JEFFREY D. REYNOLDS, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
XEROX EDUCATIONAL SERVICES, LLC, s/h/i as XEROX EDUCATIONAL SERVICES, INC., and WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., Defendants.
OPINION & ORDER
HAROLD BAER, Jr., District Judge.
Before the Court is a motion to dismiss for improper venue and under the doctrine of forum non conveniens, or in the alternative, a motion to transfer to N.D.N.Y. or W.D.V.A., pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) (2012), brought by Defendants Xerox Education Services LLC ("Xerox") and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (collectively "Defendants") against Plaintiff Jeffrey Reynolds. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion to dismiss is DENIED, and Defendants' motion to transfer to N.D.N.Y. is GRANTED.
In June 1993, Plaintiff consolidated four student loans into one loan in the total principal amount of $22, 636.97 (the "Consolidated Loan"). (Compl. ¶¶ 6, 10). Defendant Xerox Educational Services is the servicer of the Consolidated Loan. (Compl. ¶ 7). Defendant Wells Fargo is the current owner of the Consolidated Loan. (Compl. ¶ 8). Plaintiff alleges Defendants benefitted from the misapplication of his payments on his Consolidated Loan, and that this policy of misapplying payments was "embedded in its processing equipment." (Compl. ¶¶ 2-3). Plaintiff does not dispute that he communicated by both phone and mail with a Xerox office in Utica, New York. (Plaintiff's Opp. Brief. at 9).
II. LEGAL STANDARDS & DISCUSSION
A. Improper Venue
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(1) (2012), venue is proper in "a judicial district in which any defendant resides, if all defendants are residents of the State in which the district is located." Defendants do not dispute that both Defendants Xerox and Wells Fargo are residents of the state of New York, and that Defendant Wells Fargo is a resident of this district. (Defs.' Mem. at 3-4). As such, venue is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(1).
B. Forum Non Conveniens
It is well established in this circuit that forum non conveniens only applies to transfers to foreign venues. See Dorfman v. Marriot Int'l Hotels, Inc., No. 99 Civ. 10496 (CSH), 2001 U.S. Dist LEXIS 642, at *20-21 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 29, 2001) ("Congressional enactment [after Gulf Oil Corp. v. Gilbert, 330 U.S. 501 (1947)] of 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), which authorizes transfers between federal courts, relegated common law forum non conveniens to cases where the transfer is proposed to a foreign venue." (citing DiRienzo v. Phillip Servs. Corp., 232 F.3d 49, 56 (2d. Cir. 2000) rev'd on other grounds, 249 F.3d 21 (2d Cir. 2002))). Here, where transfer is proposed to another United States district court, forum non conveniens is not appropriate.
C. Transfer to N.D.N.Y.
1. Legal Standard
A district court may transfer venue "for the convenience of the parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice." 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). "District courts have broad discretion in making determinations of convenience under Section 1404(a) and notions of convenience and fairness are considered on a case-by-case basis." D.H. Blair & Co., Inc. v. Gottdiener, 462 F.3d 95, 106 (2d Cir. 2006) (quoting In re Cuyahoga Equip. Corp., 980 F.2d 110, 117 (2d Cir.1992)). "[T]he party requesting transfer carries the burden of making out a strong case for transfer.'" N.Y. Marine & Gen. Ins. Co. v. Lafarge N. Am., Inc., 599 F.3d 102, 114 (2d Cir. 2010) (quoting Filmline (Cross-Country) Prods., Inc. v. United Artists Corp., 865 F.2d 513, 521 (2d Cir.1989)) (internal quotation marks omitted). The movant must provide "detailed factual statements" in support. Orb Factory, Ltd. v. Design Sci. Toys, Ltd., 6 F.Supp.2d 203, 208 (S.D.N.Y. 1998), s ee also N.Y. Marine, 599 F.3d at 113-14 (2d Cir. 2010).
When considering whether to transfer venue, a court should consider several factors, including: (1) the plaintiff's choice of forum, (2) the convenience of the witnesses, (3) the location of relevant documents and relative ease of access to sources of proof, (4) the convenience of the parties, (5) the locus of operative facts, (6) the availability of process to compel the attendance of ...