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Chrisma Griggs v. Michael Bullock and Craig

July 1, 2011

CHRISMA GRIGGS,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL BULLOCK AND CRAIG
TANAKA,
DEFENDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO CHANGE VENUE

ORDER DENYING REQUEST FOR TULARE DISTRICT HOSPITAL, ELECTRONIC FILING WITHOUT PREJUDICE ORDER DENYING REQUEST TO WAIVE COSTS OF LITIGATION

(Doc. 49)

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff, Chrisma Griggs ("Plaintiff"), filed a complaint on March 8, 2010, alleging Defendants, Tulare District Hospital, Michael Bullock and Craig Tanaka engaged in sexual harassment, retaliation and sexual discrimination against Plaintiff. The complaint alleges a cause of action for sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000 et seq and a cause of action for sexual harassment pursuant to California Government Code § 12900 et seq. Defendant Tulare District Hospital filed an answer on June 28, 2010, as well as a cross-claim against Sodexo America, LLC, on September 22, 2010. (Docs. 12 and 17).*fn1

On February 17, 2011, Plaintiff's counsel filed a Motion to Withdraw on the basis that there was a breakdown of communication with Plaintiff as evidenced in part by Plaintiff's refusal to participate in her deposition. (Docs. 35-37 37). Plaintiff did not oppose the Motion to Withdraw, nor did she attend the hearing on the motion that was held on April 15, 2011. (Doc. 41). The Motion to Withdraw as counsel was granted on April 19, 2011. (Doc. 43). The Court required that the parties appear for a status conference on April 27, 2011. (Doc. 43). Plaintiff was advised that if she did not appear, her case may be dismissed. Plaintiff failed to appear for the hearing on April 27, 2011. (Doc. 44).

On April 29, 2011, this Court issued an Order to Show Cause requiring Plaintiff to personally appear on May 25, 2011, and show cause why her case should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute. (Doc. 45). On May 24, 2011, the Court received a telephone call from Plaintiff requesting a continuance of the hearing, as well as a request that her case be transferred to Sacramento, California. Plaintiff was advised that the Court could not consider ex parte requests and all requests must be filed in writing with proper service to opposing counsel.

On May 25, 2011, Defendants' counsel appeared at the Order to Show Cause hearing, however, Plaintiff did not appear. In light of the fact that Plaintiff contacted the Court, the Order to Show Cause hearing was continued until July 11, 2011 to give Plaintiff another opportunity to appear. (Doc. 46).

On June 14, 2011, Plaintiff filed a motion wherein Plaintiff requests that: 1) her case be transferred to Sacramento, California; 2) the Court waive the costs of the litigation; and 3) the Court permit her to file documents electronically. The Court construed Plaintiff's Request for a Transfer as a Motion to Change Venue and ordered Defendants to file a response to that motion. (Doc. 51). Defendant Tulare District Healthcare System filed an opposition on June 21, 2011. (Docs. 52-54). Defendant Sodexo America filed an opposition on June 22, 2011. (Docs. 56 and 57). Plaintiff filed a reply on July 1, 2011. (Doc.58).*fn2 The Court has reviewed all of the pleadings and denies all of Plaintiff's requests.

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff's Motion to Change Venue 28 U.S.C. § 1391 (b) provides that

A civil action wherein jurisdiction is not founded soley 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 a substantial part of property that is the subject of the action is situated, or (3) a judicial district in which any defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction at the time the action is commenced, if there is no district in which the action may otherwise be brought.

28 U.S.C.A. § 1391(b).

A Court may transfer a civil action to any other district or division where the action might have been brought for the convenience of parties and witnesses, or in the interest of justice. 28 U.S.C.A. ยง 1404.(a). Moreover, a civil action may be transferred in the discretion of the court, from the division in which ...


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