The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Janis L. Sammartino United States District Judge
ORDER: GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS (Doc. No. 3)
Presently before the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss for improper venue or, in the alternative, transfer for improper venue. (Doc. No. 3.) Also before the Court are Plaintiff's opposition and Defendant's reply. (Doc. Nos. 11, 12.) Having fully considered the parties' arguments and the law, the Court GRANTS Defendant's motion to dismiss for improper venue.
Plaintiff filed this pro se complaint on May 20, 2010.*fn2 (Doc. No. 1 (Compl.).) The gravamen of Plaintiff's complaint is that Defendant directed Lee M. Quick*fn3 to access Plaintiff's personal computer and retrieve Plaintiff's financial and personal information. (See id. ¶¶ 22--25.) Defendant allegedly used Plaintiff's personal information to contact third parties and "spread false factual information" about him, which ultimately caused Plaintiff's "Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) clearance" to be suspended. (Id. ¶¶ 25--27.) Plaintiff asserts claims for violation of federal and state law, and for intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation.*fn4 (Id. ¶ 28--56.)
The events alleged in Plaintiff's complaint took place in Contra Costa County and Alameda County, California, and York County, Virginia. (See Hyden Decl. ¶ 6; Compl. ¶ 18--27.) Defendant is a practicing attorney with his principal place of business in Contra Costa County, California. (Hyden Decl. ¶¶ 3, 6.) All of Defendant's acts, including his retention of Mr. Quick, were initiated from Defendant's business office in Contra Costa County, California. (Id. ¶¶ 6, 8.)
Defendant now moves for an order dismissing Plaintiff's complaint for improper venue or, in the alternative, transferring this matter to the Northern District of California. (Doc. No. 3.)
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b),
A civil action wherein jurisdiction is not founded solely on diversity of citizenship may, except as otherwise provided by law, be brought only in (1) a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same State, (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred . . . , or (3) a judicial district in which any defendant may be found, if there is no district in which the action may otherwise be brought.
A defendant may raise the defense of improper venue by way of a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3). Once a defendant challenges venue, the plaintiff bears the burden of showing that venue is proper. Piedmont Label Co. v. Sun Garden Packing Co., 598 F.2d 491, 496 (9th Cir. 1979). In determining whether venue is proper, the Court may consider facts outside the pleadings probative of the issue of venue. Argueta v. Banco Mexicano, S.A., 87 F.3d 320, 324 (9th Cir. 1996).
If the Court determines venue is improper, it may dismiss the case, or if it is in the interest of justice, the Court may transfer the case to any other district in which it could have been brought. 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a); Dist. No. 1, Pac. Coast Dist. v. Alaska, 682 F.2d 797, 799 n.3 (9th Cir. 1982). Ultimately, the decision whether to dismiss or transfer rests in the Court's sound discretion. See King v. Russell, 963 F.2d 1301, 1304--05 (9th Cir. 1992).
1. Defendant's Request for Judicial Notice
Defendant moves the Court to take judicial notice of three documents filed in Alameda County Superior Court Case No. VP06290340: (1) an order suspending Plaintiff as trustee of the John and Christy Ryan Family Trust (Ryan Trust) and directing Plaintiff to reimburse the Ryan Trust for losses and attorney's fees; (2) a judgment against Plaintiff in the amount of $939,508.47; and (3) an order appointing Defendant as trustee of the Ryan Trust. (See RJN Exs. 1--3.) Although Plaintiff does not directly oppose Defendant's request, Plaintiff contests the veracity and validity of these documents. (See Opp'n 8--16.) Nevertheless, the Court finds that each of these documents is properly judicially noticed. See United States ex rel. Robinson Rancheria Citizens Council v. Borneo, Inc., 971 F.2d 244, 248 (9th Cir. 1992) ("We may take notice of proceedings in other courts, both within and without the federal judicial system, if those proceedings ...