Burnett v. Lane
ORDER TRANSFERRING CASE to the Western District of Michigan. Signed by Magistrate Judge David R. Grand. (DPer)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
MICHAEL A. BURNETT, #200640,
CASE NO. 2:21-CV-11126
HONORABLE NANCY G. EDMUNDS
WENDY C. LANE,
ORDER OF TRANSFER
This is a pro se civil rights case brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In his complaint,
Michigan prisoner Michael A. Burnett (“Plaintiff”), confined at the Bellamy Creek Correctional
Facility in Ionia, Michigan, raises claims concerning the misuse of force and retaliation alleging that
Bellamy Creek Assistant Resident Unit Supervisor Wendy C. Lane (“Defendant”) is dispersing
human waste and urine into his mouth. Plaintiff sues Defendant in her individual capacity and seeks
monetary damages and any other appropriate relief. Plaintiff seeks to proceed without prepaying
the fees and costs for this action.
Having reviewed the complaint, the Court concludes that venue is improper in this Court and
that the case should be transferred to the United States District Court for the Western District of
Michigan. Venue for a civil action brought in federal court is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1391.
Section 1391(b) provides:
Venue in general. A civil action may be brought in –
(1) a judicial district in which any defendant resides, if all defendants
are residents of the State in which the district is located;
(2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or
omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of
property that is the subject of the action is situated; or
(3) if there is no district in which an action may otherwise be brought
as provided in this section, any judicial district in which any
defendant is subject to the court’s personal jurisdiction with respect
to such action.
28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). Public officials “reside” in the county where they perform their official duties.
O'Neill v. Battisti, 472 F.2d 789, 791 (6th Cir. 1972).
When venue is improper, a district court may either dismiss the case or, in the interests of
justice, transfer the case to a district or division where it could have been brought. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1406(a). Additionally, even when venue is proper, a district court may transfer a civil action to
any other district where it might have been brought for the convenience of the parties and witnesses
and in the interest of justice. See 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). A court may sua sponte transfer a case for
improper venue. Carver v. Knox Co., Tenn., 887 F.2d 1287, 1291 (6th Cir. 1989); see also
Cosmichrome, Inc. v. Spectra Chrome, Inc. LLC, 504 F. App’x 468, 472 (6th Cir. 2012); Flynn v.
Greg Anthony Constr. Co., Inc., 95 F. App’x 726, 738 (6th Cir. 2003).
Defendant resides in Ionia County, Michigan for purposes of the complaint (as does Plaintiff)
and the events giving rise to the complaint occurred there. Ionia County is located in the Western
District of Michigan. See 28 U.S.C. § 102(b)(2). Venue is therefore proper in the United States
District Court for the Western District of Michigan, not this Court. The Western District is also a
more convenient forum for this action.
Accordingly, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a) and/or 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), the Court orders
the Clerk of the Court to transfer this case to the United States District Court for the Western District
of Michigan. The Court makes no determination as to the merits of the civil rights complaint or the
pending application to proceed without prepaying fees or costs.
s/ David R. Grand
DAVID R. GRAND
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Dated: June 7, 2021
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