Crawford v. Peikar et al
ORDER denying 69 Plaintiff's Motion for Change of Venue. Signed by Magistrate Judge J. Thomas Ray on 09/03/2013. (kcs)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
JEFFERY L. CRAWFORD,
NADER PEIKAR, Doctor,
FCI-FC, et al.
Plaintiff, Jeffery Crawford, has filed a Motion for a Change of Venue asking
that this case be transferred to the Jonesboro Division of the Eastern District of
Arkansas because: (1) venue is proper in that division; (2) a trial in Jonesboro would
be more convenient for the parties; and (3) this Court is biased against him.
As to the first argument, 28 U.S.C. §1406(a) provides that, when a case has
been filed in the wrong division, a court may transfer it to a division where venue is
proper. Venue is proper in a division where any of the defendants reside or where a
substantial part of the events giving rise to the lawsuit occurred. 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).
The events in this case occurred at the federal prison in Forrest City, Arkansas, and
it appears that all of the Defendants reside in that city. Forrest City is located in the
Helena Division of the Eastern District of Arkansas. Thus, venue is proper in that
As to the second argument, 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) provides that, for "the
convenience of the parties and witnesses," a court may transfer a case to any division
"where it might have been brought" or to any division "to which all the parties have
consented." Defendants have not consented to transferring this case to the Jonesboro
Division. Further, it does not appear that any of the parties or witnesses reside in the
Jonesboro Division. Similarly, none of the allegations raised in the Complaint
occurred in the Jonesboro Division. Thus, a transfer to that Division, without
Defendant's consent, is not appropriate.
Finally, Plaintiff mistakenly believes that a transfer to the Jonesboro Division
will result in new judges being assigned to this case. Judges in the Eastern District of
Arkansas are randomly assigned to cases in all five Divisions. Thus, even if this case
were transferred to another division, it would have no effect on the judges who have
been assigned to this action.
More importantly, the judges assigned to this case are not biased or prejudiced
against Plaintiff. Plaintiff claims that they are because they have not entered an order
requiring initial disclosures. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1)(B)(iv) provides
that prisoner actions are exempt from initial disclosures. Thus, Plaintiff must use the
discovery tools mentioned in Fed. R. Civ. P. 33, 34, 36, and 37 to obtain the relevant
information he needs to proceed with this case.
Plaintiff also contends that the undersigned Judge is biased against him because
his requests for appointment of counsel and for a preliminary injunction have been
denied. Those rulings were based on an impartial application of the law to the facts
presented in Plaintiff's cases. See Am. Prairie Constr. Co. v. Hoich, 594 F.3d 1015,
1021-22 (8th Cir. 2010) (explaining that unfavorable rulings "do not constitute a basis
for a bias or partiality"). Further, there is nothing that prevents this Court from being
fair, unbiased, and impartial in deciding issues raised in this case.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT Plaintiff’s Motion for a Change of
Venue (Doc. #69) is DENIED.
Dated this 3rd day of September, 2013.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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