Anthony v. Federal Bureau of Prisons et al
ORDER: IT IS ORDERED THAT this matter be TRANSFERRED to a district of proper venue, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, pursuant to 28 U.SC. 1406(a). The effect of this order is suspended for a period of fourteen (14) days to allow plaintiff an opportunity to object to this ruling with the District Court if he so chooses. Signed by Magistrate Judge Kathleen Kay on 5/5/2022. (crt,Taylor, L)
Case 2:21-cv-03865-TAD-KK Document 9 Filed 05/05/22 Page 1 of 4 PageID #: 46
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
LAKE CHARLES DIVISION
REG. # 20515-112
DOCKET NO. 21-cv-03865
JUDGE TERRY A. DOUGHTY
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, ET AL :
MAGISTRATE JUDGE KAY
Before the court is a petition [doc. 1] filed by pro se plaintiff Richard Anthony, brought
under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. § 552 , et. seq. and the Administrative
Procedure Act (“APA”), 5. U.S.C. § 701, et. seq., seeking the production of certain documents.
Anthony is an inmate in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) and is currently incarcerated
at the Federal Correctional Institution at Oakdale, Louisiana (“FCIO”).
In the instant matter, Anthony names as defendants the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”)
and its director, Michael Carvajal. Doc. 1, p. 2. Plaintiff asserts that on September 11, 2021, he
made a series of requests under FOIA to the BOP at their headquarters in Washington, D.C. Id.
He contends that the BOP has failed to acknowledge his request. Id. at p. 3.
LAW & ANALYSIS
A. Frivolity Review
Anthony has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this matter. Accordingly,
his complaint is subject to screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), which provides for sua sponte
Case 2:21-cv-03865-TAD-KK Document 9 Filed 05/05/22 Page 2 of 4 PageID #: 47
dismissal of the complaint or any portion thereof if the court determines that it is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against
a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)–(iii).
A complaint is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. Gonzalez v. Wyatt, 157
F.3d 1016, 1019 (5th Cir. 1998). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted if it is clear the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of his claim that would
entitle him to relief. Doe v. Dallas Indep. Sch. Dist., 153 F.3d 211, 215 (5th Cir. 1998). When
determining whether a complaint is frivolous or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, the court must accept plaintiff’s allegations as true. Horton v. Cockrell, 70 F.3d 397, 400
(5th Cir. 1995) (frivolity); Bradley v. Puckett, 157 F.3d 1022, 1025 (5th Cir. 1998) (failure to state
Plaintiff contends that venue is proper in this Court. Venue for FOIA actions is governed
by5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(B), which reads in pertinent part as follows:
On complaint, the district court of the United States in the district in which
the complainant resides, or has his principal place of business, or in which
the agency records are situated, or in the District of Columbia, has
jurisdiction to enjoin the agency from withholding agency records and to
order the production of any agency records improperly withheld from the
According to the criminal proceedings brought against Anthony in the Eastern District of
Tennessee, pursuant to which he was sentenced to the term of imprisonment he is currently serving
at FCIO, Anthony maintained a residence in Manchester County, Tennessee at the time of his
conviction. See United States v. Anthony, Civil Action 4:12-cr-17 (E.D. Tn, March 27, 2012).
However, there is nothing in the record to confirm that he is a resident of Tennessee.
Case 2:21-cv-03865-TAD-KK Document 9 Filed 05/05/22 Page 3 of 4 PageID #: 48
Plaintiff’s only apparent connection with the State of Louisiana is that he is incarcerated
here. In the Fifth Circuit, a prisoner's place of incarceration is not his residence for purposes of
venue. Ellingburg v. Connett, 457 F.2d 240, 241 (5th Cir. 1972). Accordingly, Louisiana is not
his place of residence.
The Court in Santana v. DOJ, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107181, 2008 WL 5574668, *23
(W.D. La. Dec. 12, 2008), addressed a similar situation. In that case, the Plaintiff, a prisoner
housed at the Pine Prairie Correctional Center in Pine Prairie, Louisiana, filed suit seeking judicial
review of the denial of his request for access to certain records under the FOIA. Addressing venue,
the Court, relying on Elingburg, supra, held that the plaintiff’s place of incarceration was not his
residence for purposes of venue. Id. at *4. Further, the Court noted that, while he was convicted
in New Hampshire, the record was void of any information that would suggest a New Hampshire
residence, other than his conviction there. Accordingly, the Court held that the only clearly proper
venue available was the District of Columbia. As such, the matter was transferred to the District
Court for the District of Columbia for resolution. Id.
In this matter, it is undisputed that neither the plaintiff's residence nor his principal place
of business is located in the Western District of Louisiana. While it is unclear where the records
are located, there is no evidence that they are located in this district.
Therefore, the only clearly proper venue available to Mr. Anthony under 5 U.S.C. §
552(a)(4)(B) is the District of Columbia. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a), the court may, in the interests
of justice, transfer a case brought in the wrong district to "any district or division in which it could
have been brought." The undersigned finds that, in the interests of justice, this matter should be
transferred to the District Court for the District of Columbia for resolution.
Case 2:21-cv-03865-TAD-KK Document 9 Filed 05/05/22 Page 4 of 4 PageID #: 49
IT IS ORDERED THAT this matter be TRANSFERRED to a district of proper venue,
the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, pursuant to 28 U.SC. 1406(a). The
effect of this order is suspended for a period of fourteen (14) days to allow plaintiff an opportunity
to object to this ruling with the District Court if he so chooses.
THUS DONE AND SIGNED in Chambers this 5th day of May, 2022.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?