United States District Court, D. Arizona
A. TEILBORG SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Defendant Caesars Entertainment
Corporation’s (“Defendant”) Motion to
Dismiss (Doc. 23) Plaintiff Elizabeth James’s
(“Plaintiff”) Amended Complaint under Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure (“Rules”) 12(b)(1), (2),
(3), and (5), and 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a). Plaintiff has
responded, (Doc. 24), and Defendant has replied, (Doc. 25).
The Court now rules on the motion.
following facts are either undisputed or recounted in the
light most favorable to the non-moving party. See Wyler
Summit P’ship v. Turner Broad. Sys., Inc., 135
F.3d 658, 661 (9th Cir. 1998). In March 2015, Defendant
invited Plaintiff to Las Vegas to audition as a dealer for
the World Series of Poker Tournament (“WSOP”) at
the Rio hotel. (Doc. 21 at 2). Defendant offered Plaintiff
the job after her audition, despite Plaintiff’s
contention that white male applicants received particularly
favorable scores. (Id.). Plaintiff also heard that
she would not need to re-audition in the future so long as
she dealt the WSOP every year. (Id.).
the 2015 WSOP, Plaintiff complained to a manager about a
white male dealer’s offensive language in the
breakroom. (Id. at 3). Afterwards, the dealer
coordinator gave her a written warning. (Id.).
Later, Plaintiff informed the tournament director that
another employee verbally abused her, and that the breakroom
smelled like marijuana. (Id. at 4). After she made
these reports, several WSOP employees made damaging
statements about Plaintiff’s dealing skills and
attitude. (Id.). Defendant did not rehire Plaintiff
when she applied to deal the Rio WSOP again in 2016, 2017,
and 2018. (Id. at 2–3). The WSOP Circuit at
Harrah’s Atlantic City hired her in 2016, however, as
did the Goliath Poker Tournament in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
(Id.). Plaintiff asserts that Defendant lacked any
evidence or reasoning for not rehiring her. (Id. at
5). She further claims that Defendant caused her
“substantial money damages” and “emotional
distress” by conspiring not to rehire her.
(Id. at 3–8).
filed the pending Motion to Dismiss under Rules 12(b)(1),
lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, (b)(2), lack of personal
jurisdiction, (b)(3), improper venue, and (b)(5),
insufficient service of process. Alternatively, Defendant
moves to transfer the case to the United States District
Court for the District of Nevada in the “interest of
justice” under 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a). The Court will
address personal jurisdiction first. If the Court lacks
jurisdiction, the Court need not proceed with further
Arizona court of general jurisdiction has jurisdiction over a
defendant, so does this Court. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
4(k). Arizona law provides for personal jurisdiction to the
extent allowed by the Constitution of the United States.
See Ariz. R. Civ. P. 4.2. The Due Process Clause of
the Fourteenth Amendment limits a state’s power to
grant personal jurisdiction over a defendant to a tribunal.
Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations v. Brown, 564 U.S.
915, 923 (2011).
process requires that a defendant “have certain minimum
contacts with . . . [the forum] such that the maintenance of
the suit does not offend ‘traditional notions of fair
play and substantial justice.’” Int’l
Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945)
(quoting Milliken v. Meyer, 311 U.S. 457, 463
(1940)). This minimum-contacts framework gives rise to two
forms of personal jurisdiction: general jurisdiction and
specific jurisdiction. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v.
Superior Ct., 137 S.Ct. 1773, 1779–80 (2017).
Under general jurisdiction, a court can hear any claim
against a defendant who can be “fairly regarded as at
home” in the state. Goodyear, 564 U.S. at 919.
Under specific jurisdiction, a court can hear claims related
to a defendant’s voluntary, in-state activities.
Bristol-Myers Squibb, 137 S.Ct. at 1780.
defendant moves to dismiss a case for lack of personal
jurisdiction, the plaintiff bears the burden to establish
personal jurisdiction. Dole Food Co. v. Watts, 303
F.3d 1104, 1108 (9th Cir. 2002). When a court resolves the
issue of personal jurisdiction solely by reference to the
parties’ moving papers and filed documents, the
plaintiff satisfies this burden by making “only a prima
facie showing of jurisdictional facts to withstand the motion
to dismiss.” Pebble Beach Co. v. Caddy, 453
F.3d 1151, 1154 (9th Cir. 2006) (citation omitted). In such a
case, uncontroverted statements in the plaintiff’s
complaint are taken as true, and conflicts between facts
contained in affidavits are resolved in the plaintiff’s
favor. Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor Co., 374
F.3d 797, 800 (9th Cir. 2004).
an individual is at home where domiciled, while a corporation
is at home either where it is incorporated or where it has
its principal place of business. Daimler AG v.
Bauman, 571 U.S. 117, 137 (2014). Plaintiff alleges no
facts establishing that Defendant is either incorporated or
has its principal place of business in Arizona. She admits in
her own complaint that Defendant is a Delaware corporation
with its principal place of business in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Doc. 21 at 1). Defendant is neither incorporated in Arizona
nor registered with the Arizona Corporation Commission, nor
does it own real property in Arizona or have an agent for
service here. (Doc. 23-1 at 2–3). Therefore, this Court
cannot exercise general jurisdiction over Defendant.