United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER TRANSFERRING CASE TO WESTERN
DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
D. NOCE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
City of Columbia, Missouri, moves to dismiss this action
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3) on the grounds
of improper venue. (ECF No. 14). In the alternative,
defendant requests that this court transfer this case to the
Western District of Missouri pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1406(a). The parties have consented to the exercise of
plenary authority by the undersigned United States Magistrate
Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
following reasons, defendant's motion to transfer the
case is granted.
Hope Quaintance, a resident of Columbia, Missouri, brings
this suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act, alleging
that defendant City of Columbia, Missouri, discriminated
against her on the basis of disability. (ECF No. 1).
According to plaintiff's complaint, she worked as a city
bus driver for defendant. Plaintiff does not claim that the
discriminatory conduct occurred at any location other than
Columbia, Missouri. She alleges that on April 4, 2014, she
made a complaint to defendant alleging harassment by her
supervisor and other co-workers. On May 8, 2014, plaintiff
saw her primary care doctor, who considered her fit to work
as a city bus driver with no restrictions. Id.
However, plaintiff alleges that on May 18, 2014, defendant
required her to see a different doctor, defendant's own
“Employee Health Medical Advisor.” This doctor
restricted plaintiff from driving. In June 2014, this doctor
canceled plaintiff's return-to-work exam. Id. On
August 25, 2014, defendant terminated plaintiff for the
stated reason she was not medically capable of performing the
essential functions of her job. Id. Plaintiff filed
a charge of discrimination against defendant with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) on May
21, 2015. Id. On May 19, 2016, the EEOC issued
plaintiff a right-to-sue letter. Plaintiff filed the present
suit in the Eastern District of Missouri on August 15, 2016.
for a civil action is proper in any judicial district in
which (1) “any defendant resides, if all defendants are
residents of the State in which the district is
located;” (2) “a substantial part of the events
or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred;” or,
(3) “if there is no district in which an action may
otherwise be brought as provided in this section, any
judicial district in which any defendant is subject to the
court's personal jurisdiction with respect to such
action.” 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).
defendant may move to dismiss a complaint for improper venue
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(3). A defendant may also move
to transfer venue to another federal district pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1404(a), which is permissive, or §
1406(a), which is mandatory. Defendant argues venue in the
Eastern District of Missouri is improper, and moves under
§ 1406 for dismissal or transfer: “[t]he district
court of a district in which is filed a case laying venue in
the wrong division or district shall dismiss, or if it be in
the interest of justice, transfer such case to any district
or division in which it could have been brought.” 28
U.S.C. § 1406(a).
argues that the Eastern District of Missouri is not the
proper venue because: (1) defendant is not a resident of this
forum and (2) none of the events giving rise to this suit
occurred in this forum. (ECF No. 14). This court agrees.
district is not the proper venue for this judicial action.
Defendant is not a resident of this district and no relevant
facts are alleged to have occurred here. Instead, defendant
is a municipality with its principal place of business in
Columbia, Missouri. (ECF No. 15). According to
plaintiff's complaint, all of the facts directly giving
rise to the claim occurred in Columbia, Missouri. (ECF No.
1). Columbia, Missouri is located in Boone County within the
Western District of Missouri. Accordingly, venue is only
proper in the Western District of Missouri.
argues that she will not receive a fair judgment in the
Western District because of her past experiences litigating
in that area. (ECF Nos. 17, 19). The court gives no credence
to plaintiff's argument. In any event, the mandatory
nature of 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a) renders plaintiff's
argument legally insufficient.
court has determined to transfer the action rather than to
dismiss it. If this court were to dismiss the action, any
subsequently-filed suit for relief under the alleged facts
may fall outside of the ninety-day time limit from the date
plaintiff received the EEOC notice for filing suit, and she
might lose her right to sue. (ECF No. 1); 29 C.F.R.
1614.407(a); Hallgren v. U.S. Dep't. Energy, 331
F.3d 588 (8th Cir. 2003).
is therefore appropriate. Transfer preserves the timeliness
of plaintiff's civil action as well as promotes the
efficient use of the ...