Civil Procedure Keyed to Friedenthal
Hoffman v. Blaski
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Plaintiffs, citizens of Illinois, brought a patent infringement action against Howell and a Texas corporation, in Federal District Court in Texas. After being served process and filing an answer, Defendant filed motion to remove the action to District Court in Illinois pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section: 1404(a)(transferring from one district to another). Plaintiffs objected on the ground that the Texas corporation did not reside, or maintain a place of business in Illinois; nor could it have been served process in Illinois. Plaintiffs therefore argued that the Texas court did not have the power to transfer the action there. The District Court granted the motion “for the convenience of the parties and the witnesses in the interest of justice.” Plaintiffs filed a petition for a writ of mandamus, asking the District Court in Illinois to vacate the Texas court’s order.The Illinois court denied the motion. Plaintiffs also argued that the Texas court did not have the power to transfer the venu e. The judge favored the retransfer but denied Plaintiffs motion. The Plaintiffs then filed a petition for writ of mandamus in the Circuit Court. The Circuit Court granted the writ, holding that 28 USC Section: 1404(a) restricts transfer to districts where the plaintiff has the right to bring the action, and thus transfer was inappropriate here because the plaintiff could not have brought the original action in Illinois. Judge Hoffman of the Northern District of Illinois (Defendant) appealed the writ.
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