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Johnson v. Deloitte Services, LLP

United States District Court, District of Columbia

April 15, 2013

LAVERNE JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
DELOITTE SERVICES, LLP, et al., Defendants

LAVERNE JOHNSON, Plaintiff, Pro se, Centreville, VA.

For DELOITTE SERVICES, LLP, JOSEPH WILSON, Division Manager of Subcontract, BARBARA CHINN, Senior Subcontracts Manager, GEORGE IRIZARRY, Subcontracts Manager, KEITH BARNES, Talent Manager/Human Resources, CHRISTOPHER ROSE, Principle, MARC MURPHY, Principle, JON KOROL, Principle, HAIL HALEEM, LESLIE BERRY, Defendants: Constantinos G. Panagopoulos, LEAD ATTORNEY, BALLARD SPAHR LLP, Washington, DC.

OPINION

Page 2

AMY BERMAN JACKSON, United States District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiff LaVerne Johnson, proceeding pro se, has brought this action against her former employer -- Deloitte Services, LLP (" Deloitte" ) -- and several of its employees. Compl. [Dkt. # 1] at 1-2. She alleges that defendants discriminated and retaliated against her in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (" Title VII" ) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and that they violated the Family Medical Leave Act. Id. at 10-11, 13.

Defendants have moved to dismiss the action for improper venue. Mot. to Dismiss for Improper Venue [Dkt. # 5] (" Defs.' Mot." ). Plaintiff has opposed the motion to dismiss, but has requested, in the alternative, that the Court transfer this case to the Eastern District of Virginia. Pl.'s Brief Mot. to Transfer Venue [Dkt. # 8] (" Pl.'s Opp." ) at 10. [1] Because the Court finds that the District of Columbia is not a proper venue for plaintiff's Title VII and Americans with Disabilities Act claims, but the Eastern District of Virginia is an appropriate venue for all of plaintiff's claims, the Court will transfer this action to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff alleges that she was employed with Deloitte Services, LLP from February 7, 2011 to May 29, 2012, as a subcontract manager. Compl. at 3. She alleges that toward the end of her employment

Page 3

she applied for family medical leave and began to lodge charges of discrimination and harassment based on sex, race, and retaliation, and unfair employment practices against one of her managers, Barbara Chinn. Id. at 4. During that time, plaintiff was allegedly reporting directly to Keith Barnes, who was located in the company's Tennessee office. Id. On at least one occasion, Mr. Barnes traveled to meet with plaintiff in her McLean, Virginia office to discuss her allegations. Id. at 4, 8, 9. The complaint alleges that plaintiff's employment with Deloitte Services, LLP was terminated on May 29, 2012. Id. at 3.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

" 'In considering a Rule 12(b)(3) motion, 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.'" Pendleton v. Mukasey, 552 F.Supp.2d 14, 17 (D.D.C. 2008), quoting Darbye v. United States DOE, 231 F.Supp.2d 274, 276 (D.D.C. 2002). The court may consider material outside of the pleadings. Artis v. Greenspan, 223 F.Supp.2d 149, 152 (D.D.C. 2002), citing Land v. Dollar, 330 U.S. 731, 735 n.4, 67 S.Ct. 1009, 91 L.Ed. 1209 (1947). " Because it is the plaintiff's obligation to institute the action in a permissible forum, the plaintiff usually bears the burden of establishing that venue is proper." Freeman v. Fallin, 254 F.Supp.2d 52, 56 (D.D.C. 2003). " Unless there are pertinent factual disputes to resolve, a challenge to venue presents a pure question of law." Williams v. GEICO Corp., 792 F.Supp.2d 58, 62 (D.D.C. 2011). Where a plaintiff proceeds pro se, " the Court must take particular care to construe the plaintiff's filings liberally, for ...


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