United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER ACCEPTING AND ADOPTING THE
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S NOVEMBER 8, 2017 REPORT AND
G. Edmunds United States District Judge.
the Court is the magistrate judge's November 8, 2017
report and recommendation (docket 31) on Defendants'
motion to transfer venue (dkt. 29). The magistrate judge
recommends that the Court grant Defendants' motion and
transfer this case to the United States District Court for
the Western District of Michigan pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1406(a) and 1391(b). Plaintiff filed objections
to the report and recommendation.(Dkt. 34.)
district judge must determine de novo any part of the
magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly
objected to. The district judge may accept, reject, or modify
the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or
return the matter to the magistrate judge with
instructions." Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); see also
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The Court is fully advised in the
premises and has reviewed the record and the pleadings. The
Court agrees with the magistrate judge's recommendation.
respect to Plaintiff's first objection, that the
magistrate judge's report and recommendation failed to
mention that he "also filed this lawsuit under the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act 42
U.S.C. § 2000cc" the magistrate judge's report
and recommendation addresses the issue of venue and does not
otherwise dispose of specific claims raised in
Plaintiff's amended complaint. (Objection Number 1, dkt.
34.) Plaintiff also objects that the "[Unknown] Members
of the Chaplaincy Advisory Council" have not been named
in the caption or discussion of Defendants in the report and
recommendation. (Objection Number 2, dkt. 34.) The magistrate
judge did not err in failing to consider these
"unknown" members in its venue
objection number 3, Plaintiff objects to the magistrate
judge's statement that
[T]he State of Michigan is not a "person" subject
to suit within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Accord, E.g. Will v. Michigan Dept. of State Police,
491 U.S. 58, 65-66 (1989). The State of Michigan, therefore,
is not subject to Plaintiff's suit in this or any other
district, and naming it as a defendant will not shield
Plaintiff's suit from Defendants' venue challenge.
(Report and Recommendation 2, dkt. 31.) Plaintiff objects
"to the dismissal of the State of Michigan as a
Defendant in this case" and argues that the State
"can be named in a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §
2000cc-5(4)(A) for injunctive relief, " asking that the
State of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Corrections
"be reinstated as proper defendants in this case."
(Objection Number 3, dkt. 34.) Plaintiff argues that "if
the State of Michigan and Michigan Department of Corrections
are named as proper defendants in this case, venue would then
be proper in any district, and thus there would be no need to
transfer the case." (Dkt. 34 at 5.) Yet the
magistrate's statement merely identifies the issue that
it is at least questionable whether any claims will remain
against the State of Michigan, which has not yet been served
with process, and its departments. As with Plaintiff's
first two objections, they are beyond the scope of the
magistrate judge's report and recommendation, which
addresses the issue of venue.
the exception of the State of Michigan and Michigan
Department of Corrections (MDOC), all of the identified
Defendants are located in the Western District of Michigan.
The Court has discretion, in the interest of justice, to
"transfer such case to any district or division in which
it could have been brought, " in this instance, the
Western District of Michigan. See 28 U.S.C. §
1406(a). A district court "has broad discretion to grant
or deny a motion to transfer [a] case." Phelps v.
McClellan, 30 F.3d 658, 663 (6th Cir. 1994) (quoting
Cote v. Wadel, 796 F.2d 981, 985 (7th Cir. 1986)).
With the exception of the state and MDOC, all other named
Defendants are residents of the Western District of Michigan,
and the alleged events or omissions that give rise to
Plaintiff's claims occurred in the Western District of
Michigan. For these reasons, the Court finds that it is in
the interest of justice to transfer the case to the Western
District of Michigan.
Court therefore ACCEPTS and ADOPTS the magistrate judge's
report and recommendation (dkt. 31).
it is ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall transfer the
case to the United States District Court for the Western
District of Michigan.
 On November 8, 2017, the same date the
magistrate judge entered the report and recommendation,
Plaintiff filed a response to Defendants' motion to
change venue in which Plaintiff noted certain reasons he had
initially filed in the Eastern District of Michigan, and
requested that the case be transferred to the Western
District. (Dkt. 32 at 2, ¶ 4.) Due to the timing of this
submission, it does not appear to have been considered in the
report and ...