United States District Court, D. New Jersey
WILLTOW. MARTINI, U.S.D.J.
Nancy Brandler ("Plaintiff) brings this negligence
action for injuries she suffered while being transported from
Defendant Baywood Hotels, Inc. i/p/a Marriot Springhill
("Defendant's") Jacksonville, Florida property to
the local airport. The matter comes before the Court on
Defendant's motion to transfer to the United States
District Court for the Middle District of Florida. ECF No. 6.
For the reasons set forth below, the motion is
to the Complaint, Plaintiff stayed at Defendant's hotel
during a 2018 vacation in Jacksonville, Florida. Compl. at 4,
ECF No. 1. Defendant contracted with Metro Executive
Transportation of Jax, LLC ("Metro"), a Florida
corporation, to provide an airport shuttle service.
Id. at 3-4. Metro's employee, Steven Michael
Rose, drove Plaintiff from Defendant's hotel to the
Jacksonville airport on April 26, 2018. Id. at 5.
Rose purportedly fell asleep while driving, causing the
vehicle to strike a tree, thus injuring Plaintiff.
filed this negligence suit against Defendant, Metro, and
Rose. After "amicably adjust[ing the matter] by and
between" Plaintiff, Rose, and Metro, Plaintiff
voluntarily dismissed Metro and Rose from the case. Stip. of
Dismissal, ECF No. 2. Presently before the Court is
Defendant's motion to transfer the matter to the United
States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
28 U.S.C. 1404(a), "[f]or 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." "Therefore, in
deciding a motion to transfer, the Court must first determine
whether the alternative forum is a proper venue."
Kane v. Ollie's Bargain Outlet Holdings, Inc.,
18-cv-3475, 2018 WL 6168085, at *2-3 (D.N.J. Nov. 26, 2018).
Venue in the Middle District of Florida
proposes the United States District Court for the Middle
District of Florida as the alternative venue, asserting the
suit could have been brought there. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1391, venue is proper in "a judicial district in
which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving
rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property
that is the subject of the action is situated."
the parties agree the accident giving rise to this suit
occurred in Jacksonville, Florida, located in Defendant's
proposed alternative forum. Therefore, the Middle District of
Florida is a proper venue. See id.
The Section 1404(a) Factors
Once proper venue is established, the decision whether to
transfer falls in the sound discretion of the trial court.
However, the burden of establishing the need for transfer
rests with the movant. In exercising its discretion and
ruling on this motion, a court applies a balancing test that
takes into account the three factors enumerated in Section
1404(a): (1) the convenience of the parties; (2) the
convenience of the witnesses; and (3) the interests of
justice.. . . The first two factors have been refined into a
non-exhaustive list of private and public interest factors
for a court examine and balance.
Kane, 2018 WL 6168085, at *2-3 (cleaned up).