Davis v. Washington State Department of Social and Health Services et al

Filing 61

ORDER granting 44 Plaintiff's Motion for Default re Heidi Kaas, the Clerk will enter a Default; denying 46 Defendant Riverside's Motion to Change Venue; granting in part and denying in part 49 granting Defendant's Motion for Protective Order, denying an award of fees; granting 50 Defendant's Motion to Withdraw as Attorney for Heidi Kaas, Attorney Elizabeth Anna-Marie Baker terminated as to Kaas; signed by Judge Ronald B. Leighton.(DN)

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1 HONORABLE RONALD B. LEIGHTON 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 7 8 BARBARA DAVIS, CASE NO. C16-5783-RBL 9 Plaintiff, ORDER 10 v. [Dkt. #s 44, 46, 49, & 50] 11 12 WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES, 13 Defendant. 14 THIS MATTER is before the court on the following motions: 15 Plaintiff Davis’s Motion for Default against Defendant Heidi Kaas [Dkt. #44]; Defendant 16 Riverside School District’s Motion to Change Venue to the Eastern District of Washington [Dkt. 17 # 46]; Defendants’ Motion for a Protective Order [Dkt. #49]; and Defendant DSHS’s Motion to 18 withdraw as attorney for Defendant Kaas [Dkt. #50]. 19 Kaas has been served, the provisional appearance entered on her behalf has been 20 withdrawn, and DSHS has demonstrated that it told Kaas that the State would not defend her in 21 this matter. The Motion for Default [Dkt. #44] is GRANTED. Under Rule 55(a), the Clerk is 22 DIRECTED to ender the Default of Defendant Heidi Kaas. 23 24 ORDER - 1 1 For the same reasons, DSHS’s Motion to Withdraw as Counsel for Defendant Kaas [Dkt. 2 #50] is GRANTED. 3 Defendant’s Motion for a Protective Order [Dkt. #49] is GRANTED, and the Court will 4 enter the proposed form of Order. Plaintiff’s request for an award of fees in connection with 5 opposing part of that Motion is DENIED. 6 Defendant Riverside asks the Court to transfer the Venue of this case to the Eastern 7 District, which it claims is the “center of gravity” of this case. Defendant DSHS takes no 8 position on venue. Plaintiff Davis opposes transfer, arguing that her choice of forum is entitled to 9 deference. 10 For the convenience of parties and witnesses and in the interest of justice, a district court 11 may transfer any civil action to another district where it might have been brought. 28 U.S.C. 12 §1404(a). To determine whether to transfer, the court weighs several factors: (1) the location 13 where the relevant agreements were negotiated and executed, (2) the state that is most familiar 14 with the governing law, (3) the plaintiff's choice of forum, (4) the respective parties' contacts 15 with the forum, (5) the contacts relating to the plaintiff's cause of action in the chosen forum, (6) 16 the differences in the costs of litigation in the two forums, (7) the availability of compulsory 17 process to compel attendance of unwilling non-party witnesses, and (8) the ease of access to 18 sources of proof. Jones v. GNC Franchising, Inc., 211 F.3d 495, 498 (9th Cir. 2000). Generally, a 19 plaintiff's chosen forum is given paramount consideration and the moving party has the burden to 20 demonstrate that an action should be transferred. Eldridge v. Bouchard, 620 F.Supp. 678, 684 21 (W.D. Va. 1985). 22 Davis’s choice to file in this forum is entitled to deference. All parties have contacts, 23 witnesses and evidence on both sides of the state. The acts upon which the case is based occurred 24 [DKT. #S 44, 46, 49, & 50] - 2 1 on both sides of the state. While it might be cheaper for Riverside to defend the case in the 2 Eastern District, that is not the deciding factor. The Motion to Transfer Venue [Dkt. # 46] is 3 DENIED. 4 IT IS SO ORDERED. 5 Dated this 26th day of January, 2017. 7 A 8 Ronald B. Leighton United States District Judge 6 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 [DKT. #S 44, 46, 49, & 50] - 3

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