United States District Court, D. Arizona
Charles Taylor and Richard LaBryer, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
Republic Services, Inc., Defendant.
G. Campbell United States District Judge
Republic Services, Inc. moves to transfer this case to the
Southern District of Texas pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1404(a). Doc. 28. The motion is fully briefed, and the Court
discussed the motion with the parties on November 17, 2016.
For the reasons that follow, the Court will grant the motion.
are ten individuals from Texas and two from Pennsylvania who
claim that Republic violated the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”) when it failed to pay them overtime and
engaged in other improper compensation practices. Plaintiffs
have sued on behalf of a potential nationwide class of
present and former Republic employees.
notes that a similar case is pending in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Texas,
Serrano v. Republic Services, Inc., No
2:14-CV-00077. The Serrano case makes many of the
same claims as this case and includes a class of Texas
plaintiffs with similar FLSA claims against Republic.
Republic argues that Texas is the more convenient forum under
the factors to be considered in a § 1404(a)
the convenience of the parties and witnesses, in the interest
of justice, a district court may transfer any civil action to
any other district or division where it might have been
brought.” 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Plaintiffs do not
dispute that this action could have been brought in the
Southern District of Texas.
ruling on Defendant's motion, the Court must consider
several factors: (1) the convenience of the parties and
witnesses, (2) the availability of compulsory process to
compel unwilling witness attendance, (3) the ease of access
to sources of proof, (4) the differences in the costs of
litigating in the two forums, (5) contacts with the chosen
forum, (6) jurisdiction over the parties, and (7) the
relative familiarity of the two courts with the applicable
law and the pendency of related actions in other forums.
Decker Coal Co. v. Commonwealth Edison Co., 805 F.2d
834, 843 (9th Cir. 2000); Jones v. GNC Franchising,
Inc., 211 F.3d 495, 498-99 (9th Cir. 2000).
Plaintiffs' Choice of Forum.
are reluctant to upset a plaintiff's choice of forum, but
the choice “is normally only given substantial
deference if the plaintiff is a resident of the district in
which the action is brought. Otherwise, this bears little
significance on determining whether to grant a discretionary
transfer.” Miracle Blade, LLC. v. Ebrands Commerce
Grp., LLC., 207 F.Supp.2d 1136, 1155 (D. Nev. 2002)
(citing Collins v. JC Penney Life Ins. Co., No. C
01-4069-SI, 2002 WL 505931, *3 (N.D. Cal. 2002)). In
addition, the plaintiff's choice is given less deference
in a class action that implicates many different class
members from many different states. Lou v. Belzberg,
834 F.2d 730, 739 (9th Cir. 1987) (“Although great
weight is generally accorded plaintiff's choice of
forum[, ] . . . when an individual . . . represents a class,
the named plaintiff's choice of forum is given less
weight.”); Hawkins v. Gerber Prod. Co., 924
F.Supp.2d 1208, 1214 (S.D. Cal. 2013) (same).
factors are present here. Plaintiffs are from Texas and
Pennsylvania, not Arizona, and they seek to represent a
nationwide class of Republic employees. The Court accordingly
will not attach significant weight to their choice of forum.
Convenience of the ...