I took over a case where two companies were sued in Oklahoma County. They denied jurisdiction in Oklahoma County saying they are not citizens of Oklahoma or Oklahoma County (they haven't removed). I later filed suit against two other defendants in Tulsa County, one of which is a resident of Tulsa County. I want to transfer the Oklahoma County case to Tulsa and consolidate the two actions. Do I move for transfer and consolidation in the Tulsa or the OKC case?
Answer: Be aware you have two different issues going here. One is whether the Oklahoma courts (any Oklahoma court, including federal court) has jurisdiction over the out-of-state defendant, which evidently claims an insufficient connection with Oklahoma to be subject to suit in Oklahoma. On that issue, they will be talking about World-Wide Volkswagen v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286, Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462 and Asahi Metal Industry Co. v. Superior Court, 480 U.S. 102. The other is venue, that is, assuming the Oklahoma courts have jurisdiction, which is the proper county in Oklahoma in which to try the case. You'll have to file your transfer motion in OKC, in the county where the original suit was filed. I don’t know enough about your facts to know whether jurisdiction in Oklahoma is proper or whether venue is proper in Oklahoma County but you need to keep the distinction in mind.
Tue, August 25, 2009
by Sharon Coleman filed under