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Case 1:15-cv-20782-JEM Document 247 Entered on FLSD Docket 01/26/2016 Page 1 of 4

UN ITED STA TES D ISTRICT CO U RT FOR TH E


SO U TH ERN D ISTRICT OF FLO RIDA
M iam iDivision
C ase N um ber:15-20782-C1V -M A RTIN EZ-G O O D M AN

DE> IS L.M ONTGOM ERY,


Plaintiff,
V S.

JA M ES RISEN ,etal.s
D efendants.
/

O RD ER G R AN TIN G M O TIO N TO TR AN SFER

THIS CAUSE camebeforetheCourtUpon Defendants'M otion to Dism issorTransfer


forLack ofPersonalJurisdiction overRisen and Houghton M ifflin HarcourtCompany,Dism iss

OrTransferForImproperVenue,TransferUnder28U.S.C.j 1404(a),OrDismissForFailure

ToStateA Claim (thek'Motion'')(ECFNo.521.Plaintiffhastiled aresponse(ECFNo.631and


Defendantshavefiledareply (ECFNo.771.Defendantshavealsofiled anoticeofsupplemental
authority(ECF N0.119J.Aftercarefulconsideration,andforthereasonssetforthbelow,the
courtgrantsthemotiontotransferpursuantto28U.S.C.j 1404(a).
PlaintiffsuedDefendantsforcommon1aw defnmationperse(libelandslander),general
defamation(libeland slander),defamationbyimplication(libelandslander),intentional
infliction ofem otionaldistress,tortious interference w ith prospective advantage,and assault.

(ECFNo.441.PlaintiffsclaimsarebasedonDefendantJamesRisen'sbookPayAnyPrice(the
tiBook''). Chapter2oftheBook (the(kchapter'')focuseson Plaintiff.
ln theirM otion,D efendantsassert,am ong otherthings,thatthisCourtshould transferthe

actiontotheDistrictofColumbiat'gfjortheconvenienceofpartiesandwitnesses,intheinterest

ofjustice.''28U.S.C.j1404(a). Thepurposeoftransferunderj 1404(a)istopreventthe


w aste oftim e,energy and m oney and to protectlitigants,w itnessesand the public against

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unnecessaryinconvenienceand expense.SeeVanDusenv.Barrack,376U.S.612,616(1964).
Transferiswithin ilthebroad discretion ofthetrialcourt.''M eterlogic,Inc.v.CopierSolutions,

lnc.,l85F.Supp.2d 1292,1299(S.D.Fla.2002).Courtsgenerallyapplyatwo-parttest:%d(1)
whethertheactionkmighthavebeenbrought'intheproposedtransfereecourtand(2)whether
variousfactorsare satisfied so asto determ ine ifa transferto a m ore convenientforum is

justified.''ld at1299.Such factorsdiincludetheconvenienceoftheparties,theconvenienceof


thewitnesses,therelative easeofaccessto sourcesofproof,theavailability ofservice ofprocess
to com pelthe presence ofunwilling w itnesses,the costofobtaining the presence ofw itnesses,

the public interest,and allotherpracticalproblem sthatm aketrialofthe caseeasy,expeditious,


and inexpensive.''1d.at1300.
W hilefocusing onthe Southern DistrictofFlorida being apropervenuein hisresponse
to the M otion,Plaintiffdoes notappearto challenge D efendants'assertion thatthe D istrictof
Colum bia isalso a propervenue. In hisD eclaration attached to the M otion,D efendantR isen
statesthathe conducted m uch ofthe new sgathering forthe Chapter aboutPlaintiffin

W ashington,D.C.gECFNo.52-11.Henotesthatheinterviewedsourceslocated inthe
W ashington,D.C.area.1d. DefendantRisen pointsoutthatmany ofthepastand cttrrent
governmentofficialswho haveknowledge ofPlaintiff,hisintelligenceinformation and his
reputation,and w ho w ere eitherinterviewed orotherwise referenced in the Chapterabout

Plaintiff,arecurrently,to thebestofDefendantRisen'sknowledge,located in orwithin a 100m ileradiusofW ashington,D .C. 1d.Based on theserepresentations,the Courtagreeswith
Defendantsthatthe DistrictofColum bia is also a propervenue forthis case,because a

substantialpartofthe events orom issions giving rise to the claim s occurred there. See 28 U .S.C .

j1391(b)(2);Mesa UnderwritersSpecialtyIns.Co.v.HembreeConsultingServs.,Inc.,2015
W L 5826848,at*2(S.D.Fla.Oct.2,2015)(venuecanbeproperinmorethanonedistrict).

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Defendantsassertthattheinterestsofjusticeandtheconvenienceofwitnessesand
partiesstrongly supporttransfer.W ith respectto theconvenienceoftheparties,Defendants
arguethatsincethey are alllocatedoutsideFlorida,theywillbe inconveniencedby being forced

tolitigatethiscasein Florida.(ECFNo.52 at341.DefendantRisenstatesthatheresidesina


M aryland suburbofD.C.andworksfortheNew YorkTimesinitsD.C.bureau. (ECF No.52-11.
D efendantsnote that,w hile Plaintiffclaim s thathe isa Florida resident,facts revealed during

discoverydemonstratethatPlaintiffwas,andis,domiciledinW ashingtonState.(ECFNo.1191.
Based on these points,the Courttinds thatthe (iconvenience ofthe parties''factorw eighs in
favorto the D istrictof Colum bia.See Cellularvision Tech.drTelecom ms.,L.P.v.AlltelCorp.,

508F.Supp.2d 1l86,1189(S.D.Fla.2007)(dtwhereaplaintiffhaschosenaforum thatisnotits


homeforum ,only minim aldeferenceisrequired,and itisconsiderably easierto satisfy the

burdenofshowingthatotherconsiderationsmaketransferproper').
W ith respectto witnesses,Defendantsarguethattheconvenience ofthird-party witnesses
strongly favortransferto the DistrictofColum bia. Defendantspointoutthataside from Plaintiff

andhiswife,onlyfouroutof48ofPlaintiff'sotherpossiblewitnessesresideinFlorida.(ECF
No.119,Exhibit81.DefendantsfurtherstatethatnoneoftheirwitnessesareinFloridaandmost
witnessesontheparties'listsareinsubpoenarangeoftheDistrictofColumbia.(ECF No.119,
Exhibit91.Moreover,Defendantsnotethatinresponseto aninterrogatorytolistallpersons
w ith 'sknow ledge orinform ation pertaining to any factin the A m ended Com plaintorany fact

underlyingthesubjectmatterofthisaction,''Plaintifflisted 16persons-notoneofwhom isin


Florida,while 13areintheDistrictofColumbiaarea.(ECF No.119at2).Basedonthese
assertions,theCourtfindsthattheconvenienceofthewitnesses,therelativeeaseofaccessto
soureesofproof,the availability ofserviceofprocessto oompelthepresenceofunwilling
w itnesses,and the costofobtaining thepresence ofwitnesses,weighs strongly in favor ofthe
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Case 1:15-cv-20782-JEM Document 247 Entered on FLSD Docket 01/26/2016 Page 4 of 4

D istrictofColum bia.

Theremaining factorsdo notalterthe Court'sconclusion thatthiscaseshould be


transferred to the DistrictofColum bia. W hile the parties each presentargum entsregarding the
public interestoftheirpreferred venue,this factor does nottip the scales significantly forone
venue overanother. W ith respectto m aking the trialofthe case easy,expeditious,and

inexpensive,theCourtfindsthattheDistrictofColumbia islikely abettervenue,becauseofthe


location ofthe parties and the w itnesses.

ln sum ,theCourtfindsthattheaforem entioned factorsstrongly supporttransferto the


DistrictofColum bia. A ccordingly,itis hereby:
O R DER ED A N D A D JU D G ED that
Defendants'M otion to D ism issorTransferforLack ofPersonalJurisdiction over
Risen and H oughton M iftlin H arcourtCom pany,D ism issO rTransfer For lm properV enue,

TransferUnder28U.S.C.j 1404(a),OrDismissForFailureToStateA Claim (ECFNo.521is


G R AN TED in part.
2.

The Clerk isD IR EC TED to TR AN SFER thisaetion to the United States District

CourtfortheDistrictofColumbia.

TheDefendants'motiontodismissforfailuretostateaclaim (ECFNo.52)
rem ainspending.

DONEANDORDEREDinChambersatMiami, orida,this'VdayofJ uary,2016.


JO SE .M A RT EZ
UN IT
STA TES D ISTR CT JU D GE

Copiesprovided to:
M agistrate Judge G oodm an
A 11CounselofRecord

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