Filing 32

ENTRY - This action is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. All pending motions, dkt 8 , 9 , 12 , 16 , 20 , 21 , and 26 , are denied as moot. Judgment consistent with this Entry shall now issue. Signed by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on 10/27/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Western District of Washington Recommendation, # 2 Southern District of Illinois Entry) (Copy mailed to Plaintiffs) (MEJ)

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Case 3:17-cv-05708-BHS Document 8 Filed 09/26/17 Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 8 9 10 MICHAEL GRIFFITH, et al., Plaintiffs, 11 12 13 14 CASE NO. 3:17-CV-05708-BHS-JRC REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION v. STATE OF IDAHO, et al., NOTED FOR: OCTOBER 13, 2017 Defendants. 15 16 This 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights matter has been referred to the undersigned Magistrate 17 Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 636 (b)(1)(A) and (B) and Local Magistrate Judge Rules MJR 1, 18 MJR 3, and MJR 4. Before the Court is plaintiffs’ complaint. Dkt. 1-1. 19 Plaintiffs Michael Griffith, Michael Aaron Bonner, Detrick Curtis Conerly, and John 20 Cruz Meno filed this action, stating that their convictions and ongoing incarceration violate their 21 5th, 8th, and 14th Amendment rights. They argue that, because they are “sovereign with none to 22 govern but themselves,” the trial court and department of corrections had no jurisdiction to 23 prosecute them and incarcerate them. However, plaintiffs have not named any defendants 24 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION - 1 Case 3:17-cv-05708-BHS Document 8 Filed 09/26/17 Page 2 of 4 1 residing in the Western District of Washington and none of their alleged Constitutional 2 violations occurred in Washington. Therefore, the Court recommends dismissing the action 3 without prejudice for lack of proper venue. The Court also recommends denying plaintiffs’ 4 motion to proceed in forma pauperis and plaintiffs’ five other outstanding motions. 5 BACKGROUND 6 Plaintiffs are all currently housed in the Idaho State Correctional Center. They filed this § 7 1983 action and motions to proceed in forma pauperis on September 5, 2017. Dkt. 1. They claim 8 that “the Constitution was an AGREEMENT between the government . . . and the people of that 9 time,” and that because later generations of Americans did not similarly agree to the 10 Constitution, it is not binding on them. Dkt. 1-1 at 7. They argue that, because they have not 11 consented to be bound by the Constitution and have “none to govern but themselves,, their 12 prosecutions and continued incarcerations violate their civil rights. Id. at 7-8. The Court has not 13 granted their motion to proceed in forma pauperis. 14 Plaintiffs request combined damages of $5,531,385,000.00. Dkt. 1-1 at 15. They also 15 seek a declaration by the Court stating that plaintiffs are sovereigns “with none to govern but 16 themselves” and that the Court recognize the trial court had no jurisdiction to incarcerate. Id. at 17 1. 18 DISCUSSION 19 Venue may be raised by the Court sua sponte where the defendant has not filed a 20 responsive pleading and the time for doing so has not run. See Costlow v. Weeks, 790 F.2d 1486, 21 1488 (9th Cir. 1986). When jurisdiction is not founded solely on diversity, venue is proper in (1) 22 the district in which any defendant resides, if all of the defendants reside in the same state; (2) 23 the district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim 24 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION - 2 Case 3:17-cv-05708-BHS Document 8 Filed 09/26/17 Page 3 of 4 1 occurred, or a substantial part of the property that is the subject of the action is situated; or (3) a 2 judicial district in which any defendant may be found, if there is no district in which the action 3 may otherwise be brought. See 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). When venue is improper, the district court 4 has the discretion to either dismiss the case or transfer it “in the interest of justice.” See 28 5 U.S.C. § 1406(a). 6 Here, it is clear from plaintiff’s complaint that their claims arise out of conduct occurring 7 outside the Western District of Washington. See Dkt. 1-1. Plaintiffs are currently housed in 8 Idaho, and they have not named any defendants who appear to be located in the Western District 9 of Washington. Therefore, the Court concludes venue is improper. 10 Because venue is improper, the Court has the discretion to dismiss or transfer the case. 11 See 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a). Having reviewed plaintiffs’ complaint and supporting materials, it 12 appears venue would be proper in the District of Idaho. However, because of the nature of 13 plaintiffs’ argument, the Court does not believe transferring the case to the District of Idaho 14 would serve the ends of justice, as plaintiffs may choose a different forum where proper venue 15 can be established. 16 17 Accordingly, the Court recommends this case be dismissed without prejudice, so that plaintiffs may choose a different, and yet appropriate, forum for their complaint. 18 19 CONCLUSION The Court recommends the action be dismissed without prejudice for improper venue. 20 The Court further recommends denying plaintiffs’ motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Dkt. 1) 21 and plaintiffs’ five other outstanding motions (Dkts. 2-6). 22 Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b), the parties shall have 23 fourteen (14) days from service of this Report to file written objections. See also Fed. R. Civ. P. 24 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION - 3 Case 3:17-cv-05708-BHS Document 8 Filed 09/26/17 Page 4 of 4 1 6. Failure to file objections will result in a waiver of those objections for purposes of de novo 2 review by the district judge. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). Accommodating the time limit 3 imposed by Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b), the clerk is directed to set the matter for consideration on 4 October 13, 2017, as noted in the caption. 5 Dated this 26th day of September, 2017. 6 7 8 A 9 J. Richard Creatura United States Magistrate Judge 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION - 4

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