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Skoorka v. Kean University

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

June 5, 2015

BRUCE SKOORKA, Plaintiff,
v.
KEAN UNIVERSITY, et al., Defendants.

OPINION

KEVIN McNULTY, District Judge.

Plaintiff Bruce Skoorka has filed a motion (Dkt No. 7) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b), seeking leave to appeal a decision (Dkt. No. 5) transferring his case from the Southern District of New York to this district. Because I perceive no controversial issue of law or any way in which such an appeal would advance the ultimate resolution of Skoorka's case, I will deny the motion.

Background

The SDNY action

Skoorka is a professor of Economics at Kean University. He alleges that the defendants discriminated against him because of his religion, and retaliated against him because he previously complained about discrimination. Skoorka alleges several acts of discrimination or retaliation. Most relevant to this motion, though, is his allegation that the defendants have interfered with Skoorka's other job. In addition to teaching at Kean, Skoorka teaches part-time at New York University. Skoorka alleges that Kean interfered with his employment at NYU by scheduling him to teach courses at Kean at times that would conflict with his teaching schedule at NYU.

The interlocutory transfer order

Skoorka filed this complaint-one of several he has filed asserting similar claims against Kean University and its employees-in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. On July 18, 2014, United States District Judge Gregory H. Woods transferred Skoorka's case to this District. (Dkt. No. 5) Judge Woods found that, because none of the parties and events in this suit seemed to have any connection to New York, venue for the Title VII claims was not proper in his District under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(3). In the alternative, Judge Woods held that the claims would be transferred "[fjor the convenience of the parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice" under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).

That transfer order is not appealable as a matter of right under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 because it is not a final decision of the district court.

"It is entirely settled... that an order granting... a motion to transfer venue under [28 U.S.C. §] 1404(a)... is interlocutory in character and not immediately appealable under Section 1291." 15 Charles Alan Wright, Arthur R. Miller & Edward H. Cooper, Federal Practice and Procedure § 3855, at 319 (3d ed. 2007).

Liberi v. Taitz, 425 F.Appx. 132, (3d Cir. Mar. 28, 2011); see also In re Federal-Mogul Global, Inc., 300 F.3d 368, 378 (3d Cir.2002). The specific grounds for transfer are not critical to the appealability issue, and appeal is not authorized by the collateral order doctrine:

"[O]rders granting or denying motions to transfer under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) or 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a) are not immediately appealable under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 as collaterally final orders. It is irrelevant for these purposes whether the motion to transfer is based on a forum selection clause, the convenience of witnesses, or other factors." Nascone v. Spudnuts, Inc., 735 F.2d 763, 772-73 (3d Cir. 1984). See also McCreary Tire & Rubber Co. v. CEAT S.p.A., 501 F.2d 1032 (3d Cir. 1974) ("An order transferring an action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) or refusing to make such a transfer is interlocutory and unappealable under § 1291.").

Single Employer Welfare Ben. Plan Trust v. Datalink Electronics, Inc., 372 F.Appx. 294, 297 (3d Cir. Mar. 24, 2010).

Skoorka's motion for leave to appeal the transfer order

Skoorka, though, has asked this Court to allow him leave to appeal the transfer order. (Dkt. No. 7) Where a district judge enters an order that is not otherwise appealable, federal law gives the judge the option of stating in writing that he considers the issue worthy of an interlocutory appeal. 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b). To issue such a statement, the judge must be of the opinion that 1) the order involves "a controlling question of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion"; and 2) "that an ...


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