Brown v. Mackey et al
OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING CASE WITHOUT PREJUDICE. Signed by District Judge Laurie J. Michelson. (KJac)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 17-cv-11073
Honorable Laurie J. Michelson
OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING CASE WITHOUT PREJUDICE
Plaintiff Jarvon Brown is a prisoner in a Michigan Department of Corrections facility.
He asserts that he has been permanently denied phone access and asks this Court to temporarily
restrain and preliminarily enjoin this denial. (R. 1.)
Brown’s request is not yet properly before this Court. Brown has filed a “Memorandum
of Law in Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for a Temporary Restraining and Preliminary
Injunction”—and that is all he has filed. Yet “[a] civil action is commenced by filing a complaint
with the court.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 3; see also Powell v. Rios, 241 F. App’x 500, 505 n.4 (10th Cir.
2007) (“The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure make clear that only a properly-filed ‘complaint’
can commence a civil action.”). Absent a complaint, this Court cannot grant Brown the relief he
requests. Luna v. Ford Motor Co., No. 306-0658, 2007 WL 837237, at *2 (M.D. Tenn. Mar. 14,
2007) (“Prior to the filing of a complaint a court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and is
powerless to grant preliminary injunctive relief.”); P.K. Family Restaurant v. Internal Revenue
Service, 535 F. Supp. 1223, 1224 (N.D. Ohio 1982) (“Absent a complaint, [district court] lacks
jurisdiction to entertain plaintiff’s petition for injunctive relief.”). To be sure, the Court must
liberally construe Brown’s pro se filing. Erickson v. Pardus, __ U.S. __, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200
(2007). But a review of his memorandum suggests that Brown possesses the legal know-how to
properly initiate a lawsuit. (See R. 1.) Accordingly, Brown should do so.
This case is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.1
s/Laurie J. Michelson
LAURIE J. MICHELSON
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: April 21, 2017
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
The undersigned certifies that the foregoing document was served upon counsel of record
and any unrepresented parties via the Court=s ECF System to their respective email or First Class
U.S. mail addresses disclosed on the Notice of Electronic Filing on April 21, 2017.
Even if this Court were to construe Brown’s memorandum as a complaint, there is at
least one other defect, and probably two, that would keep the Court from proceeding. First,
Brown has not paid the filing fee in this case nor properly sought to proceed without prepayment
of the filing fee. Second, Brown is incarcerated at the Oaks Correctional Facility in Manistee,
Michigan and Manistee is not in the Eastern District of Michigan. See 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) (“The
proper venue for civil actions in which jurisdiction is not based on diversity of citizenship is the
judicial district where: (1) any defendant resides if all defendants reside in the same state; (2) a
substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred or a substantial part
of the property in question is situated; or (3) any defendant may be found if there is no other
district in which plaintiff may bring the action.”).
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