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Law School Case Brief

Republic of Bol. v. Philip Morris Cos. - 39 F. Supp. 2d 1008 (S.D. Tex. 1999)

Rule:

For 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 or to any district or division to which all parties have consented.

Facts:

Plaintiff foreign country (Bolivia) filed suit in the United States against defendant tobacco companies to recover various health care costs it allegedly incurred in treating illnesses its residents suffered as a result of tobacco use. The federal district court found that it was a one-judge district and that the case involved complex and sophisticated issue of international law and foreign relations and exercised its authority and discretion to sua sponte transfer the case to another federal district.

Issue:

Does the federal district court possess the authority to transfer the case, which was a civil action, to another federal district court?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), for 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 or to any district or division to which all parties have consented.

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