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Dumitrescu v. Dyncorp International, LLC

United States District Court, District of Columbia

June 30, 2017

COSMIN DUMITRESCU, Plaintiff,
v.
DYNCORP INTERNATIONAL, LLC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          AMY BERMAN JACKSON United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Cosmin Dumitrescu has brought a breach of contract action against defendant DynCorp International, LLC. Plaintiff is a Romanian citizen who was a contract employee of DynCorp, a government contractor performing work in Afghanistan. He alleges that defendant breached an implied contract with him to refrain from employment discrimination after it terminated his employment in response to his reports of sexual harassment. Am. Compl. [Dkt. # 6]. Defendant has moved to dismiss the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, [1] lack of personal jurisdiction, improper venue, and failure to state a claim. Mot. to Dismiss Am. Compl., or in the Alternative, Transfer [Dkt. # 8] (“Def.'s Mot.”) at 1. Because the Court finds that it lacks personal jurisdiction over defendant and that venue is not proper in this district, it will transfer the action to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff alleges that defendant had a contract with the State Department to provide certain services in Afghanistan. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 7-8. While plaintiff does not specifically allege the exact requirements of DynCorp's contract with the State Department, he alleges that he worked for defendant at the Kunduz Regional Training Center and Kabul Gibson Training Center in Afghanistan from March 2006 until his termination on July 8, 2015. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 7-8, 10.[2]According to plaintiff, beginning around April 2015, plaintiff's direct supervisor attempted to pursue a sexual relationship with plaintiff's female coworker. Id. ¶ 11. Plaintiff alleges that when he voiced his objections to these sexual advances, the supervisor began to “engage in a campaign of retaliation and harassment against” him. Id. ¶¶ 11-13. Plaintiff claims that ultimately, he was terminated on July 8, 2015 in retaliation for objecting to the harassment of his co-worker. Id. ¶ 15.

         Plaintiff filed this lawsuit on August 17, 2016, alleging that defendant retaliated against him in violation of Title VII, and that it breached an implied contract with him to comply with United States anti-discrimination laws in its performance of its contract with the State Department. Compl. [Dkt. # 1].

         On December 19, 2016, plaintiff filed an amended complaint which dropped the Title VII claim but retained the breach of implied contract claim. Am. Compl. Plaintiff alleges that even though he “had no express contract with Defendant, ” since DynCorp is a U.S. government contractor, it was bound by an implied contract with plaintiff to comply with Executive Order 11246, which prohibits government contractors from engaging in employment discrimination. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 22-23. The amended complaint alleged a breach of that implied contract. Id. ¶¶ 21-26.

         On December 29, 2016, defendant filed its motion to dismiss. Def.'s Mot. Plaintiff opposed the motion on January 12, 2017, Pl.'s Mem. of Law in Supp. of Opp. to Def.'s Mot. [Dkt. # 9] (“Pl.'s Opp.”), and defendant filed a reply on January 19, 2017. Reply in Supp. of Def.'s Mot. [Dkt. # 10] (“Def.'s Reply”).

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         I. Personal Jurisdiction

         The plaintiff bears the burden of establishing personal jurisdiction over each defendant. Crane v. N.Y. Zoological Soc'y, 894 F.2d 454, 456 (D.C. Cir. 1990). In order to survive a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, the “plaintiff must make a prima facie showing of the pertinent jurisdictional facts.” First Chi. Int'l v. United Exch. Co., 836 F.2d 1375, 1378 (D.C. Cir. 1988). To establish that personal jurisdiction exists, the “plaintiff must allege specific acts connecting the defendant with the forum.” In re Papst Licensing GMBH & Co. KG Litig., 590 F.Supp.2d 94, 97-98 (D.D.C. 2008), citing Second Amendment Found. v. U.S. Conference of Mayors, 274 F.3d 521, 524 (D.C. Cir. 2001). A plaintiff “cannot rely on conclusory allegations” to establish personal jurisdiction. Atlantigas Corp. v. Nisource, Inc., 290 F.Supp.2d 34, 42 (D.D.C. 2003).

         II. Venue

         “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 Darby v. U.S. Dep't of Energy, 231 F.Supp.2d 274, 276-77 (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 (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).

         ANALYSIS

         I. This Court Lacks Personal ...


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