United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
LARRY G. DOCKERY, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs
STEPHEN E. HERETICK, et al., Defendants And NEW YORK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, et al., Nominal Defendants
MEMORANDUM RE: DEFENDANT SENECA ONE FINANCE,
INC.'S MOTION TO CERTIFY FOR INTERLOCUTORY APPEAL AND TO
Court issued an Order and Opinion on May 14, 2019, (ECF
108-09), granting in part and denying in part Motions to
Dismiss filed by Defendants 321 Henderson Receivables LLC
(“321 Henderson”), J.G. Wentworth Originations
LLC (“Wentworth”), Stephen Heretick
(“Heretick”), and Seneca One Finance, Inc.
(“Seneca”). Seneca now moves to certify that
Order for interlocutory appeal regarding the Court's
decision upholding venue as to Seneca. (ECF 114,
“Mot.” or “Motion”). Seneca also
moves to stay this action pending the outcome of such appeal.
(Id.). For the following reasons, Seneca's
Motion is DENIED.
factual background and procedural history of this case are
largely set forth in the Court's Opinion dated May 14,
2019, and are incorporated here by reference. See Dockery
v. Heretick, No. 17-4114, 2019 WL 2122988, *1-5 (E.D.
Pa. May 14, 2019) (Baylson, J.).
which does not reside in the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania, challenged venue, among other things, in each
of its motions to dismiss. Seneca argued that Plaintiff did
not allege that any payments were made by or to Seneca in
this District, and that Plaintiff did not otherwise allege
that Seneca resides in, has an agent in, or transacts
business in this District. Plaintiff argued that venue was
proper because (1) a substantial part of the events giving
rise to his claims arose in this District, see 28
U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2); and (2) 321 Henderson and Wentworth
reside in this District and the Court can attribute the forum
contacts of Seneca's RICO co-conspirators to Seneca for
purposes of determining venue. See 18 U.S.C. §
Opinion denying the motions to dismiss, the undersigned found
that venue was proper here because, under § 1965(a),
venue is proper wherever a defendant resides, is found, has
an agent, or transacts its affairs, and 321 Henderson and
Wentworth do not dispute that they are located in this
District. The Court also applied the concept of
“pendent venue” to the state law claims because
they arose out of the same operative facts, although the
state law claims were ultimately dismissed. (See ECF
108 at 29-30).
now requests an order certifying an interlocutory appeal on
the Court's venue decision, and argues that the decision
to uphold venue over Seneca was wrong for two reasons:
(1) The Third Circuit has not adopted the co-conspirator
venue theory in the context of RICO claims, and other courts
have rejected the application of the theory in similar
(2) Even if the Third Circuit had adopted the co-conspirator
venue theory as applied to RICO claims, it should not apply
in Seneca's case because Plaintiff does not allege that
321 Henderson and Wentworth are Seneca's co-conspirators.
also requests that the Court stay these proceedings pending
the resolution of the interlocutory appeal.
general, a matter may not be appealed to a court of appeals
until a final judgment has been rendered by the district
judge. 28 U.S.C. § 1291. A district court may certify an
order for interlocutory appeal only upon finding: (1) the
order involves a controlling question of law (2) upon which
there is substantial ground for difference of opinion and (3)
an immediate appeal may materially advance the ultimate
termination of the litigation. Id. at §
1292(b). But, even if these threshold requirements are
satisfied, the decision to certify an appeal rests within the
discretion of the district court. United States v. Exide
Corp., No. 00-cv-3057, 2002 WL 992817, at *2 (E.D. Pa.
May 15, 2002) (Buckwalter, J.).
burden is on the party seeking certification to demonstrate
that “exceptional circumstances justify a departure
from the basic policy against piecemeal litigation and of
postponing appellate review until after the entry of a final
judgment.” Rottmund v. Cont'l Assur. Co.,