Thompson v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Filing 111

ORDER RECONSIDERING DENIAL OF MOTION TO TRANSFER AND TRANSFERING CASE. Signed by Judge Claudia Wilken on 10/12/17. (dtmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/12/2017)

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1 2 3 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 6 RANDALL THOMPSON, 7 8 9 No. C 16-3415 CW Plaintiff, v. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION, et al., 11 ORDER RECONSIDERING DENIAL OF MOTION TO TRANSFER AND TRANSFERING CASE Defendants. 12 13 ________________________________/ On March 15, 2017, this Court denied a motion to transfer 14 this case to the United States District Court for the Eastern 15 District of California. 16 dismissed all claims against three of the Defendants in this case. 17 In the September 26, 2017 joint case management statement, 18 Defendants asserted that as a result of the dismissal, all of the 19 alleged events giving rise to Plaintiff’s claims occurred at Deuel 20 Vocational Institute (DVI), which is located in the Eastern 21 District of California. 22 directed the parties to meet and confer and be prepared to address 23 at the case management conference whether the Court should 24 reconsider its order denying Defendants’ transfer motion. 25 Following argument at the October 3, 2017 case management 26 conference, the Court hereby reconsiders the denial of the motion 27 to transfer and transfers this case to the Eastern District of 28 California. On September 15, 2017, the Court In a September 29, 2017 order, the Court LEGAL STANDARD 1 2 “For the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the 3 interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil 4 action to any other district or division where it might have been 5 brought or to any district or division to which all parties have 6 consented.” 7 court has discretion to adjudicate motions for transfer according 8 to an individualized, case-by-case consideration of convenience 9 and fairness. 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). “Under § 1404(a), the district A motion to transfer venue under § 1404(a) requires United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 the court to weigh multiple factors in its determination whether 11 transfer is appropriate in a particular case.” 12 Franchising, Inc., 211 F.3d 495, 498 (9th Cir. 2000). 13 a motion for transfer, the moving party must establish: (1) that 14 venue is proper in the transferor district; (2) that the 15 transferee district is one where the action might have been 16 brought; and (3) that the transfer will serve the convenience of 17 the parties and witnesses and will promote the interest of 18 justice.” 19 No. 13-cv-03307-SI, 2013 WL 5568345, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 9, 20 2013) (citations omitted). 21 Jones v. GNC “To support Reflex Packaging, Inc. v. Audio Video Color Corp., The Ninth Circuit considers the following factors to 22 determine whether to transfer venue: “(1) plaintiff's choice of 23 forum, (2) convenience of the parties, (3) convenience of the 24 witnesses, (4) ease of access to the evidence, (5) familiarity of 25 each forum with the applicable law, (6) feasibility of 26 consolidation with other claims, (7) any local interest in the 27 controversy, and (8) the relative court congestion and time of 28 trial in each forum.” Id. (citing Jones, 211 F.3d at 498-99.) 2 1 “The burden is on the defendant to show that, of the relevant 2 factors, the balance of convenience weighs in favor of transfer to 3 another district.” 4 Corp., No. 10-cv-02590, 2010 WL 3619565, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 5 13, 2010) (citing Commodity Futures Trading Comm’n v. Savage, 6 611 F.2d 270, 279 (9th Cir. 1979)). TransPerfect Global, Inc. v. Motionpoint DISCUSSION 7 8 9 As the parties agreed and the Court found previously, this action could have been brought in the Eastern District of United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 California because a substantial part of the events giving rise to 11 the claim occurred in that District. 12 be proper in both districts, the Court evaluates which venue is 13 more convenient to the parties and the witnesses.” 14 Packaging, 2103 WL 5568345, at *3. 15 “Once venue is determined to Reflex At the time this Court denied the individual Defendants’ 16 motion to transfer, there were seven Defendants in this action. 17 Defendants Theodore Abreu, Harry Newman, Thomas Bzoskie, and 18 Jerome Price are employed at DVI, working and residing in the 19 Eastern District of California. 20 Ronald Davis are employed at San Quentin State Prison, working and 21 residing in the Northern District of California. 22 California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) 23 operates both institutions. 24 District of California. 25 Defendants Margaret Hanna and Defendant Plaintiff resides in the Eastern In denying the motion to transfer, the Court found that the 26 convenience of the parties weighed in favor of transfer to the 27 Eastern District, but only slightly due to the close proximity of 28 the two districts. The Court also found that Plaintiff’s choice 3 1 of forum in the Northern District was entitled to deference 2 because at least some of the operative facts occurred in this 3 District and he was housed at San Quentin for twice as long as he 4 was housed at DVI. 5 Court found that the access to evidence weighed slightly in favor 6 of transfer; relative court congestion weighed against transfer; 7 and the convenience of the parties, forum’s familiarity with 8 applicable law, feasibility of consolidation, and local interest 9 in the controversy were neutral. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 With regard to the remaining factors, the The dismissal of all claims against the two individual 11 Defendants who work and reside in the Northern District materially 12 changes this analysis. 13 individual Defendants are based on allegations of facts that 14 occurred solely at DVI. 15 The claims against the remaining Plaintiff has a claim under Title II of the Americans with 16 Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12132, against CDCR, which 17 operates both San Quentin and DVI. 18 alleges that he “had a right to be protected from injury and the 19 risk of injury due to his disability.” 20 (2AC) ¶ 57. 21 “refusing to follow the limitations and restrictions listed on the 22 Medical Classification Chrono and Comprehensive Accommodation 23 Chrono, denying plaintiff a wheelchair and other requested medical 24 devises, providing inadequate medical care, and failing to 25 accommodate his disability by, among other things, requiring him 26 to perform physical duties he was unable to perform due to his 27 disability.” 28 claim, the Court relied primarily on CDCR’s alleged failure to 4 In this claim, Plaintiff Second Amended Complaint He also alleges that CDCR violated the ADA by Id. ¶ 56. In denying CDCR’s motion to dismiss this 1 provide Plaintiff with an agreed-upon accommodation that he should 2 not be required to climb stairs at DVI. 3 dismissed all claims based on the individual Defendants’ alleged 4 failure to provide adequate medical care at San Quentin. 5 no part of Plaintiff’s ADA claim against CDCR has been dismissed, 6 that claim is largely, although not wholly, based on events that 7 occurred at DVI. 8 9 Also, the Court has Although That few, if any, of the operative events in this case took place in the Northern District, and Plaintiff resides in the United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 Eastern District, means that Plaintiff’s choice of forum in this 11 District is now entitled to limited weight. 12 Foundry Co. v. Pence, 403 F.2d 949, 954 (9th Cir. 1968) (“If the 13 operative facts have not occurred within the forum of original 14 selection and that forum has no particular interest in the parties 15 or the subject matter, the plaintiff's choice is entitled only to 16 minimal consideration.”). 17 Defendants are located in the Eastern District. 18 of the parties weighs decisively in favor of transfer following 19 the dismissal of all claims against the individual Defendants 20 employed at San Quentin. 21 California now has an increased local interest in the controversy 22 relative to the Northern District, and this factor also now weighs 23 somewhat in favor of transfer. 24 remaining factors (convenience of the parties, access to evidence, 25 forum’s familiarity with applicable law, feasibility of 26 consolidation, and relative court congestion) has not changed. 27 28 See Pac. Car & Counsel for Plaintiff as well as for The convenience Likewise, the Eastern District of The Court’s analysis of the Previously, the Court found that two factors weighed slightly in favor of transfer, while Plaintiff’s choice of forum and 5 1 relative court congestion weigh against transfer. Now, however, 2 the convenience of the parties, the Eastern District of 3 California’s local interest in the controversy, and the access to 4 evidence all weigh in favor of transfer, while Plaintiff’s choice 5 of forum is entitled only to minimal weight. 6 congestion in the Eastern District of California weighs against 7 transfer, but this is not sufficient to overcome the other factors 8 given the lack of significant underlying facts based in the 9 Northern District. The relative court Accordingly, the Court finds that transfer United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and will 11 promote the interest of justice. CONCLUSION 12 13 The Court RECONSIDERS the denial of the individual 14 Defendants’ motion to transfer venue. 15 this case to the United States District Court for the Eastern 16 District of California and close the file in this Court. 17 The Clerk shall transfer IT IS SO ORDERED. 18 19 20 Dated: October 12, 2017 CLAUDIA WILKEN United States District Judge 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 6

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