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Bhan v. Nexus Rvs, LLC

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Eugene Division

August 2, 2018

INDAR BHAN and HEIDI BHAN, Plaintiffs,
v.
NEXUS Rv. LLC, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Ann Aiken United States District Judge

         Plaintiffs Indar and Heidi Bhan filed a breach of contract action in Lane County Circuit Court, an Oregon state court. Defendant Nexus RVs, LLC removed the case to federal court and subsequently moved to transfer venue to the Northern District of Indiana. I heard oral argument on that motion on May 29, 2018. For the reasons set forth below, defendant's motion is denied.

         BACKGROUND

         In August 2017, Plaintiffs decided to purchase "a 2018 Nexus Model 36 DS Motorhome" from defendant. Compl. ¶ 3. Plaintiffs arranged for an agent to travel to Indiana, procure the motorhome, and drive it back to Oregon. Plaintiffs never traveled to Indiana, and all communications between plaintiffs and defendant took place through emails and phone calls.

         Upon receipt of the motorhome, plaintiffs "determined several, substantial non-conforming issues[.]" Id. ¶ 4. Plaintiffs contend that the motorhome was constructed on the wrong chassis and that, as a result, the fuel tank, exhaust pipe, stairs, and other features are deficient and create safety hazards. They identify several other nonconforming features as well, including an allegedly broken dining table, protruding bolts, and visible staples, Plaintiffs immediately notified defendant of their objections to the product. They also sent a letter from their attorney "officially rejecting] acceptance" of the motorhome. Id. ¶ 5.

         Plaintiffs subsequently filed a breach of contract action in Oregon state couit, demanding restitution. Defendant removed the case to federal court and now moves to transfer venue to the Northern District of Indiana, where defendant is located.

         STANDARDS

         A district court may transfer a case to another district "[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justicef.]" 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). The threshold question is whether the case may be transferred to the requested district, an inquiry that hinges on whether the action could have been brought originally in the proposed transferee district. See Id. (pennitting transfer "to any other district or division where [the action] might have been brought originally"). The parties agree that this action could have been brought in the Northern District of Indiana.

         The second question is whether the case should be transferred. Courts answer that question according to an "individualized, case-by-case consideration of convenience and fairness." Stewart Org. v. Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 29 (1988). In the Ninth Circuit, courts consider:

(1) the location where the relevant agreements were negotiated and executed, (2) the state that is most familiar with the governing law, (3) the plaintiffs choice of forum, (4) the respective parties' contacts with the forum, (5) the contacts relating to the plaintiffs cause of action in the chosen forum, (6) the differences in the costs of litigation in the two forums, (7) the availability of compulsory process to compel attendance of unwilling non-party witnesses, and (8) the ease of access to sources of proof. Additionally, the presence of a forum selection clause is a "significant factor[.]"

Jones v. GNC Franchising, Inc. 211 F.3d 495, 498-99 (9th Cir. 2000) (citing Stewart, 487 U.S. at 29 and Lou v. Bekberg, 834 F.2d 730, 739 (9th Cir. 1987)).

         DISCUSSION

         Whether to transfer venue in this case requires a close call.[1] On balance, I conclude that this action is best litigated in the District of Oregon.

         I. Factors Weighing ...


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