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Jyachosky v. Winter

June 29, 2006

BARBARA A. JYACHOSKY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DONALD C. WINTER, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Henry H. Kennedy, Jr. United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

In five actions before this court, Barbara Jyachosky, a woman of Eastern-European decent and who is over the age of forty, sets forth causes of action against the Department of the Navy, her former employer, alleging that during her employment with the Navy she endured discrimination on the basis of her national origin, gender, and age and retaliation for engaging in protected activity in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621, et. seq.

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1404(a) and 1406(a), the Navy*fn1 moves to dismiss or transfer venue in two of the actions (#26/27 in 04-cv-1733 and #25/26 in 04-cv-1734), and to transfer venue in three others (#13/14 in 05-cv-239, #14/15 in 05-cv-271, and #4 in 05-cv-2251). Upon consideration of the motions, the oppositions thereto, and the record of this case, the court concludes that the Navy's motions to transfer must be granted.

I. BACKGROUND

Jyachosky was employed by the Naval Sea Systems Command ("NAVSEA") from June 19, 1969, to August 3, 2004. Jyachosky asserts that, beginning in 1991 and continuing until her retirement in 2004, she was the victim of various forms of employment discrimination. Each of Jyachosky's complaints address a different period of time during which these acts of discrimination are alleged to have occurred: 04-cv-1733 ("Complaint 1") pertains to acts that occurred from 1991 to 1997; 04-cv-1734 ("Complaint 2") pertains to acts that occurred from 1997 to 2000; 05-cv-0239 ("Complaint 3") pertains to acts that occurred from 2000 to 2004; 05-cv-0271 ("Complaint 4") pertains to acts that occurred from 2002 to 2003; and 05-cv-2251 ("Complaint 5") pertains to acts that occurred from 2002 to 2004.

Each of the aforementioned complaints was filed here. The Navy now moves to dismiss or transfer venue to the Eastern District of Virginia with respect to Complaints 1 and 2, and to transfer venue with respect to Complaints 3, 4, and 5.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Complaints 1 and 2

As with all of Jyachosky's complaints, Complaints 1 and 2 assert claims under both Title VII and the ADEA. Jyachosky's Title VII claims, however, are the focus of the Navy's motions to dismiss or to transfer venue.

When a case is filed in the wrong federal judicial district, the district court in which the action is filed will either dismiss it or transfer it to a district in which the action could have been brought. 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a). In considering a motion to dismiss for lack of venue, unless contradicted by an evidentiary showing "the court accepts the plaintiff's well-pled factual allegations regarding venue as true, draws all reasonable inferences from those allegations in the plaintiff's favor, and resolves any factual conflicts in the plaintiff's favor." Darby v. United States Dep't of Energy, 231 F. Supp. 2d 274, 276--77 (D.D.C. 2002) (citing Fifth St. Assocs. v. U-Haul Int'l, Inc., 148 F. Supp. 2d 50, 54 (D.D.C. 2001)). To prevail on her motion to dismiss, a defendant must present facts to defeat a plaintiff's assertion of venue. Fifth St. Assocs. 148 F. Supp. 2d at 54 (citing 5A Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1352 (2d ed.1990)).

The appropriate standard for determining venue in Title VII cases is not the general venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1391, but rather the venue provision contained in 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(3). Stebbins v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 413 F.2d 1100, 1102 (D.C. Cir. 1969) (per curiam); accord Quarles v. Gen. Inv. & Dev. Co., 260 F. Supp. 2d 1, 8 (D.D.C. 2003); Darby, 231 F. Supp. 2d at 277. Title VII's venue provision provides in relevant part:

[A Title VII] action may be brought in [1] any judicial district in the State in which the unlawful employment practice is alleged to have been committed, [2] in the judicial district in which the employment records relevant to such practice are maintained and administered, or [3] in the judicial district in which the aggrieved person would have worked but for the alleged unlawful employment practice, [4] but if the respondent is not found within any such district, such an action may be brought within the judicial district in which the respondent has his principal office.

42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(3). In the instant case, the Navy argues that none of the venue provisions set forth in § 2000e-5(f)(3) allow for venue in the District of Columbia. The Navy is correct.

The court takes judicial notice of the fact that, although NAVSEA is currently headquartered in the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., prior to July 2001 NAVSEA was located in Arlington, Virginia. Because Complaints 1 and 2 are based on actions that took place between 1991 and 1999, the events underlying Jyachosky's Title VII claims in these complaints all arose in Arlington, Virginia. Accordingly, the first ...


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