Knop v. Gordy et al (INMATE 1)
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER: it is ORDERED: 1. The motion for a temporary restraining order (Doc. # 3 ) is DENIED; and 2. This case is TRANSFERRED to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1404. Signed by Chief Judge William Keith Watkins on 8/16/2016. (kh, )
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
MARSHALL COIS KNOP,
CHRISTOPHER GORDY, et al.,
CASE NO. 2:16-CV-668-WKW
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action is before the court on a complaint filed by
Marshall Cois Knop, a state inmate. Plaintiff challenges the constitutionality of
actions taken against him at the Limestone Correctional Facility regarding the
practice of his religion. (Doc. # 1.) Plaintiff filed a motion for a temporary
restraining order for relief from the allegedly unconstitutional conditions. (Doc. #
3.) The court finds that the motion for temporary restraining order should be denied
and this case should be transferred to the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Alabama pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404.1
Plaintiff filed an application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. # 2.) However,
under the circumstances of this case, the court concludes that assessment and/or collection of any
filing fee should be undertaken by the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Motion for Temporary Restraining Order
A temporary restraining order may issue “only if . . . specific facts in an
affidavit or a verified complaint clearly show that immediate and irreparable injury,
loss, or damage will result to the movant before the adverse party can be heard in
opposition.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(2). Plaintiff seeks a temporary restraining order
stopping all required classes and church services until his religious needs are
accommodated. (Doc. # 3.) This relief would deprive other inmates of faith-based
services. Plaintiff has not alleged specific facts showing a threat of immediate and
irreparable injury that would necessitate an order stopping the classes and services
immediately without prior notice to Defendants.
Plaintiff also seeks emergency relief from unspecified “retaliation,
harassment, [and] unwarranted shakedowns,” and from Defendants holding any
meetings with him in the absence of neutral witnesses. Plaintiff has not stated facts
showing a likelihood of immediate and irreparable injury if these activities are not
enjoined before Defendants have an opportunity to be heard.
Plaintiff also seeks a temporary restraining order requiring him to be housed
in a prison close to his home. Plaintiff has not shown that he is entitled to this relief.
Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 225 (1976) (holding that no liberty interest arises
from the Due Process Clause itself in transfer from low-to maximum-security prison
because “[c]onfinement in any of the State’s institutions is within the normal limits
or range of custody which the conviction has authorized the State to impose”); Olim
v. Wakinekona, 461 U.S. 238, 245-46 (1983) (holding that a prisoner has no
constitutional right to be confined in a particular institution).
A 42 U.S.C. § 1983 “civil action may be brought in – (1) a judicial district
where 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 (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). “For the convenience of parties and witnesses,
in the interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil action to any other
district . . . where it might have been brought.” 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
Limestone Correctional Facility is located within the jurisdiction of the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. Thus, the allegedly
unconstitutional acts about which Plaintiff complains occurred in the Northern
District of Alabama. It appears that all of the named defendants, with the exception
of Commissioner Jefferson Dunn, reside in the Northern District of Alabama.
Although by virtue of his position as Commissioner of the Alabama Department of
Corrections, Jefferson Dunn resides in the Middle District of Alabama, he is subject
to service of process throughout the state and commonly defends suits in all federal
courts of this state. Under these circumstances, it is clear that the witnesses and
evidence with personal knowledge of this case are located in the Northern District
In light of the foregoing, the court concludes that, in the interest of justice and
for the convenience of the parties, this case should be transferred to the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Alabama for further review and
Accordingly, it is ORDERED:
The motion for a temporary restraining order (Doc. # 3) is DENIED; and
This case is TRANSFERRED to the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Alabama pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1404.2
DONE this 16th day of August, 2016.
/s/ W. Keith Watkins
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
In transferring the instant case, this court makes no determination with respect to the
merits of Plaintiff’s claims for relief.
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