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Sapatumoe`Ese Maluia v. Corrections Corp. of America

January 6, 2012

SAPATUMOE`ESE MALUIA PLAINTIFF,
v.
CORRECTIONS CORP. OF AMERICA, INC., DAREN SWENSON, TODD THOMAS, BEN GRIEGO, STEVE WILLIAMSON, TRIPLETT, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Barry M. Kurren United States Magistrate Judge

TRANSFER ORDER

Plaintiff is a Hawaii state prisoner incarcerated at the Saguaro Correctional Center ("SCC"), in Eloy, Arizona.*fn1 On December 7, 2011, Defendants Corrections Corporation of America ("CCA"), CCA Regional Director of Operations Daren Swenson, SCC Warden Todd Thomas, SCC Assistant Warden Ben Griego, SCC Investigator Steve Williamson, and SCC Mailroom staff employee Triplett timely removed this action from the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b). See ECF #1. Before the court is Defendants' Motion to Change Venue, ECF #5. In the interests of justice and for the convenience of the parties and witnesses this action is TRANSFERRED to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff commenced this action in the state court on November 21, 2011. See ECF #1, Ex. A, Compl. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated the First and Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Hawaii and Arizona state constitutions, when they barred him from receiving mail that contained certain publications and newspaper articles that had been downloaded from the internet.

Defendants timely removed this action from the state court on December 7, 2011, and thereafter moved to change venue. See ECF #1 & #5. Defendants argue that, for the convenience of the parties and witnesses, and in the interests of justice, venue is more properly laid in Arizona.

On January 3, 2012, Plaintiff filed a document titled "Statement of No Opposition Pursuant to Local Rule 7.4," in response to Defendants' Motion. ECF #9. Plaintiff does not address Defendants' arguments in favor of changing venue of this action to the District of Arizona, however, or oppose the Motion. Rather, Plaintiff states that Defendants consented to removal of his Complaint to the federal court, and he therefore agrees to litigate this action in the District of Hawaii.

II. LEGAL STANDARDS

The removal statute, rather than the general venue statute, governs venue in cases removed from state court. Polizzi v. Cowles Magazines, Inc., 345 U.S. 663, 665-66 (1953). Venue of a properly removed action is in the "district of the United States for the district and division embracing the place where such action is pending." 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Section 1404(a) provides, however, that "[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." Thus, although removal constitutes a waiver of any venue objection, after removal the parties are free to move to transfer the action to a different division "[f]or the convenience of the parties and the witnesses." 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).

"Under § 1404(a), the district court has discretion to adjudicate motions for transfer according to an individualized, case-by-case consideration of convenience and fairness." Jones v. GNC Franchising, Inc., 211 F.3d 495, 498 (9th Cir. 2000) (quoting Stewart Org. v. Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 29 (1988)) (quotation marks omitted). To transfer a case, a defendant must first show that the transferee court is one in which the action could have been commenced originally. Second, defendant must show that transfer would result in greater convenience to the parties and witnesses, as well as advance the interest of justice. 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).

III. DISCUSSION

Plaintiff alleges violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, as well as a violations of the Hawaii and Arizona state constitutions. Venue was therefore proper in this court when it was removed from the Hawaii state court. See 28 U.S.C. § 1441.

A. 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) Factors

To determine whether to transfer a case pursuant to § 1404(a), the court must weigh several public and private factors, including: (1) the plaintiff's choice of forum; (2) the location where the relevant agreements were negotiated and executed; (3) the respective parties' contacts with the forum; (4) the contacts relating to the plaintiff's cause of action in the chosen forum; (5) the differences in the costs of litigation in the two forums; (6) the availability of compulsory process to compel attendance of unwilling non-party witnesses; (7) the ease of access to sources of proof; and (8) the state that is most familiar with the governing law. Jones, 211 F.3d at 498-99; Williams v. Bowman, 157 F. Supp. 2d 1103, 1106 (N.D. Cal. 2001). "Ultimately, the ...


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