How to Successfully Transfer Venue of a Case to Another County ?
In Cheeseman v. Lethal Exterminator, Inc., 549 Pa. 200, 701 A.2d 156 (1997), our supreme court clarified the appropriate standard that a defendant must meet to successfully transfer venue of a case.
In sum, "a petition to transfer venue should not be granted unless the defendant meets its burden of demonstrating, with detailed information on the record, that the plaintiff's chosen forum is oppressive or vexatious to the defendant." Id. at 213, 701 A.2d at 162.
The defendant may meet its burden of showing that the plaintiff's choice of forum is vexatious to him by establishing with facts on the record that the plaintiff's choice of forum was designed to harass the defendant, even at some inconvenience to the plaintiff himself.
Alternatively, the defendant may meet his burden by establishing on the record that trial in the chosen forum is oppressive to him; for instance, that trial in another county would provide easier access to witnesses or other sources of proof, or to the ability to conduct a view of premises involved in the dispute.
But, the Court stress that the defendant must show more than that the chosen forum is merely inconvenient to him. Id.
In Cheeseman, supra, our supreme court specifically stated that claims by a defendant that "no significant aspect of a case involves the chosen forum, and that litigating in another forum would be more convenient" is not the type of record evidence that proves litigating the case in the chosen forum is "oppressive or vexatious." Cheeseman, supra at 214, 701 A.2d at 162.
Moreover, the court found that an assertion in a defendant's petition that "the trial court in plaintiff's chosen forum is congested," is also not sufficient proof to sustain a burden to transfer venue. Id.