United States District Court, E.D. New York
INTERPRET, LLC, a California limited liability company, Plaintiff,
RUSSELL CRUPNICK, an individual, and DOES 1-20, inclusive, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO TRANSFER VENUE 
D. WRIGHT, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
LLC (“Plaintiff”), a California limited liability
company, filed this action against Russell Crupnick
(“Defendant”), in Los Angeles Superior Court on
March 12, 2018. (Compl., ECF No. 1-1.) Defendant removed the
case on March 13, 2018. (ECF No. 1.) Before the Court is
Defendant's Motion to Transfer Venue. (ECF No. 9.) For
the reasons discussed below, the Court
GRANTS Defendant's Motion.
PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND
December 1, 2017, Defendant commenced a lawsuit against
Plaintiff in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of New York (“First-Filed Action”).
(Decl. of Brent J. Lehman, Ex. 2, ECF No. 9.) In that case,
Defendant alleges that Plaintiff violated the Fair Labor
Standards Act and New York Labor Law by misclassifying
Defendant as an independent contractor. (Id.) On
March 7, 2018, Plaintiff filed an answer in the First-Filed
Action. (Mot. 2-3, ECF No. 9.)
days later, on March 12, 2018, Plaintiff filed the instant
action against Defendant alleging the following claims: (1)
intentional interference with contractual relations; (2)
intentional interference with prospective economic relations;
(3) negligent interference with prospective economic
relations; (4) conversion; (5) unjust enrichment; (6) actual
intent to defraud a creditor; (7) constructive fraudulent
transfer; (8) violation of Bus. & Prof. Code §17200
- Count 1; (9) intentional misrepresentation; (10) negligent
misrepresentation; and (11) violation of Bus. & Prof.
Code §17200 - Count 2. (See generally Compl.)
14, 2018, Defendant moved to transfer this action to the
Eastern District of New York under the first-to-file rule, or
under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). (Mot., ECF No. 9.) Plaintiff
opposed the Motion on May 25, 2018. (Opp'n, ECF No. 12.)
That Motion is now before the Court for decision.
the first-to-file rule, or comity doctrine, a district court
may decline to exercise jurisdiction over an action when a
complaint involving the same parties and issues has been
filed in another district. Pacesetter Sys., Inc. v.
Medtronic Inc., 678 F.2d 93, 94-95 (9th Cir. 1982). This
doctrine seeks to conserve limited judicial resources and
avoid duplicate or inconsistent judgments on similar issues.
Id. at 95.
considering whether to apply this doctrine, the Court must
consider: (1) the chronology of the two actions; (2) the
similarity of the parties; and (3) the similarity of the
issues. See Kohn Law Grp., Inc. v. Auto Parts Mfg. Miss.,
Inc., 787 F.3d 1237, 1240 (9th Cir. 2015). When
analyzing a motion to transfer under the first-to-file rule,
a district court generally should not weigh the usual
transfer factors under 28 U.S.C. 1404(a), as those are
reserved for consideration by the Court with the first-filed
action. Pacesetter, 678 F.2d at 96-97. If a
later-filed action meets the first-to-file requirements, the
second court may transfer, stay, or dismiss the case.
Alltrade, Inc. v. Uniweld Prods., Inc., 946 F.2d
622, 623 (9th Cir. 1991).
asserts that this action satisfies all three factors required
for the first-to-file rule to apply, and therefore should be
transferred to the Eastern District of New York. The Court
Chronology of the Actions
first factor that must be satisfied is the chronology of the
two actions. Id. at 625. Plaintiff contends that the
first filed action was the arbitration claim it filed on
November 10, 2017. (Opp'n at 9.) However, as Defendant
correctly points out, the first-to-file rule applies only to
complaints filed in federal court. (Reply 4, ECF No. 13.
(citing Alltrade, Inc., 678 F.2d at 623 and
Taylor v. AlliedBarton Sec. Servs. LP, No.
1:13-CV-01613-AWI, 2014 WL 1329415, at *8 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 1,
2014).) Defendant filed his suit on December 1, ...