Pankey v. Dominator Fisheries, LLC et al

Filing 20


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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 6 7 8 BRETT PANKEY, Plaintiff, 9 11 12 ORDER REGARDING VENUE/ JURISDICTION v. 10 CASE NO. 2:17-cv-164-BAT DOMINATOR FISHERIES LLC, in personam and F/V ISLE DOMINATOR (Official Number 1246391), in rem, Defendants. 13 Plaintiff Brett Pankey filed a complaint in admiralty, in personam and in rem for wages 14 15 and punitive damages. Dkt. 1. Notices of appearance “solely for the limited purposes of 16 contesting” [subject matter and personal] jurisdiction, venue, sufficiency of process and service 17 of process, and failure to state a claim, were entered on behalf of Defendants Dominator 18 Fisheries LLC and F/V Isle Dominator on June 15, 2017 and September 4, 2017. Dkts. 10 and 19 11. 20 In their Joint Status Report, the parties identified “defendants’ challenge to jurisdiction 21 /venue” as the only complexity in moving this case forward. Dkt. 14. Plaintiff states that he “is 22 willing to move to transfer venue to the District of Alaska upon receipt of a sworn statement that 23 defendants do not do business or conduct fishing operations in the Western District of Washington.” Dkt. 14 at 1. On September 21, 2017, the Court declined to issue a scheduling ORDER REGARDING VENUE/ JURISDICTION - 1 1 order until the issue of jurisdiction and/or venue is resolved. Dkt. 16. In response, defendants 2 filed an answer to the Complaint, but assert as affirmative defenses, that this Court lacks in 3 personam jurisdiction over Dominator Fisheries LLC and in rem jurisdiction over Isle 4 Dominator, and that plaintiff’s employment contract with Dominator Fisheries LLC mandates 5 venue of his claims in Alaska state court in Kodiak or a United States District Court in the 6 District of Alaska. Dkt. 19 at 2-3. 7 Therefore, it is ORDERED: 8 1. 9 10 If the parties agree that this case should be transferred to the District of Alaska, the parties shall submit a proposed order of transfer to the Court by October 10, 2017. 2. If the parties cannot agree to a transfer of venue, defendants shall file a motion 11 challenging jurisdiction and/or venue by October 10, 2017. Plaintiff shall file a response by 12 October 17, 2017. Defendants shall file a reply by October 24, 2017. 13 3. The Clerk shall send a copy of this Order to the parties. 14 DATED this 3rd day of October, 2017. 15 A 16 BRIAN A. TSUCHIDA United States Magistrate Judge 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 ORDER REGARDING VENUE/ JURISDICTION - 2

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