United States District Court, D. Delaware
YVETT C. RUDOLPH, Plaintiff,
THE HR SPECIALIST, INC., BUSINESS MANAGEMENT DAILY, CAPITAL INFORMATION GROUP, INC., ALLIE P. ASH, JR., PHILLIP ASH, STEVEN STURM, PATRICK DI DOMENICO, ADAM GOLDSTEIN, and WILLIAM H. STURGES, Defendants
Yvett C. Rudolph, Plaintiff, Pro se, Johnson City, Tennessee.
Gary William Lipkin, Esquire, Duane Morris LLP, Wilmington, Delaware., Counsel for Defendants.
Sue L. Robinson, District Judge.
Plaintiff Yvett C. Rudolph (" plaintiff" ) proceeds pro se and has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. She filed this lawsuit on May 17, 2013 raising a defamation claim as well as claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (" Title VII" ), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., and the Americans with Disabilities Act (" ADA" ), 42 U.S.C. § 2101, et seq. (D.I. 2, 9) Presently before the court is defendants' motion to dismiss, opposed by plaintiff. (D.I. 28) The court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. For the following reasons, the court will deny without prejudice to renew the pending motion to dismiss and will transfer the matter to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division.
II. PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND
Plaintiff, who resides in Johnson City, Tennessee, filed this action against defendants The HR Specialist, Inc., (" HR Specialist" ), Business Management Daily (" Business Management" ), Capital Information Group, Inc. (" Capital Information" ), President and Officer of Capital Information Allie P. Ash, Jr. (" Ash, Jr." ), Vice-President, Officer and Director of Capital Information Phillip Ash (" Ash" ), Vice President and Officer of Capital Information Steven Sturm (" Sturm" ), Editorial Director of Business Management Patrick DiDomenico (" DiDomenico" ), Associate Publisher of Business Management Adam Goldstein (" Goldstein" ), and attorney, editor and author William H. Sturges (" Sturges" ). Sturges is located in Charlotte, North Carolina and all other defendants are located in Falls Church, Virginia.
Plaintiff alleges that defendants defamed her through the publication of an article and in violation of her rights under Title VII and the ADA. Plaintiff filed an employment discrimination case in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Rudolph v. Buncombe Cnty Gov't, Civ. No. 10-203, alleging that, as a result of her disability, she had been denied reasonable accommodation,
had suffered a hostile work environment, and had been discharged during probationary period in violation of Americans with Disabilities Act. On March 1, 2012, the district court found that plaintiff was not entitled to relief and granted defendants' motion for summary judgment and denied plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff appealed. Prior to a ruling by the appellate court, plaintiff logged on to the Living with ADHD website and discovered an article which discussed her case. The article had been sent through The HR Specialist for North Carolina, an online newsletter of Business Management Daily. Plaintiff alleges that the article " has no accuracy" and is " totally untrue."
On October 16, 2013, the court screened the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). ( See D.I. 11) Therein, it ordered the parties to file briefs addressing why this court is the appropriate venue or whether another United States District Court might be a more convenient venue for this matter, particularly the Eastern District of Tennessee, Greeneville Division; the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division; or the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division.
On November 18, 2013, plaintiff advised the court that when she filed this action, " she used the location of formation of the corporation, being Delaware, especially because there were multiple part[ies]-plaintiff residences." (D.I. 12) In plaintiff's brief (D.I. 27), she states that Delaware is the appropriate forum for this action given it is " defendants' state of legal formation." Defendants responded by filing a motion to dismiss (D.I. 28) for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). In the alternative, they request that ...