Jersey;

 (4) two New Jersey State troopers will be called to testify;

 (5) there are seven other witnesses who are residents of New Jersey who witnessed the accident or whose testimony will be material at the trial. Four of the witnesses are residents of New Jersey who come from the towns of Mahwah, Ramsey, New Milford and Cresskill. In addition, the coroner of Bergen County, New Jersey, a toxicologist from Newark, New Jersey, and a person from Erie, Pennsylvania, are listed as witnesses;

 (6) it will take longer to be reached for trial in the Southern District of New York than it will in the District Court of New Jersey.

 Plaintiffs submit an affidavit of David H. Moses, their attorney, who answers the defendants' assertions by alleging that:

 (1) one of the plaintiffs is a resident of Hillburn, Rockland County, New York; the other is a resident of Suffern, Rockland County, and witnesses are scattered throughout Rockland County;

 (2) the accident occurred on State Highway Route 17, in Bergen County, New Jersey, about three-quarters of a mile south of the New York State line. This area is adjacent to Suffern, New York;

 (3) most of the witnesses for the plaintiffs and defendants will be found in this area;

 (4) it will be more convenient for the witnesses to travel to the Courthouse at Foley Square in New York City than to the Courthouse at Newark, New Jersey; most of the rail, bus lines and highways emanate from New York City and it is more convenient to travel from northern New Jersey and Rockland County to the ...


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