28 U.S. Code § 1404 - Change of venue
Section 119 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., related only to transfer of cases from one division to another on stipulation of the parties.
Subsection (a) was drafted in accordance with the doctrine of forum non conveniens, permitting transfer to a more convenient forum, even though the venue is proper. As an example of the need of such a provision, see Baltimore & Ohio R. Co. v. Kepner, 1941, 62 S.Ct. 6, 314 U.S. 44, 86 L.Ed. 28, which was prosecuted under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act in New York, although the accident occurred and the employee resided in Ohio. The new subsection requires the court to determine that the transfer is necessary for convenience of the parties and witnesses, and further, that it is in the interest of justice to do so.
Sections 143, 172, 177, and 181 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., relating to the district courts of Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, and Ohio, contained special provisions similar to subsection (b), applicable to those States. To establish uniformity, the general language of such subsection has been drafted and the special provisions of those sections omitted.
Subsection (b) is based upon section 163 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., which applied only to the district of Maine. This revised subsection extends to all judicial districts and permits transfer of cases between divisions. Criminal cases may be transferred pursuant to Rules 19–21 of the new Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the criminal provisions of said section 163 are therefore omitted.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 112–63, § 204(2), substituted “Transfers from a district court of the United States to the District Court of Guam, the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, or the District Court of the Virgin Islands shall not be permitted under this section. As otherwise used in this section,” for “As used in this section,”.
1996—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 104–317 amended subsec. (d) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (d) read as follows: “As used in this section, ‘district court’ includes the United States District Court for the District of the Canal Zone; and ‘district’ includes the territorial jurisdiction of that court.”
1962—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 87–845 added subsec. (d).
Amendment by Pub. L. 112–63 effective upon the expiration of the 30-day period beginning on Dec. 7, 2011, and applicable to any action commenced in a United States district court on or after such effective date, and to any action removed from a State court to a United States district court that had been commenced, within the meaning of State law, on or after such effective date, see section 205 of Pub. L. 112–63, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1390 of this title.