United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
R. Grand, U.S. Magistrate Judge
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS
UNDER FORUM NON CONVENIENS 
J. TARNOW, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case arises from a contract dispute between a seller of
automotive engine cylinder blocks, Eisenwerk Brühl, and
a machining services company, CBS Boring. In an April 19,
2016 purchase agreement, Brühl contracted with CBS to
precision-machine the Brühl cylinder blocks before their
delivery to GM. Brühl agreed to make CBS its sole
supplier of the machining services for a minimum of five
years. Following a breakdown in negotiations on
bracket-pricing, however, the purchase agreement was
filed suit in Macomb County Circuit Court on May 14, 2018,
and, on November 20, 2018, Defendant removed the case to
federal court. [Dkt. # 1]. On November 27, 2018, Defendant
filed a motion to dismiss , citing the doctrine of
forum non conveniens, which requires a Court to
dismiss a case without prejudice if a foreign court presents
a more appropriate forum. That motion is now fully briefed.
The Court now finds the motions suitable for determination
without a hearing in accord with Local Rule 7.1(f)(2).
principles of forum non conveniens are outlined in
Atlantic Marine Construction Company v. United States
District Court for the Western District of Texas, 571
U.S. 49 (2013). Since Atlantic Marine was decided,
district courts in the Sixth Circuit have considered motions
to enforce a forum-selection clause under both Rule 12(b)(6)
and under the doctrine of forum non conveniens.
Transp. Sys., LLC v. Amazon, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
178044, *5-6 (E.D. Mich. Oct. 17, 2018). As both parties have
argued under the latter standard, the Court will consider the
tenets of forum non conveniens to constitute the
standard of review.
evaluate a forum non conveniens motion for dismissal
in the same way they would evaluate a motion for transfer
under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Atlantic
Marine, 571 U.S. at 62. That statute reads,
(a) For the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the
interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil
action to any other district or division where it might have
been brought or to any district or division to which all
parties have consented.
28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
§ 1404(a) and the forum non conveniens doctrine
from which it derives entail the same balancing-of-interests
standard.” Atlantic Marine, 571 U.S. at 61.
These factors include both the convenience of the parties and
various public-interest considerations, as outlined in
Piper Aircraft v. Reyno, 454 U.S. 235 (1981). A
Court should generally weigh ease of access to sources of
proof, availability of compulsory process for unwilling
witnesses, and cost of obtaining the attendance of willing
witnesses. Piper Aircraft, 454 U.S. at 235. It
should also consider the administrative difficulties that
flow from court congestion, the local interest in having
localized controversies decided at home, and the interest in
having the trial of a diversity case in a forum that is at
home with the law. Id. Courts must also give proper
weight to Plaintiff's choice of forum. Id.
calculus changes, however, if the contract governing the
dispute includes a valid forum-selection clause. Atlantic
Marine, 454 U.S. at 63. The “enforcement of valid
forum-selection clauses, bargained for by the parties,
protects their legitimate expectations and furthers vital
interests of the justice system.” Id., quoting
Stewart Organizations, Inc. v. Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S.
22, 33 (1988) (Kennedy, J. concurring).
Marine provides that a valid forum-selection clause
forces district court judges to adjust their § 1404(a)
analysis in three ways, which, as a practical matter,
requires such clauses to be given weight in “all but
the most exceptional cases. Atlantic Marine, 571
U.S. at 63. First, Plaintiff's choice of forum merits no
weight. Id. Second, the court should not consider
arguments about the parties' private interests.
Id. at 63-64. “As a consequence, a district
court may consider arguments about public-interest factors
only.” Id. at 64. Third, although generally a
defendant that succeeds in transferring a case from one state
to another will be stuck with the choice-of-law rules of the
transferor court's state (a narrow exception to the
Klaxon Rule), the choice-of-law rules of a
transferor court will not follow the case to a transferee
court if there is a valid forum-selection clause.
Id. at 64-65.
clauses, for their own part, are interpreted not according to
state contract law, but according to federal common law rules
of contract interpretation. Wong v. Partygaming,
Ltd., 589 F.3d 821, 828 (6th Cir. 2009). Federal common
law interprets forum-selection clauses with ordinary ...