Grand Dakota Partners (“GDP”) and Grand Dakota Hospitality (“GDH”) filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Western District of North Carolina, largely because its owners and management were located in Charlotte. The hotel, bar and restaurant operated by GDP and GDH are located in Dickinson, North Dakota.
Venue in North Carolina was proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1408, as Charlotte was the “principal palce of business” for the corporations, since that is where the “decision makers are located”. See The Hertz Corp. v. Friend, 559 U.S. 77, 80 (2010). That notwithstanding, the bankruptcy court then determined whether transfer of venue under 28 U.S.C. § 1412 would be appropriate, applying the following factors:
(1) The proximity of creditors of every kind to the court; (2) the proximity of the Debtor to the court; (3) the proximity of the witnesses necessary to the administration of the estate; (4) the location of the assets; (5) the economic administration of the estate; and (6) the necessity for ancillary administration if a liquidation should occur. See In re Lakota Canyon Ranch Dev., LLC, Case No. 11-03739-8, 2011 Bankr. LEXIS 4652, at *7 (Bankr. E.D.N.C. June 21, 2011).
Even applying the presumption in favor of the choice of venue made by the debtor, See In re Rehoboth Hospitality, LP, Case No. 11-12798 (KG), 2011 Bankr. LEXIS 3992 (U.S. Bankr. D. Del. Oct. 19, 2011), the factors weighed in favor of transfer of the case to North Dakota.
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