Pandora Franchising, LLC v. Kingdom Retail Group, LLLPAnnotate this Case
Appellant Pandora Franchising, LLC was a foreign limited liability company. In its application for certificate of authority to transact business in Georgia, Pandora identified its principal place of business in Maryland. Appellee Kingdom Retail Group (“Kingdom”) filed suit against Pandora in Thomas County Superior Court, alleging Pandora wrongfully withheld its consent to Kingdom’s bid to acquire a number of Pandora franchises. Kingdom alleged venue was proper in Thomas County pursuant to OCGA 14-2-510 (b) (4) because the cause of action originated in Thomas County. Over Kingdom’s objection, the trial court granted Pandora’s request to remove the complaint to Gwinnett County where, Pandora claimed in its notice of removal, “it maintains its registered office as its principal place of business in Georgia.” The Court of Appeals granted Kingdom’s application for interlocutory review and reversed the grant of removal. The Georgia Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether the Court of Appeals correctly construed OCGA 14-2-510 (b) (4) to mean that, in a claim in which the basis for venue was the allegation that the cause of action originated in the county where the claim was filed, only a corporation with its worldwide principal place of business, or “nerve center” in Georgia had the right to remove the claim to the county in Georgia where that principal place of business was located. The Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ decision and adopted the reasoning set forth in that court’s opinion.