will now be left in the discretion of the court.'
Section 1404(a), Title 28 U.S.C.A., which became effective on September 1, 1948, among other things, effected a similar change in respect to Government civil cases. As stated above, it is comprehensive in its nature and covers all civil actions, irrespective of the nature of the parties, or of the subject matter.
There is another vital consideration that weights heavily with this court in determining whether the requested transfer would be in the interest of justice. In Gulf Oil Corp. v. Gilbert, 330 U.S. 501, 508, 67 S. Ct. 839, 843, 91 L. Ed. 1055, Mr. Justice Jackson observed:
'Administrative difficulties follow for courts when litigation is piled up in congested centers instead of being handled at its origin.'
True, he made this observation in discussing the doctrine of forum non conveniens. These comments are, however, equally applicable in determining whether a change of venue would be in the interest of justice. This Court has an exceedingly heavy docket. While its criminal calendar is current, its civil docket is about 12 or 13 months in arrears, that is, the time between the date a case is placed on the calendar and the date on which it is reached for trial in regular course, is about 12 or 13 months. This situation is caused by the peculiar and unique jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Due to the presence of Government agencies in Washington, there is an unusually heavy volume of Federal litigation. Due to the fact that the District of Columbia is a Federal area, this Court has jurisdiction of cases that elsewhere would be tried in State courts. Thus, all felonies and all civil cases involving more than $ 3,000, as well as matrimonial actions, probate of wills, administration of decedents' estates, and lunacy proceedings come before this court. Every judge in this district sits continuously from the opening of the court term in the fall until that last day of June, with the exception of a few days' recess at Christmas and Easter. Even during the summer, the court continues in session without interruption but on a curtailed schedule, the judges rotating for summer assignments.
It is stated by counsel that the trial of this case would take six to eight weeks and possibly longer. In the light of the above mentioned circumstances, to immobilize a judge for one case for this long period would be highly detrimental to the remaining business of this court. It would cause the docket to fall further in arrears. Naturally, if this litigation legitimately belonged in this jurisdiction, it would have to be kept here in spite of this consideration. Manifestly, however, bringing the action in the District of Columbia is a pure artificiality. To try this law suit here would be unfair to local litigants, who are waiting to secure a trial of their cases, and who would be further delayed if this antitrust case were to be tried in the District of Columbia.
In view of the foregoing circumstances, the court is of the opinion that a transfer of the place of trial of this case to the District of Delaware would be both in the interest of the convenience of witnesses and in the interest of justice. No reason is discernible, on the other hand, why it should be tried here.
Motion of defendant for a change of venue from the District of Columbia to the District of Delaware, is granted.
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