connects the case to different forums there is no single situs where the litigation should take place. Sistrunk v. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., 1993 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4126, 1993 WL 98239 *2 (N.D.Ill. 1993).
The public interests of justice that may warrant transfer include: relation of the community to the occurrence at issue in the litigation; the congestion of the respective court dockets; and prospects for an earlier trial. Gulf Oil Corp. v. Gilbert, 330 U.S. 501, 508-509, 91 L. Ed. 1055, 67 S. Ct. 839 (1947); Hughes v. Cargill, Inc., 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4827, 1994 WL 142994 at 2 (N.D.Ill. 1994). The administration of justice will be served more efficiently when the action is brought before a court that is "closer to the action." Paul v. Lands' End, Inc., 742 F. Supp. 512, 514 (N.D.Ill. 1990).
Defendant argues that the state of Colorado has a more compelling interest in the resolution of this matter than does Illinois because the Site and the remediation is in Colorado. However, at this time defendant has already provided the Region VIII, United States Environmental Protection Agency in Denver, Colorado, financial assurance for the remediation costs. This obligation will thus be satisfied regardless of whether plaintiff is found liable for contribution.
Plaintiff argues that Illinois bears a more significant relation to the occurrence at issue in the litigation because the issue is the interpretation of the 1941 Plan. It is uncontested that the 1941 Plan was between Illinois companies, and the asset purchase was negotiated and consummated in Illinois.
Because the source of the damage is located in Colorado and the basis on which plaintiff's alleged liability rests is located in Illinois, the court finds that both Colorado and Illinois have interests in this litigation.
Defendant has attached to its supplemental reply brief a copy of the complaint that the United States has filed in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado against Shattuck pursuant to CERCLA to recover response costs for clean up of the Site. Further, there is ongoing litigation between the Environmental Protection Agency and the City of Denver to resolve the appropriate method of remediation at the site. Defendant asserts that the ongoing Site remediation litigation in Colorado is a compelling reason to transfer this case to the District of Colorado in order to conserve judicial resources. The sole issue before this court at this time, however, is whether plaintiff is liable for contribution for the Site's remediation as a result of the 1941 Plan. That transaction occurred in Illinois and affects Illinois interests. The Colorado court is not familiar with the facts surrounding plaintiff's alleged liability that allegedly arises from conduct in Illinois, and therefore, transfer of this case to Colorado would not conserve judicial resources. Therefore, the court finds that the pendency of the Colorado action that may impact the cost of the Site's remediation does not compel the transfer of this case to Colorado.
Defendant asserts that transfer of the case would permit resolution of this case in a more expeditious manner. Defendant asserts that this district has a median time to trial of 23 months and 417 cases three years old and over, compared with the District of Colorado that has a median time to trial of 18 months and only 113 cases three years old and over.
Plaintiff argues that it believes this case will be resolved by summary declaratory judgment. Even if the parties might receive a more expeditious resolution in Colorado, this element alone does not warrant the transfer of this case under § 1404(a).
Under § 1404(a) defendant has the burden of demonstrating that the District of Colorado is "clearly more convenient" than the Northern District of Illinois. Heller Financial, Inc. v. Shop-A-Lot, Inc., 680 F. Supp. 292, 293 (N.D.Ill. 1988). Based on the evidence before it, weighing all of the relevant § 1404(a) factors, the court finds that defendant has failed to meet its burden of proving that Colorado is a more convenient forum. Accordingly, the court denies defendant's motion to transfer this case to the District of Colorado.
For the reasons stated above, the court finds that plaintiff has not brought this declaratory judgment action for improper motives and that Shattuck is not an indispensable party under Rule 19. Accordingly, the court denies defendant's motion to decline declaratory judgment jurisdiction and its motion to dismiss. Further, the court finds that the public and private interests do not weigh in favor of transferring this case to the District of Colorado. Therefore, the court denies defendant's motion for transfer under § 1404(a). This case is set for a status before this court on August 24, 1995. The court instructs the parties to be prepared to discuss a plan for discovery and any dispositive motions at that time.
ENTER: August 22, 1995
Robert W. Gettleman
United States District Judge