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Trembath v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

September 12, 2017

Aaron M. Trembath, Plaintiff,
v.
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Unterberg & Associates, P.C., and Codilis Law, LLC, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Hon. Jane Magntts-Stinson, Chief Judge United States District

         This case arises out of collection of a delinquent mortgage and promissory note in connection with property located in Lafayette, Indiana. On June 21, 2017, the Court ordered the parties to show cause why this matter should not be transferred to the Northern District of Indiana. [Filing No. 18.] Plaintiff Aaron M. Trembath replied opposing the proposed transfer. Defendants Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Unterberg & Associates, P.C., and Codilis Law, LLC replied requesting the Court grant the Motion to Dismiss, or in the alternative, transfer the case. All parties have responded and the matter is now ripe for the Court's review. Having considered the parties' submissions and all relevant factors, the Court now concludes that venue in the Southern District of Indiana is improper and the matter shall be transferred to the Northern District of Indiana.

         I.

         Background

         On April 24, 2017, Aaron M. Trembath filed a complaint for damages against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Wells Fargo”), Unterberg & Associates, P.C. (“Unterberg”), and Codilis Law, LLC (“Codilis Law”). [Filing No. 1 at 1.] Mr. Trembath alleges a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., and the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act, Indiana Code § 24-5-0.5-1, et seq. [Filing No. 1 at 1.] The allegations arise out of a lawsuit against Mr. Trembath filed by Codilis Law on behalf of Wells Fargo on November 14, 2016 in Tippecanoe County Circuit County to collect on a delinquent mortgage and promissory note. [Filing No. 1 at 2.]

         On June 19, 2017, Wells Fargo filed a Motion to Dismiss, [Filing No. 14], alleging, among other things, that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and that venue is improper because the property at issue is located in Lafayette, Indiana, which is located in the Northern District of Indiana. [Filing No. 15 at 4, 16.] Similarly, on June 19, 2017, Unterberg and Codilis Law jointly filed a Motion to Dismiss in which they also argue that venue in the Southern District of Indiana is improper. [Filing No. 17 at 2.]

         On June 21, 2017, the Court issued an order for parties to submit responses on whether venue is proper, and, if not, whether the case should be dismissed or transferred to the Northern District of Indiana. [Filing No. 18.] All parties complied with the Order and filed briefs setting forth their various arguments on venue. [Filing No. 19; Filing No. 20; Filing No. 21.]

         In addition, on July 19, 2017, Mr. Trembath filed an unopposed Motion for Leave to File a Sur-reply Brief, [Filing No. 22], which the Court will consider herein.

         II.

         Discussion

         A. Mr. Trembath's Motion for Leave to File a Sur-reply Brief [Filing No. 22]

         Turning first to the issue of Mr. Trembath's Motion to for Leave to File a Sur-Reply Brief, he contends that new arguments were raised in the reply briefs. [Filing No. 22.] Mr. Trembath's Motion is unopposed by Defendants and speaks specifically to the issue of venue, which the Court has determined is “efficient” to decide as a threshold matter. [Filing No. 18 at 1.] As such, Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Sur-Reply Brief [Filing No. 22.] is GRANTED and the Court will consider Mr. Trembath's proposed sur-reply brief, [Filing No. 22-1], in making its determination on the issue of venue.

         B. Whether Venue is proper in the Southern District of Indiana

         Notwithstanding the numerous other arguments presented in the parties' filings, the relevant arguments relating to ...


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