United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO TRANSFER RE:
DKT. NO. 11
A. WESTMORE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Henry Ocampo brought the instant action against Defendant
HeiTech Services, Inc., alleging violations of various
California labor laws. (See Compl. ¶ 2, Dkt.
No. 1-2.) Pending before the Court is Defendant's motion
to transfer to the District Court of Maryland. (Def.'s
Mot. to Transfer, Dkt. No. 11.)
Court finds this matter suitable for disposition without a
hearing pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-11, and VACATES the
hearing. Having considered the parties' filings and the
relevant legal authority, the Court DENIES Defendant's
motion to transfer.
is a California resident who worked for Defendant, a Maryland
corporation. (Compl. ¶¶ 6-7.) Defendant assigned
Plaintiff to work in San Francisco, California. (Compl.
¶ 7.) Plaintiff's duties included capacity building
in various Pacific islands to educate minority communities in
health and educational issues. (Hackett Decl. ¶ 4, Dkt.
No. 11-1.) Plaintiff would use phone and e-mail to
communicate with Defendant at its Maryland office. (Hackett
Decl. ¶ 4.)
26, 2018, Plaintiff informed Defendant that he needed to take
medical leave due to a disability. (Compl. ¶ 11.) From
July 30, 2018 through August 31, 2018, Plaintiff went on
approved medical leave. (Compl. ¶¶ 13-14.) On
September 2, 2018, Plaintiff began a vacation that had been
scheduled two months prior to his medical leave. (Compl.
¶ 14.) On September 14, 2018, Plaintiff returned to
work, and provided a medical release stating that he could
return to work without restrictions. (Compl. ¶ 15.)
Defendant then notified Plaintiff that his employment would
be terminated as of September 26, 2018 because the government
contract that funded his position was expiring. (Compl.
¶ 16.) Plaintiff alleges, however, that the government
contract did not terminate on September 26, 2018, but
continued for several months thereafter. (Compl. ¶ 18.)
17, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant action in state court,
asserting claims of: (1) disability discrimination in
violation of California's Fair Employment and Housing Act
(“FEHA”), (2) retaliation in violation of FEHA,
(3) retaliation in violation of the Family Medical Leave Act
(“FMLA”) and California Family Rights Act, (4)
failure to prevent discrimination and retaliation in
violation of FEHA, (5) wrongful termination in violation of
public policy, and (6) waiting time penalties per California
Labor Code § 203. (Compl. at 1.) On July 19, 2019,
Defendant removed the case on the basis of federal question
and diversity jurisdiction. (Not. of Removal ¶¶
3-4, Dkt. No. 1.)
September 3, 2019, Defendant moved to transfer venue. On
September 17, 2019, Plaintiff filed his opposition, as well
as a request for judicial notice. (Pl.'s Opp'n, Dkt.
No. 12; Pl.'s Request for Judicial Notice
(“RJN”), Dkt. No. 13.) On September 24, 2019,
Defendant filed its reply. (Def.'s Reply, Dkt. No. 14.)
Request for Judicial Notice
district court may take judicial notice of facts not subject
to reasonable dispute that are “capable of accurate and
ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy
cannot reasonably be questioned.” Fed.R.Evid. 201(b);
United States v. Bernal-Obeso, 989 F.2d 331, 333
(9th Cir. 1993). A court may, therefore, take judicial notice
of matters of public record. United States v.
Wilson, 631 F.2d 118, 119 (9th Cir. 1980).
Motion to Transfer Venue
“[a] district court has discretion to decline to
exercise jurisdiction in a case where litigation in a foreign
forum would be more convenient for the parties.”
Lueck v. Sundstrand Corp., 236 F.3d 1137, 1142 (9th
Cir. 2001). The party moving to dismiss based on forum non
conveniens has the burden of showing that there is an
adequate alternative forum and that the balance of private
and public interest factors favors dismissal. Id. at
1142-43. “A plaintiff's choice of forum will not be
disturbed unless the private and public interest factors
strongly favor trial in the foreign [forum].”
Dardengo v. Honeywell Int'l, Inc. (In re Air Crash
Over the Midatlantic), 792 F.Supp.2d 1090, 1094 (N.D.
Factors relating to the parties' private interests
include relative ease of access to sources of proof;
availability of compulsory process for attendance of
unwilling, and the cost of obtaining attendance of willing,
witnesses; possibility of view of premises, if view would be
appropriate to the action; and all other practical problems
that make trial of a case easy, expeditious and inexpensive.
Public-interest factors may include the administrative
difficulties flowing from court congestion; the local
interest in having localized controversies decided at home;
[and] the interest in ...