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Stone v. U.S. Security Associates, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

May 21, 2015

ROBERT STONE, Plaintiff,


JON S. TIGAR, District Judge.

Before the Court is a Motion for Transfer of Venue filed by Defendant U.S. Security Associates, Inc. ("USSA"), ECF No. 17, and a request for judicial notice in support of the motion, ECF No. 17-1. Plaintiff Robert Stone opposes transfer. ECF No. 18. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant both the motion to transfer and the request for judicial notice.


In this putative class action for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), 15 U.S.C. section 1681, et seq., Plaintiff Stone alleges that USSA uses noncompliant disclosure forms to procure, or cause to be procured, consumer reports for employment purposes. Compl., ECF No. 1. Stone is a California resident who applied for employment with USSA around February 2014. Id. ¶¶ 5, 14. He alleges that, as part of the employment application process, he signed an Applicant Consent Form that did not comply with the FCRA, and that subsequently USSA procured or caused to be procured a consumer report concerning him from a credit reporting agency. Id. ¶¶ 14-15. Stone seeks to represent a class of:

All persons residing in the United States (including all territories and other political subdivisions of the United States) as to whom U.S. Security Associates, Inc. or any of its related companies procured or caused to be procured a consumer report for employment purposes within the period prescribed by FCRA, 15 U.S.C. § 1681p without first providing a clear and conspicuous disclosure in writing to the consumer at any time before the report was procured or caused to be procured, in a document that consists solely of the disclosure, that a consumer report may be obtained for employment purposes.

Id. ¶ 22. On his employment application, Stone listed his place of residence as Hawthorne, California. Declaration of Carol Longmore ("Longmore Decl.") Ex. A, ECF No. 17-6. Stone was hired to work for a USSA branch in Commerce, California, and assigned to a site located in Los Angeles, California. Longmore Decl., ECF No. 17-4 ¶ 10.

Defendant USSA, a security services company, is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Roswell, Georgia. ECF No. 13 ¶ 7; Longmore Decl. ¶ 2. It has operations in approximately 134 cities in 41 states. Longmore Decl. ¶ 2. Carol Longmore, the USSA Compliance Director responsible for USSA's background check policies and procedures, works at the Roswell headquarters and lives nearby. Id. ¶¶ 1-3. In her role as Compliance Director, Longmore has worked with the Georgia-based USSA Human Resources department, as well as former USSA employees Jim Flowers and Jon Dimalanta, to revise USSA's Applicant Consent Form, which is intended to comply with the FCRA. Id. ¶ 4. The last known address for Flowers is in Roswell, Georgia, and the last known address for Dimalanta is in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Id.

USSA branch offices obtain consent for background checks for employment purposes using either USSA's Applicant Consent Form or forms provided by the consumer reporting agency that conducts the background check. Id. ¶ 5. During the last five years, USSA has used the services of nine such consumer reporting agencies: three based in New York, four based in Georgia, one based in Pennsylvania, and one based in South Carolina. Id. ¶ 11. Since approximately 2014, USSA has used an applicant tracking system that records electronic signatures on USSA's Applicant Consent Forms. Id. ¶ 6. In addition, consent forms for hired applicants who begin work with USSA are uploaded to a database that is accessible from USSA's Georgia headquarters. Id. ¶ 7. Signed consent forms for other applicants, to the extent they have been retained, are available only at the branch offices. Id. ¶ 8.

Plaintiff filed his class action complaint in this district on January 16, 2015. ECF No. 1. Defendant filed its answer on February 17, 2015. ECF No. 13. On March 5, 2015, Defendant filed the instant motion to transfer venue to the Northern District of Georgia. ECF No. 17. Plaintiff opposes the motion. ECF No. 18.

This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 15 U.S.C. section 1681p.


Defendant requests that the Court take judicial notice of the judicial caseload profiles of the Northern District of California and the Northern District of Georgia, which are created by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and are available on the U.S. Courts website. ECF No. 17-1. Pursuant to Rule 201(b) of the Federal Rules of Evidence, "[t]he court may judicially notice a fact that is not subject to reasonable dispute because it: (1) is generally known within the trial court's territorial jurisdiction; or (2) can be accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned." The Court "must take judicial notice if a party requests it and the court is supplied with the necessary information." Fed.R.Evid. 201(c). The Court concludes that these documents are proper subjects of judicial notice and grants Defendant's request. See United States v. Ritchie, 342 F.3d 903, 909 (9th Cir. 2003) ("Courts may take judicial notice of some public records, including the records and reports of administrative bodies" (internal quotation marks omitted)); Caltex Plastics, Inc. v. Great Pacific Packaging, Inc., No. 14-cv-2794-RSWL (JEMx), 2014 WL 4060144, at *5 n.2 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 12, 2014) (granting request for judicial notice of judicial caseload profiles).


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