Burley v. Rider et al
OPINION AND ORDER TRANSFERRING CASE to the Western District of Michigan. Signed by District Judge Paul D. Borman. (DPer)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
EDWARD DONALD BURLEY,
CASE NO. 2:17-CV-10110
HONORABLE PAUL D. BORMAN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
RHONDA RIDER, et. al.,
OPINION AND ORDER TRANSFERRING PLAINTIFF’S CIVIL RIGHTS
COMPLAINT TO THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Edward Donald Burley, (“plaintiff”), presently confined at the Carson City
Correctional Facility in Carson City, Michigan, has filed a civil rights complaint in
this district against the defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In his complaint,
plaintiff claims that his constitutional rights were violated by the defendants while
incarcerated at the Lakeland Correctional Facility, which is located in Coldwater,
Michigan. For the reasons stated below, the Court will transfer this matter to the
United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan.
In the present case, all of the actions complained of by plaintiff took place at
the Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, Michigan, which is located in the
Western District of Michigan. All of the defendants named in the complaint reside
in the Western District of Michigan. Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at the
Carson City Correctional Facility, which is also located in the Western District of
Venue is in the judicial district where either all defendants reside or where
the claim arose. Al-Muhaymin v. Jones, 895 F.2d 1147, 1148 (6th Cir. 1990); 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 or division
where the action might have been brought. See United States v. P.J. Dick, Inc., 79
F. Supp. 2d 803, 805-06 (E.D. Mich. 2000)(Gadola, J.); 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
Venue of a lawsuit may be transferred sua sponte for the convenience of parties or
witnesses. See Schultz v. Ary, 175 F. Supp. 2d 959, 964 (W.D. Mich. 2001).
The factors that guide a district court’s discretion in deciding whether to
transfer a case include: (1) the convenience of the witnesses; (2) the location of
relevant documents and the relative ease of access to sources of proof; (3) the
convenience of the parties; (4) the locus of the operative facts; (5) the availability
of process to compel the attendance of unwilling witnesses; (6) the relative means
of the parties; (7) the forum’s familiarity with governing law; (8) the weight
accorded the plaintiff’s choice of forum; and (9) trial efficiency and interests of
justice, based upon the totality of the circumstances. Overland, Inc. v. Taylor, 79 F.
Supp. 2d 809, 811 (E.D. Mich. 2000)(Gadola, J.).
The Court concludes that both for the convenience of the parties and
witnesses, as well as in the interests of justice, the present matter must be
transferred to the Western District of Michigan. The primary factor in making the
determination to transfer venue is that all of the “operative facts” in this case took
place at the Lakeland Correctional Facility, which is located in the Western District
of Michigan. See Pierce v. Coughlin, 806 F. Supp. 426, 428 (S.D.N.Y. 1992).
Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Western District of Michigan and the
defendants all reside in this district. In cases in which a plaintiff’s claims may
require testimony or files that can be most easily obtained at or near the plaintiff’s
place of incarceration, “the district in which the institution is located will ordinarily
be the more convenient forum.” See Joyner v. District of Columbia, 267 F. Supp.
2d 15, 20-21 (D.D.C. 2003)(quoting Starnes v. McGuire, 512 F. 2d 918, 931 (D.C.
Cir.1974)) Finally, the witnesses and files necessary to prosecute these claims are
located in the Western District of Michigan and the burden of transporting the
plaintiff to this judicial district would be significant. For these reasons, transfer of
this action to the Western District would be proper. See Welch v. Kelly, 882 F.
Supp. 177, 180 (D.D.C. 1995). Venue for plaintiff’s lawsuit against the defendants
is not proper in the Eastern District of Michigan, because plaintiff has failed to
allege that any of the acts, events, or omissions which form the basis of his lawsuit
took place in the Eastern District of Michigan. See Miles v. WTMX Radio, 15 F.
App’x. 213, 215 (6th Cir. 2001). The Court concludes that venue in this § 1983
lawsuit lies in the Western District of Michigan, where plaintiff alleges that the
civil rights violations occurred.
Accordingly, the Court ORDERS the Clerk of the Court to transfer this case
to the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
s/Paul D. Borman
PAUL D. BORMAN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: January 24, 2017
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
The undersigned certifies that a copy of the foregoing order was served upon each
attorney or party of record herein by electronic means or first class U.S. mail on
January 24, 2017.
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