UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
April 24, 1995
JM COMPUTER SERVICES, INC., Plaintiff, against SCHLUMBERGER TECHNOLOGIES, INC., Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: LORETTA A. PRESKA
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
LORETTA A. PRESKA, District Judge:
Defendant Schlumberger Technologies, Inc. ("Schlumberger") seeks to transfer the above-captioned action from the Southern District of New York to the Northern District of California. Plaintiff JM Computer Services, Inc. ("JS Computer") opposes such a transfer. Construing the parties' letters and the discussion at the conference held on April 20, 1995 to be the motion and plaintiff's response, defendant's motion is granted, and this case shall be transferred to the Northern District of California.
The statutory provision at issue in this action is § 1404(a), which states:
For convenience of 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 factors that a district court considering a § 1404(a) transfer include:
(1) the place where the operative facts occurred; (2) the convenience to parties; (3) the convenience of witnesses; (4) the relative ease of access to sources of proof; (5) the availability of process to compel attendance of unwilling witnesses; (6) the plaintiff's choice of forum; (7) the forum's familiarity with the governing law; and (8) trial efficiency and the interest of justice.
Associated Artists Entertainment, Inc. v. Walt Disney Pictures, 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18091, No. 93 Civ. 3934 (RJW), 1994 WL 708142 at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 19, 1994) (citations omitted). See also Carrie Forbes, Inc. v. Gap, Inc., 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17613, No. 94 Civ. 5337 (LLS), 1994 WL 693554 at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 9, 1994) (citations omitted).
In considering these factors in the context of the instant case, there is little doubt that transferring this action to the Northern District of California is appropriate. Neither party is a New York corporation or has its principal place of business in New York. (Def. 4/10/ 95 Ltr. at 3.)
More importantly, however, is the fact that most of the personnel responsible for Schlumberger's practices are located at its headquarters in San Jose, California, within the Northern District of California. (Def. 4/10/ 95 Ltr. at 2, 7.) In examining plaintiff's list of witnesses it deems likely to be called by the parties, it is apparent that there are more witnesses within the subpoena power of the Northern District of California than there are within the subpoena power of this Court. (Pl. 4/14/95 Ltr., Ex. 3.)
Finally, the principal documents relevant to this action are also located in San Jose. (Def. 4/10/ 95 Ltr. at 7.) Given these circumstances, transfer to the Northern District of California is appropriate.
At the conference, plaintiff argued that § 1404(a) does not apply to antitrust cases where venue is governed pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 22. However, such a position is certainly not supported by the statutory language,
and plaintiff has not cited any cases in support of its position. In fact, the cases indicate that § 1404(a) is applicable to cases such as these. E.g., United States v. National City Lines, Inc., 337 U.S. 78, 93 L. Ed. 1226, 69 S. Ct. 955 (1949) (holding that § 1404(a) is applicable to antitrust suits). Furthermore, courts have specifically rejected the argument that a § 1404(a) transfer is inappropriate in antitrust cases:
Notwithstanding the special venue provisions of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C.A. §§ 12, 22, a civil antitrust action may be transferred pursuant to 28 U.S.C.A. § 1404(a). Smithkline Corp. v. Sterling Drug, Inc., 406 F. Supp. 52, 56-7 (D. Dela. 1975); 1 Moore's Federal Practice §§ .144, .145[4.-1]. Thus, although the liberal venue provisions of the Clayton Act afford plaintiff a broad range of choice as to forum, the appropriateness of that choice must be measured by the standards of § 1404(a), which governs the transfer of an action properly brought. Ex Parte Collett, 337 U.S. 55, 69 S. Ct. 944, 93 L. Ed. 1207 (1949); Paramount Pictures v. Rodney, 186 F.2d 111 (3d Cir. 1950).
McGuire v. Singer Co., 441 F. Supp. 210, 213 (V.I. 1977). See also International Show Car Ass'n v. American Soc'y of Composers, Authors & Publishers, 806 F. Supp. 1308, 1312 (E.D. Mich. 1992).
In addition, courts have rejected the suggestion that a higher standard must be met in order to transfer antitrust cases. International Show Car Ass'n, 806 F. Supp. at 1312 (stating that "contrary to plaintiff's assertion that there is a higher standard for those seeking to transfer antitrust cases, . . . plaintiff's choice of forum need not be given additional weight merely because plaintiff brings an antitrust claim against defendants"). Consequently, plaintiff's suggestion that § 1404(a) is inapplicable to the instant case is incorrect, and is hereby
ORDERED that the instant case shall be transferred to the Northern District of California pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
Dated: New York, New York
April 24, 1995
LORETTA A. PRESKA, U.S.D.J.