Brief Fact Summary.
The country of Bolivia sues an American manufacturer in Texas and the court initiates a transfer sua sponte.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) a district court may transfer an action to a different district court sua sponte.
Plaintiff Bolivia sued Defendant Philip Morris for the costs associated with treating Bolivian citizens that developed illnesses related to tobacco use. Plaintiffs filed suit in the District Court of Brazoria County in Texas and was later removed by Defendant Philip Morris to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) can a district court initiate a transfer sua sponte?
Yes, under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) a district court may initiate a transfer sua sponte? The court therefore transfers the action to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
1. A judge can transfer a case sua sponte to any district or division where the action might have been brought but for the convenience of parties and witnesses.
2.The court noted that Plaintiff Bolivia had no ties to Texas and that the court does not have the relevant experience to try the case.
3.The transfer of the case to the United States District Court of the District of Columbia where a similar case is pending and where Plaintiff Bolivia has an embassy is more practical.
4.The court therefore transfers the action to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.