United States District Court, N.D. Georgia
Khalilah Anderson brings the current action against
Defendants Trans Union, LLC (“Trans Union”),
Experian Information Solutions, Inc.
(“Experian”), Equifax Information Services, LLC
(“Equifax”), and Santander Bank, N.A.
(“Santander”) under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
(“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq.
and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
(“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 227, et seq.
Defendant Equifax has moved to dismiss the case for lack of
venue or, alternatively, to transfer the case to the Northern
District of Georgia. Neither Plaintiff nor any other
Defendant has filed an opposition to this Motion. For the
reasons set forth below, I will transfer the case the
Northern District of Georgia.
FACTS AS ALLEGED IN THE COMPLAINT
Complaint alleges the following facts:
Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax (the “credit
reporting agencies”) have been reporting
“derogatory and inaccurate statements and
information” relating to Plaintiff and Plaintiff's
credit history to third parties from at least August 2015
through the present. This inaccurate information includes
Plaintiff's account with Santander and consists of
accounts and/or trade lines that do not belong to Plaintiff.
(Compl. ¶¶ 10-12.) Plaintiff claims to have
disputed the inaccurate information with the credit reporting
agencies both orally and in written communications.
(Id. ¶¶ 14-15.) Notwithstanding
Plaintiff's efforts, however, the credit reporting
agencies have, without proper investigation, sent Plaintiff
correspondence indicating their intent to continue publishing
the inaccurate information. (Id. ¶ 16-17.)
Santander has also failed to conduct timely and reasonable
investigations of Plaintiff's disputes after being
contacted by the relevant credit reporting agencies.
(Id. ¶ 18.) Around 2015, Santander began
calling Plaintiff on his cellular telephone, using an
automated dialing system and artificial voice technology, to
“harass” Plaintiff and coerce payment.
(Id. ¶¶ 20-21.) Plaintiff wrote a cease
and desist letter, on November 19, 2016, requesting that
Santander refrain from contacting her on her cell phone, but
Santander continued to call using the automated dialing
system. (Id. ¶¶ 22-23.)
initiated the current action on April 21, 2017, alleging
violations of the FCRA and violations of the TCPA. On October
13, 2017, Defendant Equifax filed a Motion to Dismiss for
Improper Venue or, alternatively, for Transfer to the
Northern District of Georgia. Neither Plaintiff nor any other
Defendant has opposed the Motion.
MOTION TO DISMISS FOR IMPROPER VENUE UNDER F.R.C.P.
Standard of Review
12(b)(3), a court must grant a motion to dismiss if venue is
improper. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(3). When a plaintiff files a
suit in an improper forum, “district courts are
required either to dismiss or transfer to a proper
forum.” Lafferty v. St. Riel, 495 F.3d 72, 77
(3d Cir. 2007) (citing Goldlawr, Inc. v. Heiman, 369
U.S. 463, 465-66); 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a). Motions to
dismiss for improper venue “generally require the court
to accept as true the allegations of the pleadings.”
Heft v. AAI Corp., 355 F.Supp.2d 757, 762 (M.D. Pa.
2005) (citing Pinker v. Roche Holdings Ltd., 292
F.3d 361, 368 (3d Cir. 2002)). “The parties may submit
affidavits in support of their positions, and may stipulate
as to certain facts, but the plaintiff is entitled to rely on
the allegations of the complaint absent evidentiary
challenge.” Heft, 335 F.Supp.2d at 762 (citing
Carteret Sav. Bank, F.A. v. Shushan, 954 F.2d 141,
142 n.1 (3d Cir. 1992); Myers v. Am. Dental
Ass'n, 695 F.2d 716, 724 (3d Cir. 1982)).
“Dismissal is considered to be a harsh remedy . . . and
transfer of venue to another district court in which the
action could originally have been brought, is the preferred
remedy.” Spiniello Cos. v. Moynier, No.
13-5145, 2014 WL 7205349, at *5 (D.N.J. Dec. 17, 2014)
(quoting NCR Credit Corp. v. Ye Seekers Horizon,
Inc., 17 F.Supp.2d 317, 319 (D.N.J. 1998)).
test for determining venue is not the defendant's
‘contacts' with a particular district, but rather
the location of those ‘events or omissions giving rise
to the claim . . . .'” Cottman Transmission
Sys., Inc. v. Martino, 36 F.3d 291, 294 (3d Cir. 1994).
According to 28 U.S.C. 1391(a), venue is proper only in:
(1) a judicial district in which any defendant resides, if
all defendants are residents of the State in which the
district is located;
(2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the
events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a
substantial part of property that is the subject of the
action is situated; 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