United States District Court, District of Columbia
COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Jeffrey Revis brings this action against his former employer,
Tustin Construction Services, LLC (“TCS”) for
wages allegedly owed following Plaintiff's termination.
Pending before the Court is Defendant's  Motion for
Change of Venue. Defendant asks the Court to transfer this
action to the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania. Defendant's Motion is, in large
part, based on the fact that the parties previously signed an
agreement containing a forum selection clause whereby they
stipulated that disputes of this nature would be litigated in
Pennsylvania. Upon consideration of the pleadings,
relevant legal authorities, and the record as a whole, the
Court GRANTS Defendant's motion to
change venue. The Court finds that this action could have
been brought in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
originally, and that private and public interest factors
weigh in favor of transfer.
lawsuit arises from Plaintiff Jeffrey Revis' employment
with Defendant TCS. See Compl., ECF No. 1-3, ¶
6. Plaintiff alleges that he was terminated “for no
reason other than to avoid paying” him a bonus and
other wages that Plaintiff alleges he is owed. Id.
¶ 24. Among other things, Plaintiff claims that
Defendant is obligated to pay him $12, 000 under a
NonDisclosure and Non-Competition Agreement that Plaintiff
and Defendant entered into when Plaintiff was first hired.
Id. ¶¶ 18-20. Plaintiff alleges that
“Section 2.2 of the Non-Disclosure Agreement provides
that Revis is to be paid $12, 000 upon termination in
consideration for his not obtaining employment in a territory
where Tustin is licensed.” Id. ¶ 19.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant has failed to pay him this
amount. Id. ¶ 20. His lawsuit is expressly
based, in part, on this obligation. Id. ¶ 30.
originally brought this lawsuit in the Superior Court for the
District of Columbia. Defendant then removed it to this Court
based on diversity of citizenship. See Notice of
Removal, ECF No. 1. After filing its Answer, Defendant moved
to transfer this action to the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania. That motion has been fully briefed and is ripe
to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), a court may transfer a case to
any other district where it might have been brought
“[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the
interest of justice.” The party moving to transfer
venue bears the burden of establishing that convenience and
the interests of justice weigh in favor of transfer. See
Int'l Bhd. of Painters & Allied Trades Union v. Best
Painting and Sandblasting Co., Inc., 621 F.Supp. 906,
907 (D.D.C. 1985). Section 1404(a) vests discretion in the
district court to conduct an “individualized,
case-by-case” analysis of whether transfer is
appropriate. Stewart Org., Inc. v. Ricoh Corp., 487
U.S. 22, 29 (1988).
the parties agree that venue is technically valid in this
District, the Court will nonetheless exercise its discretion
to transfer this action to the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania in the interest of justice pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1404(a). Determining whether transfer is appropriate
pursuant to Section 1404(a) calls for a two-part inquiry.
First, the Court must ask whether the transferee forum is one
where the action “might have been brought”
originally. § 1404(a). Second, the Court must consider
whether private and public interest factors weigh in favor of
transfer. See Lentz v. Eli Lilly & Co., 464
F.Supp.2d 35, 36-37 (D.D.C. 2006). In this case, the Court
concludes that this action could have been brought originally
in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and that private and
public interest factors weigh in favor of transferring the
case to that court.
Plaintiff Could Have Brought this Action in the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania
would have been proper in the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania if this action had been brought there
originally. Plaintiff argues that venue would not have been
proper in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania because
“all operable facts took place in the District of
Columbia.” Pl.'s Opp'n at 7-8. Even if the
Court were to agree that “all operable facts”
took place in D.C.-and it does not-this argument misstates
the standard for venue. It ignores the fact that venue would
be proper in this case in any “judicial district in
which any defendant resides, if all defendants are residents
of the State in which the district is located.” 28
U.S.C. § 1391(b)(1).
case, the sole Defendant, TCS, resides in the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania. Its principal place of business is
located in that district, in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
See Decl. of James Tustin Sasser, ECF No. 10-2
(“Sasser Decl.”), ¶ 2. Plaintiff makes no
attempt to dispute this fact. Accordingly, this action could
have been brought originally in the Eastern District of
The Private and Public Interest Factors We i g h in Favor
second step of the Court's analysis is determining
whether the relevant private and public interest factors
weigh in favor of transferring the action. The Court finds
that both ...