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Johnson v. Law

United States District Court, S.D. California

May 14, 2014

Angela Johnson, on behalf of herself, and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
Bennett Law, et al., Defendants

Page 1005

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1006

For Angela Johnson, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situatued, Plaintiff: Ronald Marron, LEAD ATTORNEY, Alexis Marie Wood, Beatrice Skye Resendes, Kas L. Gallucci, Law Offices of Ronald A. Marron, APLC, San Diego, CA.

For Complete Payment Recovery Services, Inc., Certegy Check Services, Inc., Fidelity National Information Services, Inc., Defendants: Jeffrey Alan Topor, Tomio B Narita, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Simmonds and Narita LLP, San Francisco, CA; Robert Travis Campbell, Severson & Werson, San Francisco, CA.

Page 1007

Order Transferring Case to the District of South Carolina [Doc. No. 39]

CATHY ANN BENCIVENGO, United States District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on a Motion to Dismiss Complaint or in the Alternative to Transfer Venue by Defendants Complete Payment Recovery Services, Inc. (" CPRS" ), Certegy Check Services, Inc. (" CCS" ), and Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. (" FNIS" and together with CPRS and CCS, " Defendants" ). For the reasons set forth below, the Court transfers this action to the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.

I. Background

Plaintiff Angela Johnson (" Johnson" ) is a South Carolina resident. She alleges that in September 2011 her husband (also a South Carolina resident) entered into a contract with Home Depot Home Services (" Home Depot" ) to perform work on his home (located in South Carolina). Her husband provided his South Carolina cell phone number on the application for this work. Beginning in March 2012, Johnson allegedly began receiving unsolicited calls to her cell phone concerning her husband's alleged debt to Home Depot. Johnson alleges that she " believes" she was initially contacted by CPRS, CCS, " and/or" FNIS, and that the call or calls were placed via an " automatic telephone dialing system." According to the First Amended Complaint, CPRS and FNIS are Georgia corporations, and CCS is a Delaware corporation, with all three having their respective principal places of business in Florida.

Johnson asserts causes of action against all three Defendants [1] for negligent and willful violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 et seq. She purports to bring these claims on behalf of herself and a nationwide class consisting others who allegedly received unauthorized calls from Defendants to their cell phones via an automatic telephone dialing system.

On October 30, 2013, Defendants filed this motion to dismiss the First Amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3) for improper venue. In the alternative, Defendants ask the Court to transfer this action to the District of South Carolina or to the Northern District of Alabama.

II. Legal Standard

As plaintiff, Johnson has the burden of establishing proper venue. Piedmont Label Co. v. Sun Garden Packing Co., 598 F.2d 491, 496 (9th Cir. 1979); Blair v. CBE Group, Inc., 13-cv-134-MMA-WVG, 2013 WL 2029155 at *2 (S.D. Cal. May 13, 2013). The general venue statute located at 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) governs that determination here. According to this statute, venue is proper in:

(1) a judicial district in which any defendant resides, if all defendants are residents of the same State in which the district is located;
(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 ...

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