Procedural Posture

Plaintiff general manager brought a putative class action against defendant bakery-cafe alleging wage and hour violations on behalf of two putative classes. The first was a nationwide, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) opt-in collective action. The second putative class alleged violations of various California laws, including the California Labor Code and Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq. The bakery-cafe filed a motion to transfer venue.

Overview

The general manager was a resident of California and had worked in one of the bakery-cafe’s California stores. The bakery-cafe was a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Missouri. It owned and operated approximately 500 bakeries nationwide, 32 of which were located in California. The manager’s decision to seek to represent a nationwide class substantially undercut the deference towards her forum choice in the district where she lived and worked. It was clearly more convenient for the manager to litigate her claims in the Northern District of California, where she lived. It was equally clear that convenience for the bakery-cafe would best be served by litigating the action in the Eastern District of Missouri, close to its headquarters. The putative class in California was comprised only of approximately 40 persons, but the nationwide putative class consisted of 1,400 past or current general managers, more than a third of whom lived in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, or Michigan. All of the bakery-cafe’s key witnesses and documents were located in or near Missouri. The fact that four out of five claims arose out of California state law disfavored transfer. Appellant was represented by a business lawyer.

Outcome

The bakery-cafe’s motion to transfer venue was granted.

Overview

HOLDINGS: [1]-The dismissal of the homeowners’ claims challenging the validity of the foreclosure was proper because the second amended complaint did not plausibly allege that the pooling and servicing agreement (PSA) was violated, where the transfer of the homeowners note carried with it the security interest created by the Deed of Trust to secure the note, Cal. Civ. Code § 2936; [2]-The homeowners did not adequately plead an underlying claim for relief under 28 U.S.C.S. § 2201(a); [3]-Because the homeowners failed to allege that the bank was a “debt collector,” 15 U.S.C.S. § 1692a(6)(F), dismissal of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was proper; [4]-Dismissal of the Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17204, claim was proper as the homeowners’ default triggered the foreclosure, not the manner in which their note and Deed of Trust were transferred.

Outcome

Judgment affirmed.