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Shirvani v. Xerox Education Services, LLC

United States District Court, Second Circuit

January 13, 2014

SADAF SHIRVANI a/k/a KRISTY SHIRVANI, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
XEROX EDUCATION SERVICES, LLC, f/k/a ACS EDUCATION SERVICES, INC., and U.S. BANK N.A., Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

ANDREW J. PECK, Magistrate Judge.

Presently before the Court is defendants' motion to transfer venue to the Northern District of New York pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), or alternatively, to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Dkt. No. 4: Xerox Mot.)

On September 20, 2013, Judge Baer granted Xerox's motion to transfer a similar case, brought against Xerox by an out-of-state plaintiff whose student loan Xerox serviced, to the Northern District of New York. Reynolds v. Xerox Educ. Servs., LLC, 13 Civ. 1003, 2013 WL 5303797 at *1-3 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 20, 2013). The Court agrees with Judge Baer's analysis, and for the reasons stated by Judge Baer in Reynolds and for the reasons set forth below, Xerox's motion to transfer is GRANTED.[1]

FACTS

Background

Shirvani resides in Washington State and consolidated three student loans into a single loan under the Federal Family Education Loan Program. (Dkt. No. 1: Compl. ¶ 8; Dkt. No. 7: Xerox Br. at 1.) U.S. Bank, with its principle place of business in Ohio and an office in Manhattan, owns the consolidated loan. (Compl. ¶ 10.) Xerox services the consolidated loan. (Compl. ¶ 9.)[2] The complaint does not allege that Shirvani had any dealings with U.S. Bank about the servicing of the loan. (See Xerox Br. at 1-2.) Rather, Shirvani alleges that Xerox engaged in a common scheme "to credit payments to student loans improperly to extract more interest from borrowers." (Compl. ¶ 2.) Xerox does not maintain any office or facility in the Southern District of New York. (Xerox Br. at 2; Dkt. No. 5: Broedel Aff. ¶ 3.) Shirvani alleges that she had communications with multiple Xerox employees, including Nancy Young, all of whom are employed in Xerox's Utica, New York office. (Compl. ¶¶ 29-33; Xerox Br. at 2; Broedel Aff. ¶ 4.)

ANALYSIS

I. LEGAL STANDARDS GOVERNING MOTIONS TO TRANSFER VENUE

"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 or to any district or division to which all parties have consented." 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. v. Gottdiener , 462 F.3d 95, 106 (2d Cir. 2006). "It is the defendant's burden to show, through clear and convincing evidence, that transfer is appropriate." Berger v. Cushman & Wakefield of Pa., Inc. , 12 Civ. 9224, 2013 WL 4565256 at *4 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 28, 2013); see also N.Y. Marine & Gen. Ins. Co. v. LaFarge N. Am.. Inc. , 599 F.3d 102, 113-14 (2d Cir. 2010). Such a showing requires "detailed factual statements' in support." Reynolds v. Xerox Educ. Servs., LLC, 13 Civ. 1003, 2013 WL 5303797 at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 20, 2013) (Baer, D.J.).

"In deciding a motion to transfer, courts commonly consider factors such as: (1) the plaintiff's choice of forum, (2) the convenience of witnesses, (3) the location of relevant documents and relative ease of access to sources of proof, (4) the convenience of parties, (5) the locus of operative facts, (6) the availability of process to compel the attendance of unwilling witnesses, (7) the relative means of the parties, (8) the forum's familiarity with the governing law, and (9) trial efficiency and the interests of justice, based on the totality of the circumstances." City of Sterling Heights Police & Fire Ret. Sys. v. Kohl's Corp., 13 Civ. 5158, 2013 WL 5656086 at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 9, 2013).[3] "The aforementioned factors aid in, and guide, this analysis; nevertheless, [t]here is no rigid formula for balancing these factors and no single one of them is determinative. Instead, weighing the balance is essentially an equitable task left to the Court's discretion."' Berger v. Cushman & Wakefield of Pa., Inc. , 2013 WL 4565256 at *4 (quoting Larew v. Larew, 11 Civ. 5771, 2012 WL 87616 at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 10, 2012)).

II. XEROX'S MOTION TO TRANSFER IS GRANTED

In this case, the following relevant factors weigh in favor of granting the motion to transfer to the Northern District of New York: convenience of the witnesses, location of the relevant documents and relative ease of access to the sources of proof, and locus of the operative facts.[4]

1. The Relevant Witnesses are Located in the Northern District

Courts in this Circuit have held that the "[c]onvenience of both the party and nonparty witnesses is probably the single-most important factor in the analysis of whether transfer should be granted."' Hoadley v. Money Gram Payment Sys., Inc., 08 Civ. 11192, 2009 WL 2001327 at *3 (S.D.N.Y. July 9, 2009) (quoting ...


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