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Barnett v. DynCorp Int'l LLC

United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division

July 13, 2015, Decided; July 13, 2015, Filed

Civil Action No. 4:15-cv-233-O

Opinion

ORDER

Before the Court are Defendant's Motion to Dismiss with Prejudice for Forum Non Conveniens, or in the Alternative, Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim and Appendix in Support (ECF Nos. 21-22), filed May 27, 2015; Plaintiff's Response and Appendix in Support (ECF Nos. 25-26), filed June 17, 2015; and Defendant's Reply (ECF No. 33), filed July 1, 2015. Also before the Court are Defendant's Motion for Protective Order to Temporarily Stay Discovery Pending Resolution of Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and Appendix in Support (ECF Nos. 27-28), filed June 19, 2015; Plaintiff's Response (ECF No. 32), filed June 29, 2015; [*2]  and Defendant's Reply (ECF No. 34), filed July 2, 2015.1 For the reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff brought this breach of contract action against his former employer, Defendant DynCorp International LLC ("Defendant" or DynCorp") on March 27, 2015. See generally Compl., ECF No. 1. In February 2011, Plaintiff traveled to Fort Worth, Texas, and signed a Foreign Service Employment Contract (the "Contract") with DynCorp to work for DynCorp in Kuwait. Id. ¶¶ 9-11. The terms of Contract with DynCorp are subject to Kuwait Labour Law. See id. ¶¶ 13-14. Specifically, Plaintiff's Contract with DynCorp states: "This Contract shall be governed by and interpreted exclusively under the laws of Kuwait and all disputes between the Parties shall be resolved exclusively in Kuwait." Def.'s App. Supp. Mot. Dismiss Ex. A (Contract) ¶ 20, App. at 9, ECF No. 22-1. Plaintiff's pay was also governed by the Contract, and the payments made to Plaintiff came out of DynCorp's office in Fort Worth and were subject only to U.S. federal and state taxes. Compl. ¶¶ 17-18, ECF No. 1. In March 2013, DynCorp notified Plaintiff that it was eliminating Plaintiff's position [*3]  and that DynCorp would pay Plaintiff any remaining balance of wages due after Plaintiff departed Kuwait. Id. ¶¶ 21-22. As of the date of his filing this action, Plaintiff has yet to receive any remaining balance of wages from DynCorp. Id. ¶ 24. Accordingly, Plaintiff contends DynCorp breached the Contract. Id. ¶ 25.

On May 27, 2015, DynCorp moved to dismiss Plaintiff's claim for forum non conveniens because the Contract contains a foreign forum selection clause, requiring all claims to be litigated in Kuwait. Def.'s Mot. Dismiss 4, ECF No. 21. In the alternative, DynCorp argues that Plaintiff failed to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) because (1) Plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative remedies as required by Kuwaiti law; (2) Plaintiff's claim is time-barred pursuant to Kuwaiti law; (3) Plaintiff failed to allege the terms of the Contract that were allegedly breached; and (4) Plaintiff's claim should be dismissed on the basis of international comity. Id. at 17, 21-24. Additionally, DynCorp moved to temporarily stay discovery pending resolution of its Motion to Dismiss. See Def.'s Mot. Protective Order, ECF No. 27. The motions have been fully briefed and are ripe for adjudication.

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2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185530 *; 2015 WL 12714715

JONATHAN BARNETT, Plaintiff, v. DYNCORP INTERNATIONAL LLC, Defendant.

Subsequent History: Affirmed by Barnett v. DynCorp Int'l, L.L.C., 831 F.3d 296, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13618 (5th Cir. Tex., 2016)

CORE TERMS

forum selection clause, foreign forum, factors, parties, forum non conveniens, courts, forum-selection, motion to dismiss, argues, bears, contends, clauses, weigh