United States District Court, D. Maryland
MARCH VII INVESTMENT LIMITED PARTNERSHIP and MARCH VIII INVESTMENT LIMITED PARTNERSHIP Plaintiffs
ANNE E. KRAMER, Defendant
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
are two limited partnerships established under Massachusetts
law, March VII Investment Limited Partnership and March VIII
Investment Limited Partnership (the "March
Entities"). The March Entities are the limited partners
in two Maryland limited partnerships that own two senior
living facilities in Maryland, the Ridgely/Hampstead Limited
Partnership and the Ridgely Black Rock Limited Partnership
(the "Partnerships"). The March Entities have sued
defendant Anne Kramer, the general partner of the
Partnerships, alleging that Kramer breached the agreements
governing the Partnerships (the "Partnership
Agreements") and her fiduciary duties as general
has moved to transfer this case to the United States Court
for the District of Maryland (the "Transfer
Motion"). Plaintiffs oppose transfer. For the reasons
explained in the Memorandum, the Transfer Motion is being
allowed. In essence, the presumption in favor of the
plaintiffs' choice of forum is weak in this case. It is
outweighed by the convenience of the parties, the convenience
of the witnesses, and the interests of justice, which all
favor litigating and trying this action in the District of
19, 2015, Kramer filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that this
court lacks personal jurisdiction over Kramer or, in the
alternative, the case should be dismissed under the doctrine
of forum non conviens. The March Entities opposed
that motion. The court held a hearing on the motion and
raised the question of whether the case should be transferred
to the District of Maryland pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1404.
The court subsequently issued an order denying the motion to
dismiss, ordering the parties to confer and report whether
they agreed to transfer the case to the District of Maryland,
and establishing a schedule for Kramer to file any motion to
transfer if the parties did not agree. Kramer filed the
Transfer Motion with a supporting memorandum (the
"Transfer Memorandum") and three affidavits. The
March Entities filed an opposition ("Transfer
Opp.") and supporting declaration.
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). "The
burden of proof rests with the party seeking transfer."
Coady v. Ashcraft & Gerel, 223 F.3d 1, 11 (1st
"there is a 'strong presumption in favor of the
plaintiff's choice of forum.1" Astro-Med, Inc.
v. Nihon Kohden Am., Inc., 591 F.3d 1, 13 (1st
Cir. 2009) (quoting Coady, 223 F.3d at 11). However,
"[w]here the operative facts of the case have no
material connection with [the] district, plaintiff's
choice of forum carries less weight." U.S. ex rel.
Ondis v. City of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, 480
F.Supp.2d 434, 436 (D. Mass. 2007) (quoting Goodman v.
Schmalz, 80 F.R.D. 296, 302 (E.D.N.Y. 1978)). More
[T]he plaintiff's venue choice is to be given less weight
if he or she selects a district court with no obvious
connection to the case or the plaintiff is a nonresident of
the chosen forum or neither element points to that court.
Although not universally followed by other courts, this
approach is one of sound judicial administration and reflects
good common sense.
Id. (quoting 15 Wright, Miller & Cooper, Federal
Practice and Procedure §3848 at 134-39 (2007)).
district court considering a motion for transfer "must
evaluate both the convenience of the parties and various
public-interest considerations." Atl. Marine Const.
Co. v. U.S. Dist. Court for W. Dist. of Texas, 134 S.Ct.
568, 581 (2013). In weighing convenience, the court must
consider both the "convenience of the parties and the
witnesses." 28 U.S.C. §1404(a). "Judges in
this District agree that convenience of the witnesses is an
extremely important, if not the most important, factor to be
analyzed in determining whether to change a litigation's
venue." Gemini Inv'rs Inc. v.
Ameripark, Inc., 542 F.Supp.2d 119, 126 (D. Mass. 2008)
(citing Brant Point Corp. v. Poetzsch, 671 F.Supp.
2, 3 (D. Mass. 1987)) .
To demonstrate inconvenience, the movant must (1) identify
the witnesses and their locations; (2) indicate the quality
or materiality of the[ir] testimony; and (3) show that any
such witnesses were unwilling to come to trial . . . [, ]
that deposition testimony would be unsatisfactory[, ] or that
the use of compulsory process would be necessary.
Employers Mut. Cas. Co. v. Bartile Roofs, Inc., 618
F.3d 1153, 1169 (10th Cir. 2010) (internal quotations
omitted). The court must also consider "relative ease of
access to sources of proof; availability of compulsory
process . . .; possibility of view of premises . . .; and all
other practical problems that make trial of a case easy,
expeditious and ...