Hoffman v. Blaski

363 U.S. 335 (1960).


Blaski (P) filed a patent infringement action against Howell in a Texas federal district court. P was an Illinois resident. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), Howell moved to transfer that action to federal district court in Illinois. Blaski (P) objected because Howell could not have been served in Illinois and the action could not have been brought there in the first place by P because Howell does not reside nor do business there. The Texas court granted the motion for the convenience of the parties, and the interests of justice and Howell waived any objection to the Illinois court's lack of jurisdiction. P moved to transfer the case back to Texas for the same reasons he objected to the transfer from Texas. Hoffman (D), the district judge, denied that motion. P then obtained a writ to remand the case to Texas and D appealed. Howell contends that the phrase “where the action might have been brought” in 1404(a) should be given a broad interpretation. Howell wants the broad interpretation to include the time the action is brought and also the time of transfer.