United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO TRANSFER, OR IN
THE ALTERNATIVE, DISMISS
J. BRYAN United States District Judge
MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant Peregrine Sports,
LLC, d/b/a Portland Timbers' Motion to Transfer, or in
the Alternative, Dismiss. Dkt. 5. The Court has considered
the motion, Plaintiff Todd Nelson's Response (Dkt. 13),
Defendant's Reply (Dkt. 16), and the remainder of the
seeks to transfer this action from the Western District of
Washington to the District of Oregon, which Defendant argues
is a more convenient forum under 28 U.S.C. §1404.
Defendant argues in the alternative that the Complaint (Dkt.
1) fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted
and, particular to the Third Cause of Action, to state a
claim with the requisite particularity under Fed.R.Civ.P.
MOTION TO TRANSFER
purposes of this motion, the parties agree-or at least do not
substantively oppose, by declaration or otherwise-the
majority of the relevant facts, which are either found in the
Complaint or declarations submitted by the parties, to
wit, Mr. Nelson, for Plaintiff, and Joseph Cote for
Defendant. See Dkt. 1, 6, 14, 15.
case centers on the allegation that Portland Timbers denied
Mr. Nelson the chance to renew season tickets. According to
the Complaint, Mr. Nelson has purchased season tickets since
2009 until July 2016, when Portland Timbers told Mr. Nelson
that his “right to acquire season tickets” had
been “unilaterally terminated . . . [even though]
Plaintiff Nelson was ready, willing, and able to pay, in
full, the price for his season tickets.” Dkt. 1 at
¶21. See also, Dkt. 14 at ¶3. Mr. Nelson
purchased tickets for commercially for profit, buying as many
as 111 “very valuable . . . specific seats which Nelson
carefully selected.” Id. at ¶¶16,
17. Because Mr. Nelson did not purchase tickets in July 2016,
it is alleged that Mr. Nelson can no longer be a member of
The Axe Society, an “exclusive” club with
membership contingent on the purchase of tickets for the 2010
season and thereafter. Dkt. 14 at ¶¶4, 5. The
Complaint alleges common law causes of action for breach of
contract and misrepresentation, as well as a cause of action
for violations of the Washington Consumer Protection Act and
Federal Trade Commission Act. Id. at
Nelson currently resides in Cathlamet, Washington, where he
has resided “at all material times.” Dkt. 14 at
¶2. Defendant does not dispute that Mr. Nelson currently
resides in Washington, but contends that membership data show
an Oregon address in connection with purchase of 2010 season
tickets. Dkt. 15 at 3. According to Defendant's internal
data, Mr. Nelson, on several occasions, submitted address
information to purchase tickets from Oregon addresses. Dkt.
15 at ¶¶3, 4.
Timbers Senior Vice President, Joseph Cote, represents that
Portland Timbers' stadium is in Portland, Oregon, where
the team plays its home games. Dkt. 6 at ¶3. Mr. Cote
oversees the sales, strategy and services of all tickets for
the team and represents that all staff and documentation
connected to the purchase of “Season Tickets, ”
which Portland Timbers now refers to as “Annual
Memberships, ” are also located in Portland, Oregon.
Id. at ¶¶4-7. Mr. Cote declares that
Portland Timbers do not direct advertisements into the State
of Washington, “[w]ith the exception of a single
billboard . . . in 2010, and any Portland metro area-based
digital advertising that spills into southwest Washington,
” for example, in Vancouver, Washington. Dkt. 15 at
28 U.S.C. §1404 legal standard.
28 U.S.C. §1404(a) “[f]or the convenience of
parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district
court may transfer any civil action to any other district or
division where it might have been brought[.]” Section
1404(a) “requires two findings-that the district court
is one where the action ‘might have been brought'
and that the ‘convenience of the parties and witnesses
in the interest of justice' favor transfer.”
Hatch v. Reliance Ins. Co., 758 F.2d 409, 414
(9th Cir. 1985).
Might have been brought.
does not appear to be any dispute that the case might have
been brought in the District Court of Oregon. As Defendant
points out-and Plaintiff does not counter-the District Court
of Oregon could have subject matter jurisdiction and personal
jurisdiction over this case, and venue could be proper. Dkt.
5 at 3, 4. Subject matter could be based on diversity
jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. §1332, because the amount in
controversy is greater than $75, 000, Plaintiff resides in
Washington, and Defendant is based in Oregon. Personal
jurisdiction could be established because of Defendant's
contacts with Oregon, the ...