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Curd v. W.T. Capital Lending

June 22, 2005

JEREMY CURD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
W.T. CAPITAL LENDING, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Claudia Wilken United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS OR TO TRANSFER

Defendant W.T. Capital Lender Services*fn1 moves to dismiss for improper venue or, in the alternative, to transfer for convenience pro se Plaintiff Jeremy Curd's Title VII employment discrimination complaint. Plaintiff has filed a document that purports to be a motion for summary judgment and which the Court construes to be an opposition to Defendant's motion. Defendant has not filed a reply. Having considered all papers filed, the Court DENIES the motion to dismiss for improper venue or to transfer for convenience and DENIES Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment.

BACKGROUND

In his complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant failed to employ him and denied him workers' compensation insurance due to his race or color. Defendant is a California corporation with its principal place of business in Fresno, California which lies within the Eastern District of California. Defendant's business records are located in Fresno and the person most knowledgeable about Plaintiff's claims is Senior Vice President Debra Berg who resides in Fresno.

DISCUSSION

I. Dismissal Based on Improper Venue

A. Legal Standard

The venue provision of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(3), states that an action may be brought "in any judicial district in the State in which the unlawful employment practice is alleged to have been committed, . . . in the district in which the employment records relevant to such practice are maintained and administered, or . . . the district in which the aggrieved person would have worked but for the alleged unlawful employment practice." Venue in a Title VII case is controlled by 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(3) and not by the general venue provisions found in 28 U.S.C. § 1391. Johnson v. Payless Drug Stores, Inc., 950 F.2d 586, 587-88 (9th Cir. 1991).

B. Analysis

Defendant argues that venue is proper only in the Eastern District of California because that is where Plaintiff would have worked but for the alleged unlawful employment practice, that is where Defendant has its principal place of business and that is where the relevant employment records are maintained and administered.

Defendant overlooks the fact that § 2000e-5(f)(3) provides that venue is proper in any judicial district in the State in which the unlawful employment action is alleged to have been committed. Because the alleged discrimination occurred in California, venue in the Northern District of California is proper.

Passatino v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Prods., 212 F.3d 493, 504-05 (9th Cir. 2000)*fn2 , cited by Defendant, is not applicable because there the issue was whether the unlawful employment practice took place in the State of Washington or the State of New Jersey, not whether the unlawful employment practice took place in one of two districts in the same State. Therefore, Defendant's motion to dismiss based on improper venue is DENIED.

II. Transfer for ...


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