The opinion of the court was delivered by: CEDARBAUM
Defendants C. M. Exploration Co., Inc., CM Exploration Company, John B. Cummings and Roger Mills move to dismiss this action pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(3) for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue. Defendants move alternatively to transfer this action to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404 (a). For the reasons discussed below, defendants' motion to transfer is granted.
Plaintiff Longwood Resources Corporation ("Longwood") is engaged in the development of oil and gas properties. It is a Connecticut corporation with its principal place of business in Stamford, Connecticut. Plaintiffs Albert F. Thanhauser and Yvonne A. Thanhauser are citizens of the state of Connecticut. Plaintiff Dory Ellen Fish is a citizen of the state of Pennsylvania.
Defendant C. M. Exploration Co., Inc. ("C. M. Exploration") is involved in the drilling and testing of oil and gas wells in Oklahoma. It is an Oklahoma corporation with its principal place of business in Seminole, Oklahoma. Defendant CM Exploration Company, formerly an Oklahoma partnership, no longer exists. Defendant John B. Cummings, President of C. M. Exploration, is a citizen of Oklahoma. Defendant Roger Mills, a former officer and shareholder of C. M. Exploration, is also a citizen of Oklahoma.
This action arises out of the sale of a 20% working interest in oil and gas leases for the Bane well in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma.
Plaintiffs allege that despite repeated demands, defendants have failed to assign to them their interests in the Bane well and to provide them with division orders. They also allege that defendants sold their rights to the Bane well in April, 1997, including plaintiffs' interest, to Tripower Resources, Inc. without plaintiffs' authorization, and that at the time of the sale, the value of this interest had been drastically reduced through the defendants' mismanagement and dissipation of assets.
Plaintiffs sue for breach of contract, restitution, conversion, fraudulent inducement, mismanagement and negligent dissipation of assets as well as violation of federal and Oklahoma securities statutes.
Defendants' motion to transfer venue is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1404 (a) which provides, "For the 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."
In support of their transfer motion, defendants argue that the seminal events which gave rise to this action occurred in Oklahoma and that nearly all of the witnesses and documents which must be produced are there. Defendants also contend that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over them.
While I find defendants' arguments regarding the locus of events giving rise to this action and the location of witnesses and documents persuasive, the most compelling reason for transferring this action to Oklahoma is this court's lack of personal jurisdiction over the defendants. Press v. ...