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Johnson v. Lumenos

January 11, 2007

SAMUEL JOHNSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LUMENOS, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ricardo M. Urbina United States District Judge

Document No. 4

MEMORANDUM OPINION

GRANTING THE DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO TRANSFER THE CASE TO THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA

I. INTRODUCTION

The plaintiff, Samuel Johnson, brings suit against the defendant, Lumenos, Inc., alleging acts of employment discrimination in violation of both federal law and Virginia common law. The defendant moves the court to dismiss the action for lack of personal jurisdiction, or in the alternative, to transfer the case to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ("the Eastern District of Virginia" or "the transferee district"). The plaintiff consents to the defendant's motion to transfer. Because the proposed transfer is appropriate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404, the court grants the defendant's motion and transfers the case to the Eastern District of Virginia.*fn1

II. BACKGROUND

The plaintiff, an African-American male, was employed at the defendant company, located in Alexandria, Virginia. Compl. ¶¶ 5-7. During his employment, the plaintiff complained to the defendant's management that he had suffered "discriminatory and offensive" treatment. Id. ¶ 9. The plaintiff alleges that, after he complained to management, the defendant's conduct to the plaintiff "became retaliatory and increasingly hostile." Id. ¶ 10. Then, three weeks after the plaintiff's complaint, the plaintiff was fired. Id. ¶ 11.

After his termination, the plaintiff filed a charge of discrimination with the Alexandria Office of Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the latter issued the plaintiff a right to sue letter. Def.'s Mot. at 1. Subsequently, the plaintiff initiated this suit, accusing the defendant of race and sexual orientation discrimination, harassment, hostile workplace environment, retaliation and wrongful termination in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and the Alexandria Human Rights Code, in addition to an assortment of Virginia common law claims. Id. ¶¶ 1, 25.

III. ANALYSIS

A. Legal Standard for Venue under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) and Transfer Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a)

When federal jurisdiction is not premised solely on diversity, 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) controls venue, establishing that venue is proper in:

(1) a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same State, (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property that is the subject of the action is situated, or (3) a judicial district in which any defendant may be found, if there is no district in which the action may otherwise be brought.

28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).

In an action where venue is proper, 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) nonetheless authorizes a court to transfer the action to any other district where it could have been brought "for the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice[.]" 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Section 1404(a) vests "discretion in the district court to adjudicate motions to transfer according to [an] individualized, case-by-case consideration of convenience and fairness." Stewart Org., Inc. v. Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 27 (1988) (quoting Van Dusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 622 (1964)). Under this ...


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