United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
HONORABLE SEAN F. COX Judge.
ORDER OF TRANSFER
STEVEN WHALEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiff Mark Bilbee's pro se civil rights
complaint brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Bilbee
is an inmate at the Jay County Jail in Portland, Indiana. In
his complaint, Bilbee asserts that he is not being given
proper medical care for a skin condition. He asserts
violations of his rights under the United States Constitution
and Indiana law and requests proper treatment.
Due Process Clause protects an individual's liberty
interest in not being subject to the binding judgments of a
forum with which he has established no meaningful contacts,
ties, or relations.” Burger King Corp. v.
Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 471-72 (1985). A defendant must
have minimum contacts within the forum State before personal
jurisdiction will be found to be reasonable and fair.
International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310,
316-19 (1945); Theunissen v. Matthews, 935 F.2d
1454, 1459-50 (6th Cir. 1991). A plaintiff in a federal civil
action must demonstrate that the court in which his or her
suit is brought has personal jurisdiction over the
defendants. See, e.g., CompuServe, Inc. v.
Patterson, 89 F.3d 1257, 1261-62 (6th Cir. 1996);
see also Bird v. Parsons, 289 F.3d 865, 872-73 (6th
Cir. 2002) (a federal court should address jurisdictional
issues before considering the merits of a case).
case, Bilbee fails to plead any facts to show that the
defendant has any minimum contacts with the State of Michigan
or otherwise establish this Court's personal jurisdiction
over the named defendant, who “resides” in
Indiana, and whose challenged actions occurred in Indiana.
The Court thus lacks personal jurisdiction over the named
defendant. See Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.701
et seq.; § 600.705 (Michigan's long-arm
jurisdiction statute); see also LAK, Inc. v. Deer Creek
Enterprises, 885 F.2d 1293, 1299 (6th Cir. 1989)
(setting forth three-part test for determining whether
exercise of personal jurisdiction comports with due process);
Moore v. Lynch, 793 F.2d 1291, 1986 WL 17017 (6th
Cir. May 2, 1986) (federal district court in Tennessee
properly dismissed civil rights complaint where Tennessee
state prisoner failed to establish court's personal
jurisdiction over Washington state defendant).
even if the Court has personal jurisdiction over the
defendant, this Court is not the proper venue for this
action. Venue for a civil action brought in federal court is
governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1391. Section 1391(b) provides:
Venue in general. A civil action may be brought in -
(1) a judicial district in which any defendant resides, if
all defendants are residents of the State in which the
district is located;
(2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the
events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a
substantial part of property that is the subject of the
action is situated; or
(3) if there is no district in which an action may otherwise
be brought as provided in this section, any judicial district
in which any defendant is subject to the court's personal
jurisdiction with respect to such action.
28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). Public officials
“reside” in the county where they perform their
official duties. O'Neill v. Battisti, 472 F.2d
789, 791 (6th Cir. 1972). When venue is improper, a court may
either dismiss the case or, in the interests of justice,
transfer the case to a district or division where it could
have been brought. See 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a).
Additionally, even when venue is proper, a court may transfer
the case to any other district where it might have been
brought for the convenience of the parties and witnesses and
in the interest of justice. See 28 U.S.C. §
1404(a). A court may sua sponte transfer a case for improper
venue. Carver v. Knox County, Tenn., 887 F.2d 1287,
1291 (6th Cir. 1989); see also Cosmichrome, Inc. v.
Spectra Chrome, Inc. LLC, 504 Fed.Appx. 468, 472 (6th
Cir. 2012); Flynn v. Greg Anthony Construct. Co.,
Inc., 95 Fed.Appx. 726, 738 (6th Cir. 2003).
reviewed the complaint, the Court finds that the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana is
the proper forum for this action. The defendant (and
Plaintiff Bilbee) reside in Portland, Jay County, Indiana for
purposes of the present complaint and the actions giving rise
to the complaint occurred there. Jay County, Indiana lies in
the Fort Wayne Division of the Northern District of Indiana.
28 U.S.C. § 94(a)(1). Accordingly, the Court
ORDERS the Clerk of the Court to transfer
this case to the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne ...