United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
CORBETT O'MEARA DISTRICT JUDGE
ORDER TRANSFERRING PLAINTIFF'S CIVIL RIGHTS
COMPLAINT TO THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
STEVEN WHALEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a prison inmate in the custody of the Michigan Department of
at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility
(“MTU”) in Ionia, Michigan, has filed a pro
se civil complaint alleging violations of his civil
rights by under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by various MTU
personnel. Currently before the Court is MDOC
Defendants Woldhuis, Meier, Rozen, and Upper's motion to
dismiss and/or transfer based upon improper venue [Docket
#69]. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion
is GRANTED to the extent that the case is transferred to the
Western District of Michigan.
civil rights allegations pertain to the assignment of
cell-mates and the handling of his mail. He alleges that
these events took place at MTU in Ionia, Michigan which is
located in the Western District of Michigan. The Defendants
named in the complaint perform their work duties at MTU.
Docket #69, ¶ 3. Plaintiff remains incarcerated
is in the judicial district where either all defendants
reside or where the claim arose. Al-Muhaymin v.
Jones, 895 F.2d 1147, 1148 (6th Cir.1990); 28 U.S.C.
§ 1391(b). For the convenience of parties and witnesses,
in the interest of justice, a district court may transfer any
civil action to any other district or division where the
action might have been brought. See United States v. P.J.
Dick, Inc., 79 F.Supp.2d 803, 805-06 (E.D.Mich.2000)
(Gadola, J.); 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). The factors that
guide a district court's discretion in deciding whether
to transfer a case include: (1) the convenience of the
witnesses; (2) the location of relevant documents and the
relative ease of access to sources of proof; (3) the
convenience of the parties; (4) the locus of the operative
facts; (5) the availability of process to compel the
attendance of unwilling witnesses; (6) the relative means of
the parties; (7) the forum's familiarity with governing
law; (8) the weight accorded the plaintiff's choice of
forum; and (9) trial efficiency and interests of justice,
based upon the totality of the circumstances. Overland,
Inc. v. Taylor, 79 F.Supp.2d 809, 811 (E.D.Mich.2000)
Court concludes that for the convenience of the parties and
witnesses, location of relevant documents, and in the
interests of justice, the present matter must be transferred
to the Western District of Michigan. The primary factor in
making the determination to transfer venue is that all of the
“operative facts” in this case took place at MTU,
which is located in the Western District of Michigan. See
Pierce v. Coughlin, 806 F.Supp. 426, 428 (S.D.N.Y.1992).
Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Western District
of Michigan and Defendants work in that district. See NGS
American, Inc. v. Barnes, 782 F.Supp. 1198, 1200 (E.D.
Mich. 1992)(citing Birnbaum v. Blum, 546 F.Supp.
1363, 1366 (S.D.N.Y.1982)(“place where state officials
perform official duties is the official residence of state
officials for venue purposes”).
cases in which a plaintiff's claims may require testimony
or files that can be most easily obtained at or near the
plaintiff's place of incarceration, “the district
in which the institution is located will ordinarily be the
more convenient forum.” See Joyner v. District of
Columbia, 267 F.Supp.2d 15, 20-21
(D.D.C.2003)(citing Starnes v. McGuire, 512 F.2d
918, 931 (D.C.Cir.1974)). The witnesses and files necessary
to prosecute these claims are located in the Western District
of Michigan. For these reasons, transfer of this action to
the Western District would be proper. See Welch v.
Kelly, 882 F.Supp. 177, 180 (D.D.C.1995). Venue for
plaintiff's lawsuit against Defendants is not proper in
the Eastern District of Michigan, because Plaintiff has
failed to allege that any of the acts, events, or omissions
which form the basis of his lawsuit took place in the Eastern
District of Michigan. See Miles v. WTMX
Radio, 15 Fed.Appx. 213, 215 (6th Cir.June 20, 2001).
For these reasons, the Court concludes that venue in this
§ 1983 lawsuit lies in the Western District of Michigan
where Plaintiff alleges that the civil rights violations
Insofar as Defendants request a transfer to the Western
District of Michigan, the motion is GRANTED [Docket #69]. The
Clerk of the Court will transfer this file to the Western
District of Michigan.
Plaintiff's motion to supplement [Docket #74], construed
as a response to the current motion, is DENIED.
Plaintiff's motion an evidentiary hearing [Docket #78] is
DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
Plaintiff's motion for immediate release, for bail, or
for a transfer to a federal prison [Docket #79] is DENIED
motion demonstrating actual innocence [Docket #80] is
DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
Plaintiff's emergency motion for immediate
consideration [Docket #83] is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.