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Bakhtiar v. Information Resources, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

February 22, 2018

IRAM BAKHTIAR, Plaintiff,
v.
INFORMATION RESOURCES, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING MOTION TO TRANSFER RE: ECF NO. 24

          JON S. TIGAR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Defendant Information Resources, Inc.'s (“IRI”) Motion to Transfer Venue. For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies the motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff, Iram Bakhtiar, brings this putative collective and class action against her former Employer, IRI. ECF No. 13 1 ¶ 1. Bakhtiar resides in Sunnyvale, California. Id. ¶ 8. IRI is a Delaware corporation that is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Id. ¶ 9; ECF No. 24 at 7. Bakhtiar worked remotely for IRI as a Client Service Manager from June 2011 to September 2016. ECF No. 13 ¶ 8. Bakhtiar alleges that she and the other putative class members are non-exempt employees under state and federal wage and hour laws. Id. ¶ 2. She alleges that she and the other putative class members should have been classified as non-exempt employees and received overtime pay consistent with the requirements of those laws. Id.

         II. REQUEST FOR JUDICAL NOTICE

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 201(b), “[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.” IRI requests, and Bakhtiar does not oppose, judicial notice of the judicial caseloads of the United States District Courts for the Northern California and the Northern District of Illinois. The Court will take judicial notice of these caseloads.

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         “For the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil action to any other district where it might have been brought.” 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). The purpose of section 1404(a) is to “prevent the waste of time, energy, and money and to protect litigants, witnesses and the public against unnecessary inconvenience and expense.” Van Dusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 616 (1964) (internal citation and quotation marks omitted). A motion for transfer lies within the broad discretion of the district court, and must be determined on an individualized basis. See Jones v. GNC Franchising, Inc., 211 F.3d 495, 498 (9th Cir. 2000) (“Under § 1404(a), the district court has discretion ‘to adjudicate motions for transfer according to an individualized, case-by-case consideration of convenience and fairness.'” (quoting Stewart Org. v. Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 29 (1988))).

         As the moving party, Defendant bears the burden of showing that transfer is warranted. Id. at 499. The statute defines three factors that courts must consider: the convenience of the parties, the convenience of the witnesses, and the interests of justice. 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). The Ninth Circuit requires that courts consider a variety of factors in determining whether to transfer an action. See Jones, 211 F.3d at 498; Decker Coal Co. v. Commonwealth Edison Co., 805 F.2d 834, 843 (9th Cir. 1986). The relevant factors are: (1) plaintiff's choice of forum, (2) convenience of the parties, (3) convenience of the witnesses, (4) ease of access to the evidence, (5) familiarity of each forum with the applicable law, (6) feasibility of consolidation of other claims, (7) any local interest in the controversy, and (8) the relative court congestion and time of trial in each forum. Barnes & Noble v. LSI Corp., 823 F.Supp.2d 980, 993 (N.D. Cal. 2011).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         A. Venue in the Target District

         Transfer is only appropriate if the action could have been brought in Northern District of Illinois. “A district court is one in which an action could have been brought originally if (1) it has subject matter jurisdiction; (2) defendants would have been subject to personal jurisdiction; and (3) venue would have been proper.” Duffy v. Facebook, Inc., No. 16-CV-06764-JSC, 2017 WL 1739109, at *3 (N.D. Cal. May 4, 2017) (citing Hoffman, 363 U.S. 333, 343-44 (1960).

         Here, IRI argues, and Bakhtiar does not dispute, that this action could originally have been brought in the Northern District of Illinois. Proper venue and personal jurisdiction exist in the Northern District of Illinois because IRI maintains its corporate headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. See 28 U.S.C. § 1391(c)(2); Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 US, 316-317 (1945). Accordingly, the Court finds that this case could have been brought in the Northern District of Illinois.

         B. ...


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