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Sillah v. Command International Security Services

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

October 13, 2014

ABDULLAH SILLAH, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMAND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY SERVICES, NAFEES MEMON, WAQAS

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS

LUCY H. KOH, District Judge.

Plaintiff Abdullah Sillah ("Plaintiff") brings this action for violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and various California labor laws against Defendants Command International Security Services ("Command International"), Nafees Memon, Waqas "Nick" Memon, and Nousheen Memon (collectively, "Defendants"). Before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, improper venue, or, in the alternative, transfer of venue. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court finds this matter appropriate for resolution without oral argument and hereby VACATES the hearing scheduled for October 16, 2014. The October 16, 2014 case management conference remains as set at 1:30 p.m. Having considered the submissions of the parties and the relevant law, and for good cause shown, the Court hereby DENIES Defendants' motion to dismiss.

I. Background

A. Factual background

Command International is a licensed California security guard company. Declaration of Waqas "Nick" Memon ("Waqas Decl.") ¶ 1. Its principal place of business is in Van Nuys, California. Id. Defendants Waqas "Nick" Memon, Nafees Memon, and Nousheen Memon are residents of California. Id. ¶ 16; Declaration of Nafees Memon ("Nafees Decl.") ¶ 16; MTD at 4. Plaintiff is also a resident of California. First Am. Compl. ¶ 6.

In or around the summer of 2013, Defendants hired Plaintiff as a security guard. Declaration of Abdullah Sillah (Plaintiff Decl.) ¶ 2. Plaintiff was assigned to work as a security guard at locations throughout California, with most of his assignments in northern California. Id. ¶ 3. For each of Plaintiff's assignments, Defendants provided Plaintiff with a trailer to live in that was located on the work site. Id. ¶ 3. Prior to February 2014, Plaintiff's biweekly salary was $1, 100. Id. In around February of 2014, Defendants assigned Plaintiff to provide security services in San Jose, California. Id. ¶ 4. Plaintiff's hours were from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., Monday through Friday, and 24 hour shifts on Saturday and Sunday. Id. During Plaintiff's assignment in San Jose, Plaintiff's biweekly salary was $1, 200. Id.

On April 29, 2014, Plaintiff filed an original Complaint against Defendants, alleging violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and various California statutes. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff alleges that a few days later, Plaintiff received a call from Mr. Salah Ali, a recruiter for Defendants, "telling [Plaintiff] to drop the lawsuit." Plaintiff Decl. ¶ 6. On May 5, 2014, a man showed up at Plaintiff's trailer and informed Plaintiff that "the boss wanted to talk to [Plaintiff] and they wanted [Plaintiff] to leave. Id. ¶ 7. Immediately after, Plaintiff received a phone call from Mr. Ali, informing Plaintiff that Plaintiff had to leave immediately and had one hour to pack up the trailer and move out. Id. Plaintiff requested more time to vacate the trailer, but Mr. Ali only gave Plaintiff an additional hour. Id. After Plaintiff's eviction and termination, he was homeless for two weeks. Id. ¶ 8. Plaintiff received his last paycheck from Defendants on May 6, 2014. Id. ¶ 9.

B. Procedural History

Plaintiff filed an original Complaint on April 29, 2014. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint ("FAC") on May 8, 2014. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, improper venue, or alternatively, for transfer of venue on June 5, 2014. ("MTD") ECF No. 11. Plaintiff filed his opposition on June 19, 2014. ("Opp'n") ECF No. 19. Defendants did not file a reply.

II. Discussion

Defendants contend that Plaintiff's FAC should be dismissed because (1) the Court lacks personal jurisdiction and (2) venue is improper in the Northern District of California. In the alternative, Defendants request that the Court transfer this action to the Central District of California under 28 U.S.C. § 1404. The Court addresses each argument below.

A. Rule 12(b)(2)

Defendants move to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(2) on the grounds that the Court lacks personal jurisdiction over each of them. When a defendant moves to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, "the plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating that jurisdiction is appropriate." Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor Co., 374 F.3d 797, 800 (9th Cir. 2004). Because the Court has not conducted an evidentiary hearing, Plaintiff "need only make a prima facie showing of jurisdictional facts." Sher v. Johnson, 911 F.2d 1357, 1361 (9th Cir. 1990). At this stage of the proceeding, uncontroverted facts contained in the FAC are taken as true, and "[c]onflicts between parties over statements contained in affidavits must be resolved in the plaintiff's favor." Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 800.

There are three traditional bases for personal jurisdiction: physical presence, domicile, and consent. See, e.g., Martin v. D-Wave Sys., Inc., No. 09-3602, 2009 WL 4572742, at *1-2 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 1, 2009). A person is "domiciled" "in a location where he or she has established a fixed habitation or abode in a particular place, and [intends] to remain there permanently or indefinitely." Lew v. Moss, 797 F.2d 747, 749-50 (9th Cir. 1986) (internal quotation marks omitted). As a general matter, determination of an individual's domicile involves evaluating the individual's "current residence, voting registration and voting practices, location of personal and real property, location of brokerage and bank accounts, location of spouse and family, membership in unions and other organizations, place of employment or business, driver's license and automobile registration, and payment of taxes." Id. at 750. A corporation "shall be deemed to be a citizen of ...


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