MENDOZA v. UNITED STATES
MEMORANDUM AND OPINION. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 1/19/2023. (zcb)
Case 1:23-cv-00031-UNA Document 4 Filed 01/19/23 Page 1 of 2
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
ALEJANDRO VELASQUEZ MENDOZA,
Civil Action No. 23-0031 (UNA)
Alejandro Velasquez Mendoza (“Plaintiff”) is imprisoned at the Washington State
Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington. He brings this action under the Federal Tort Claims
Act (“FTCA”), see 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b), 2671 et seq., against the Federal Bureau of Prisons
alleging the denial of adequate medical care while in Washington State’s custody and demanding
an award of $20 million.
Under FTCA, “[a] claim is actionable if it alleges the six elements of § 1346(b), which
are that the claim be:
 against the United States,  for money damages, . . .  for
injury or loss of property, or personal injury or death  caused by
the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any employee of the
Government  while acting within the scope of his office or
employment,  under circumstances where the United States, if a
private person, would be liable to the claimant in accordance with
the law of the place where the act or omission occurred.
Brownback v. King, 141 S. Ct. 740, 746 (2021) (citations omitted). Here, Plaintiff fails to allege
that a federal employee acting within the scope of his or her official duties was negligent or
committed some other wrongful act.
Case 1:23-cv-00031-UNA Document 4 Filed 01/19/23 Page 2 of 2
Even if Plaintiff could pursue his FTCA claim, venue in this district is improper. See
Beck v. Barr, No. 20-CV-3659, 2020 WL 8617799, at *1 (D.D.C. Dec. 30, 2020) (assuming
without deciding plaintiff could pursue FTCA claim against Minnesota defendants, venue in
District of Columbia is improper), aff’d sub nom. Beck v. Garland, 853 F. App’x 685 (D.C. Cir.
2021). FTCA has its own venue provision:
Any civil action on a tort claim against the United States under
subsection (b) of section 1346 of this title may be prosecuted only
in the judicial district where the plaintiff resides or wherein the act
or omission complained of occurred.
28 U.S.C. § 1402(b); see Williams v. United States, 932 F. Supp. 357, 363 (D.D.C. 1996).
It is Plaintiff’s burden to establish that venue is proper in the district of his choosing. See
Sanchez-Mercedes v. Bureau of Prisons, 453 F. Supp. 3d 404, 414 (D.D.C. 2020) (quoting
Williams v. GEICO Corp., 792 F. Supp. 2d 58, 62 (D.D.C. 2011)), aff’d, No. 20-5103, 2021 WL
2525679 (D.C. Cir. June 2, 2021). Plaintiff is considered a resident of the district where he is
confined, see In re Pope, 580 F.2d 620 (D.C. Cir. 1978), which makes him a resident of
Washington State, and the events giving rise to his claims necessarily would have occurred in
Washington State, not the District of Columbia.
The Court will grant Plaintiff’s application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 2) and
dismiss the complaint (ECF No. 1) and this civil action without prejudice for failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted. An Order is issued separately.
DATE: January 19, 2023
CHRISTOPHER R. COOPER
United States District Judge
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