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McCaskill v. Skyline Post Acute LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

August 29, 2019

Dorothy McCaskill, Plaintiff,
v.
Skyline Post Acute LLC, d/b/a Ft. Worth Wellness & Rehabilitation, Defendant.

          FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          RENEE HARRIS TOLIVER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and the District Judge's Order of Reference, Doc. 14, before the Court is Defendant's Opposed Motion to Transfer Venue to Fort Worth Division, Doc. 10. Plaintiff has filed a response in opposition. Doc. 13. For the reasons outlined herein, Defendant's Opposed Motion to Transfer Venue to Forth Worth Division should be GRANTED.[1]

         I. BACKGROUND

         Dorothy McCaskill (“Plaintiff”) is a resident of Tarrant County, Texas and a former employee of Skyline Post Acute LLC (“Defendant”). Defendant is a corporation located in Fort Worth, Texas. Doc. 12 at 1. Plaintiff's Original Complaint alleges violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq. (“Title VII”) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. 621 (“ADEA”). Doc. 1 at 1. Plaintiff argues that she and other African American workers over the age of sixty-five were disciplined, fired and replaced with younger, white employees. See Doc. 1 at 2, 3 Defendant moved to dismiss Plaintiff's claims, arguing she not exhausted her administrative remedies. Doc. 6 at 1. Plaintiff then filed an Amended Complaint asserting that she has exhausted all her administrative remedies. Doc. 12 at 2. Defendant now moves under 28 U.S.C. §1404(a) to transfer this case to the Fort Worth Division of the Northern District of Texas. Doc. 10.

         II.

         APPLICABLE LAW

         28 U.S.C. §1404(a) states that “[f]or 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 or to any district or division to which all parties have consented.” 28 U.S.C. §1404(a). In assessing a motion to transfer pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1404(a), courts first must determine whether the judicial district to which transfer is sought is a district in which the claims could have been filed. In re Volkswagen AG, 371 F.3d 201, 203 (5th Cir. 2004) (“Volkswagen I”). If the action could have been brought in the alternate venue, courts must weigh a series of non-exhaustive private and public interest factors to determine whether the transferee venue is clearly more convenient than the current venue. Id.

         Courts have broad discretion in deciding whether to order a transfer. Balawajder v. Scott, 160 F.3d 1066, 1067 (5th Cir.1998) (per curium) (quoting Caldwell v. Palmetto State Sav. Bank, 811 F.2d 916, 919 (5th Cir.1987)). Motions to transfer venue should be granted when "the balancing of [the] private and public interest factors, along with any other factors the court considers relevant, demonstrates that the alternative venue is ‘clearly more convenient.'” LeBlanc v. C.R. England, Inc., 961 F.Supp.2d 819, 831 (N.D. Tex. 2013) (Boyle, J.) (citing In re Volkswagen of Am., Inc., 545 F.3d 304, 315 (5th Cir. 2008) (“Volkswagen II”)).

         III.

         PARTIES' ARGUMENTS AND ANALYSIS

         The parties do not dispute that the Fort Worth Division is one in which Plaintiff's actions or claims could have originally been brought. See Docs. 11; 12. Thus, the issue before the Court is whether the public and private interest factors weigh in favor of an intra-district transfer to the Fort Worth Division.[2]

         The relevant private interest factors 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.” Volkswagen I at 203 (citing Piper Aircraft Co. v. Reyno, 454 U.S. 235, 241 n. 6 (1981)). The relevant public interest factors include: “(1) the administrative difficulties flowing from court congestion;  (2) the local interest in having localized interests decided at home;  (3) the familiarity of the forum with the law that will govern the case; and (4) the avoidance of unnecessary problems of conflict of laws [or in] the application of foreign law.” Id.

         Defendant argues that based on the relevant factors, the “Fort Worth Division is clearly more convenient to both parties because both Plaintiff and Defendant are located in the Fort Worth Division and Plaintiff has pleaded no facts that occurred in the Dallas Division.” Doc. 11 at 2. Plaintiff responds that (1) venue is proper in the Dallas Division, (2) Defendant has “wholly failed to provide any evidence that Fort Worth is more convenient, ” (3) it is in the interest of justice for the case to remain in the Dallas Division, and (4) the Dallas and Fort Worth Divisions are within driving distance of one another and “Plaintiff's counsel is willing to take depositions of Defendant's witnesses in Fort Worth.” Doc. 13 at 1-4. For the reasons detailed below, the Court agrees with Defendant.

         A. PRIVATE ...


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