United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
TIMOTHY G. TACKETT, Plaintiff,
CATHY JESS, PAUL KEMPER, L. BARTOW, L. ALSUM, E. DAVIDSON, L. LEBLANC, G. BORNICK, KEVIN KREMBS, KRISTEN VASQUEZ, CANDICE WHITMAN, LAURA FRAZIER, MS. LYYSKI, CHARLES LARSON, and JULIE LUDWIG, Defendants.
D. PETERSON District Judge
Timothy Tackett, appearing pro se, is a prisoner at Fox Lake
Correctional Institution (FLCI). He alleges that staff at
FLCI and at his previous prison, Racine Correctional
Institution (RCI), ignored his need for medical treatment,
and that as a result, his foot is permanently disfigured.
have filed a motion to transfer the case to the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Dkt.
33. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), a court may transfer a
case to another district where the action may have been
brought if transfer (1) serves the convenience of the parties
and witnesses; and (2) will promote the interest of justice.
See Coffey v. Van Dorn Iron Works, 796 F.2d 217,
219-20 (7th Cir. 1986). “The statute permits a
‘flexible and individualized analysis.'”
Research Automation, Inc. v. Schrader-Bridgeport
Int'l, Inc., 626 F.3d 973, 978 (7th Cir. 2010)
(quoting Stewart Org., Inc. v. Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S.
22, 29 (1988)). The defendant bears the burden of
establishing that the proposed new venue is clearly more
convenient. Coffey, 796 F.2d at 219. I conclude that
transfer to the Eastern District is proper, and I will grant
convenience inquiry generally focuses on “the
availability of and access to witnesses, and each party's
access to and distance from resources in each forum.”
Research Automation, 626 F.3d at 978. Defendants
contend that transfer to the Eastern District, where both
FLCI and RCI are located, is more convenient for the parties
and witnesses because the events at issue occurred there,
plaintiff resides there, and most defendants and potential
witnesses reside there.
contends that the Eastern District is not more convenient
because some of the defendants live in the Western District,
and because FLCI is equally close to either district's
courthouse. But only three defendants (complaint examiners at
DOC headquarters) work in this district, and their
involvement with the facts of the case is not as significant
as the 11 defendants that work in the Eastern District. And
RCI (where Tackett was first injured) is much closer to the
Eastern District's courthouse in Milwaukee, as are
Tackett's off-site healthcare providers, who are not
defendants but will almost certainly be called as witnesses.
also says that he chose to file in the Western District.
“The plaintiff's choice of forum is usually given
substantial weight, ” although it “is given less
deference ‘when another forum has a stronger
relationship to the dispute.'” Almond v.
Pollard, No. 09-cv-335, 2010 WL 2024099, at *2 (W.D.
Wis. May 18, 2010) (quoting Amorose v. C.H. Robinson
Worldwide, Inc., 521 F.Supp.2d 731, 735 (N.D. Ill.
2007)). Although I am sympathetic to Tackett's desire to
choose the court he litigates in, the Eastern District (where
Tackett injured himself, was denied treatment, and eventually
received surgery) has a stronger relationship to the dispute.
Overall, the Eastern District is a more convenient forum.
second part of my analysis is the interest-of-justice
inquiry. It “relates to the efficient administration of
the court system” and focuses on “factors
including docket congestion and likely speed to trial in the
transferor and potential transferee forums, each court's
relative familiarity with the relevant law, the respective
desirability of resolving controversies in each locale, and
the relationship of each community to the controversy.”
Research Automation, 626 F.3d at 978. “The
interest of justice may be determinative, warranting transfer
or its denial even where the convenience of the parties and
witnesses points toward the opposite result.”
filed their motion to transfer on the same day as their
answer. There has not yet been a scheduling conference and
there are no pending motions, so transferring the case will
not throw a wrench in the proceedings. Defendants submit
statistics showing that the Eastern District and Western
District share similar caseloads, and I have no doubt that
both courts are familiar with the relevant law. Defendants do
not argue the remaining factors. The interests-of-justice
factor does not weigh for or against transfer. Because I
conclude that the Eastern District is a more convenient
forum, I will grant defendants' motion to transfer.
ORDERED that defendants' motion for change of venue, Dkt.
33, is GRANTED.
case is transferred to the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Wisconsin ...