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Bowie v. U.S. Food Service

March 11, 2009

DAWN BOWIE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
U.S. FOOD SERVICE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Baylson, J.

MEMORANDUM RE: MOTION TO DISMISS FOR IMPROPER VENUE

I. Facts and Procedural History

Plaintiff, a resident of Philadelphia, brought an action against her employer under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000 et seq., as amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991 (hereinafter "Title VII"). Plaintiff's Complaint requested compensation for injuries allegedly sustained when her employer terminated her in violation of Title VII. Defendant, U.S. Food Service, an Illinois corporation, employed Plaintiff as a "night warehouse selector" at Defendant's Bridgeport, New Jersey warehouse. (Compl. ¶¶ 11, 8). Plaintiff alleges that she was terminated because she was an African American female working in a location that employed only male individuals, not because she had inaccurately selected goods as Defendant alleges. (Compl. 23).

After her termination, Plaintiff filed a timely charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Compl. ¶ 3). The EEOC issued a Notice of Right to Sue on February, 15 2008. (Compl ¶ 4). Plaintiff then filed the current action in the Court of Common Pleas for Philadelphia County. (Compl.¶ 5).

Defendant removed the case to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, asserting both diversity and federal question jurisdiction. (Doc. 1). Defendant then brought a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(3), arguing venue in this District is improper. (Doc 3).

II. Legal Standards

A. Jurisdiction

This Court has federal question jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. The Plaintiff's claim arises under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000, et seq.

B. Venue

Venue in an action brought before this Court under both federal question and diversity jurisdiction is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b), which reads:

A civil action wherein jurisdiction is not founded solely on diversity of citizenship may, except as otherwise provided by law, be brought only in (1) a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same State, (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property that is the subject of the action is situated, or (3) a judicial district in which any defendant may be found, if there is no district in which the action may otherwise be brought.

28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). When an action involves a defendant corporation, the corporation resides in any judicial district in which it is subject to personal jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1391(c)

However, Title VII contains its own venue provision for employment discrimination actions, 42 U.S.C. § 20003-5(f)(3). That section reads in pertinent part:

Each United States district court and each United States court of a place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States shall have jurisdiction of actions brought under this subchapter. Such an action may be brought in any judicial district in the State in which the unlawful employment practice is alleged to have been committed, in the judicial district in which the employment records relevant to such practice are maintained and administered, or in the judicial district in which the aggrieved person would have worked but for the alleged unlawful employment practice, but if the respondent is not found within any such district, such an action may be brought within the judicial district in which the respondent has his principal office. For purposes of ...


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