United States District Court, D. Colorado
ROBERT WAGNER, Individually and On Behalf of All Other Similarly Situated Persons, Plaintiff,
PETCO ANIMAL SUPPLIES, INC., PETCO ANIMAL SUPPLIES STORES, INC., and PETCO HOLDINGS, INC. LLC, Defendants.
A. BRIMMER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss or, in the Alternative, to Stay or Transfer the
Action [Docket No. 19] and the parties' Memorandum in
Support of the Parties' Joint Motion to Transfer for
Settlement Purposes Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a)
[Docket No. 29], which the Court construes as a motion to
transfer. The Court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §
addition to being the named plaintiff in this case, plaintiff
Robert Wagner is an opt-in plaintiff in an earlier-filed
collective action brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act,
29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. (“FLSA”) currently
pending before the United States District Court for Southern
District of California, captioned Kellgren v. Petco
Animal Supplies, Inc., No. 3:13-cv-0644-L-KSC.
Kellgren was filed on March 19, 2013. Docket No.
19-2 at 11. Plaintiffs in Kellgren allege that Petco
Animal Supplies, Inc. and Petco Holdings, Inc. violated the
FLSA by failing to pay overtime wages to assistant managers
by improperly classifying them as managers despite a lack of
management duties. Id. at 25-28. On September 3,
2015, the Kellgren court conditionally certified a
nationwide collective action of such assistant managers that
only excludes such workers in California. Id. at 53.
On March 21, 2016, Mr. Wagner opted in to the
Kellgren collective action. Docket No. 25 at 3-4.
January 15, 2017, Mr. Wagner filed a class action complaint
in this Court. Docket No. 1. It alleges a claim under the
Colorado Wage Claim Act, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 8-4-101 et
seq., and the Colorado Minimum Wage Act, Colo. Rev. Stat.
§ 8-6-101 et seq., that Petco misclassified assistant
store managers as exempt employees and did not pay them
overtime wages. Id. at 5. The complaint seeks
certification of a class of “current and former
assistant managers employed by Petco within the State of
Colorado.” Id. at 4 (capitalization altered).
Plaintiff is represented by the same counsel who represent
plaintiffs in Kellgren. Docket No. 19 at 2.
parties request that the Court transfer this case to the
Southern District of California pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1404(a) so that the parties can com plete a global settlement
of all the related actions. Docket No. 29 at 1-2.
1404(a) of Title 28 provides, in pertinent part, that,
“[f]or the convenience of 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.” Section 1404(a) is “intended to
place discretion in the district court to adjudicate m otions
for transfer according to an ‘individualized,
case-by-case consideration of convenience and
fairness.'” Stewart Org., Inc. v. Ricoh
Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 29 (1988) (quoting Van
Dusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 622 (1964)). To
warrant a transfer, the moving party must establish that: (1)
the action could have been brought in the alternate forum;
(2) the existing forum is inconvenient; and (3) the interests
of justice are better served in the alternate forum. Wolf
v. Gerhard Interiors, Ltd., 399 F.Supp.2d 1164, 1166 (D.
Court is satisfied that the Southern District of California
is a proper venue for this action because, according to
plaintiff's allegations, defendants' principal place
of business is located in that district. Docket No. 1 at 2,
¶ 4; cf. 11A Charles Alan Wright et al.,
Federal Practice & Procedure § 2942 (3d ed.
2015) (“if the party seeking the injunction could raise
the same issues in the other proceeding, the court typically
will take the position that the party has an adequate
alternative remedy”). Additionally, because the parties
have filed a joint motion, a transfer of this case would be
convenient for all parties. Thus, in light of the
parties' settlement, the Court finds that considerations
of convenience and interests of justice strongly favor the
transfer of this case to the United States District Court for
the Southern District of California.
that the parties' Memorandum in Support of the
Parties' Joint Motion to Transfer for Settlement Purposes
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) [Docket No. 29],
construed as a motion to transfer, is
GRANTED. It is further
that Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or, in the
Alternative, to Stay or Transfer the Action [Docket No. 19]
is DENIED as moot. It is further
that, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), this action shall
be transferred to the United States District Court ...