In order to change the venue of a trial, the moving party must show that the plaintiff’s choice of venue is oppressive and vexatious. In weighing the allegations of oppression and vexatious conduct, the Court must also consider the plaintiff’s choice. As our Supreme Court held in Okkerse v. Howe, 521 Pa. 509, 556 A.2d 827 (1989), the Rules of Civil Procedure provide a plaintiff with options as to where to bring suit, and “the choice of forum by a plaintiff is entitled to weighty consideration.” Id., at 829. A plaintiff’s choice of forum is given great weight, and the burden is on the party challenging that choice to show it is improper. Scola v. AC & S, Inc., 540 Pa. 353, 657 A.2d 1234, 1241 (1995); Borger v. Murphy, 792 A.2d 309 (Pa. Super. 2002).In AmeriServ Financial v. Mellon Bank, N.A., 66 Pa. D. & C.4th 554 (C.P. Cambria 2003), the trial court reviewed the case law and concluded that the “harassment,” “vexatious” and “oppression” standard requires nothing less than a disruption of lives, the closing of business doors and the loss of jobs. The Court also noted how infrequently appellate courts have upheld changes of venue. See, e.g.,… Read full this story
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