United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
GREN SCHOLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Order addresses Defendant Capsugel US, LLC's
("Defendant") Amended Motion to Dismiss and to
Transfer Venue (the "Motion") [ECF No. 30]. For the
reasons that follow, the Court grants the Motion and
transfers the above-captioned matter to the United States
District Court for the District of New Jersey.
CPM Consulting, LLC ("CPM") is a Texas limited
liability company whose sole member and owner is Plaintiff
Martino Rivaplata ("Rivaplata"). See
Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 1-2, 6. CPM and Rivaplata
(collectively, "Plaintiffs") executed an agreement
with Robert Half Technology ("RHT") in April 2017
to provide Defendant with a SAP HANA Data Modeler. See
Id. ¶ 7. Although the agreement was allegedly
negotiated and executed in Texas, Rivaplata needed to
relocate to New Jersey-where Defendant is located-to perform
the contract. See Id. ¶¶ 3, 8, 15, 17.
Plaintiffs were allegedly assured by RHT and Defendant that
the project would last at least six months. See Id.
¶¶ 8, 25. Nonetheless, Defendant terminated
Plaintiffs three months early, allegedly in favor of hiring
three Indian nationals. See Id. ¶¶ 11-12.
on these allegations, Plaintiffs contend that the termination
violated the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
("NJLAD"), N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq. See Id.
¶ 15. Plaintiffs further contend that, by terminating
Plaintiffs early, Defendant tortiously interfered with
Plaintiffs' contract with RHT. See Id. ¶
26. In the Motion, Defendant moves to dismiss the tortious
interference claim and to transfer the remaining NJLAD claim
to the New Jersey district court.
Motion to Dismiss
defeat a motion to dismiss filed pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a plaintiff must plead "enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face," Bell AH. Corp. v. Twombty, 550 U.S. 544,
570 (2007); Reliable Consultants, Inc. v. Earle, 517
F.3d 738, 742 (5th Cir. 2008). To meet this "facial
plausibility" standard, a plaintiff must "plead
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). Plausibility does not require probability, but a
plaintiff must establish "more than a sheer possibility
that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. The
court must accept well-pleaded facts as true and view them in
the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Sonnier v.
State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins., 509 F.3d 673, 675 (5th Cir.
2007). However, the court does not accept as true
"conclusory allegations, unwarranted factual inferences,
or legal conclusions." Ferrer v. Chevron Corp.,
484 F.3d 776, 780 (5th Cir. 2007) (citation omitted). A
plaintiff must provide "more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 555 (internal citations omitted). "Factual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
the speculative level... on the assumption that all the
allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in
fact)." Id. (internal citations omitted).
ultimate question is whether the complaint states a valid
claim when viewed in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff. Great Plains Tr. Co. v. Morgan Stanley Dean
Witter & Co., 313 F.3d 305, 312 (5th Cir. 2002). At
the motion to dismiss stage, the court does not evaluate the
plaintiffs likelihood of success. It only determines whether
the plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can be
granted. Mann v. Adams Realty Co., 556 F.2d 288, 293
(5th Cir. 1977).
Transfer of Venue
U.S.C. § 1404(a) provides, "For the convenience of
parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district
court may transfer any civil action to any other district or
division where it might have been brought." As a
plaintiffs original choice of forum is ordinarily entitled to
some deference, the party seeking transfer must
"demonstrate that the transferee venue is clearly more
convenient." In re Volkswagen of Am., Inc., 545
F.3d 304, 315 (5th Cir. 2008). The plaintiffs choice of forum
is not, however, "an independent factor within ... the
§ 1404(a) analysis." Id., 314n.l0.
applying § 1404(a), the Court must first determine
"whether the judicial district to which transfer is
sought would have been a district in which the claim could
have been filed." In re Volkswagen AG,
371 F.3d 201, 203 (5th Cir. 2004) (citation omitted). Once
this determination is made,
[the Court] turn[s] to the language of § 1404(a), which
speaks to the issue of "the convenience of parties and
witnesses" and to the issue of "in the interest of
justice," The determination of "convenience"
turns on a number of private and public interest factors,
none of which are given dispositive weight. The private
concerns include: (1) the relative ease of access to sources
of proof; (2) the availability of compulsory process to
secure the attendance of witnesses; (3) the cost of
attendance for willing witnesses; and (4) all other practical
problems that make trial of a case easy, expeditious and
inexpensive. The public concerns include: (1) the
administrative difficulties flowing from court congestion;
(2) the local interest in having localized interests decided
at home; (3) ...