Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

May Court Transfer Venue under 28 U.S.C. § 1631 Only When Subject Matter Jurisdiction Is Lacking, Or Is the Absence of Personal Jurisdiction Enough? Circuit Split

Family Wireless #1, LLCv. Auto. Techns., Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115810 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 1, 2015):

1   The Court may also transfer venue pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1631. It states that when a court "finds that there is a want of jurisdiction, the court shall, if it is in the interests of justice transfer such action . . . to any other such court in which the action . . . could have been brought . . . ." 28 U.S.C. § 1631. The Court of Appeals are split as to whether this statute allows for transfers of venue only when subject matter jurisdiction is lacking or when either subject matter or personal jurisdiction are lacking. See Roman v. Ashcroft, 340 F.3d 314, 328 (6th Cir. 2003) ("We note that circuits have split on the question of whether § 1631 provides for transfers only in the event that a federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction or also in the event that the court lacks personal jurisdiction."). The Sixth Circuit allows for transfer under Section 1631 "in the event the court lacks 'jurisdiction'--whether subject matter or personal jurisdiction." Jackson v. L & F Martin Landscape, 421 F. App'x 482, 483 (6th Cir. 2009).

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