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Cohen v. Zl Technologies, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division

January 7, 2015

ANDREW COHEN, Plaintiff,
v.
ZL TECHNOLOGIES, INC., Defendant.

ORDER

FRANK D. WHITNEY, Chief District Judge.

THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Transfer this case to the Northern District of California (Doc. No. 15) and Defendant's Motion for Judicial Notice (Doc. No. 17). As an initial matter, Defendant did not file any opposition to the Motion for Judicial Notice, and the Court sees no legal reason to deny it. The unopposed motion for judicial notice is therefore GRANTED. For the reasons that follow, the motion to transfer is also GRANTED.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On February 5, 2014, Defendant filed a complaint against Plaintiff in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging that Plaintiff failed to perform the services that he promised to perform for Defendant, resulting in lost profits and unnecessary costs for Defendant. Plaintiff subsequently filed the present action in North Carolina Superior Court on June 10, 2014, alleging Plaintiff's entitlement to stock options and Defendant's financial information relating to such stock options because Plaintiff properly performed services as promised to Defendant.

On July 8, 2014, Defendant removed that state case to this Court. The undersigned denied Plaintiff's motion for remand to state court on August 1, 2014, because the Court found subject matter jurisdiction existed since there was sufficient evidence to support Defendant's contention that the amount in controversy exceeded $75, 000.

Thereafter, Defendant filed the instant motion to transfer, which has been fully briefed by the parties and is now ripe for review.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Under 28 U.S.C. ยง 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." District courts have discretion to adjudicate motions for transfer based on notions of fairness and convenience. See Stewart Org., Inc. v. Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 23 (1988).

In exercising this discretion, the Court determines whether the case should be transferred for the convenience of the parties, witnesses, and in the interest of justice. To make this determination, this Court applies a balancing test and considers various factors in deciding whether transfer is appropriate. Jim Crockett Promotions, Inc. v. Action Media Grp., Inc., 751 F.Supp. 93 (W.D. N.C. 1990). The factors to be considered include:

1. The plaintiff's initial choice of forum;
2. The residence of the parties;
3. The relative ease of access of proof;
4. The availability of compulsory process for attendance of witnesses and the costs of obtaining ...

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