POLANCO-CABRERA v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge Robert B. Kugler on 10/13/2015. (jbk, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Civ. No. 15-6357 (RBK) (KMW)
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al.,
ROBERT B. KUGLER, U.S.D.J.
Plaintiff is a federal prisoner currently incarcerated at F.C.I. Fort Dix, in Fort Dix, New
Jersey. He is proceeding pro se with a civil rights complaint filed pursuant to Bivens v. Six
Unknown Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). On September 8, 2015, this
Court administratively terminated this case as plaintiff had not paid the filing fee and had not
submitted an application to proceed in forma pauperis. Subsequently, plaintiff submitted an
application to proceed in forma pauperis. Therefore, the Clerk will be ordered to reopen this
case. Plaintiff’s application to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted based on the
information provided therein. For the reasons that follow, this matter will be transferred to the
United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Plaintiff names three defendants in this action: (1) the United States; (2) William
Bechtold – Warden FCC Coleman; and (3) Physician’s Assistant Morales – employed at FCC
Coleman. Plaintiff’s complaint relates to the medical care (or lack thereof) he received on his ear
while he was an inmate at FCC Coleman. FCC Coleman is a prison facility located within the
Middle District of Florida.
Typically, at this time, this Court would screen the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b) to determine whether it should be dismissed as frivolous or
malicious, for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or because it seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from suit. However, because venue is not
proper in this District based on the allegations of the complaint, the action will be transferred to a
court where venue is proper before this Court screens the complaint.
The applicable venue statute in this action is 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) which states as follows:
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 the 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.
Id.; see also Pennello v. United States, No. 11–6964, 2011 WL 6097771, at *3 (D.N.J. Dec.6,
2011) (noting that proper venue in a Bivens action is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)). Plaintiff
does not state where any of the defendants reside. Presumably, however, the defendants reside in
the Middle District of Florida where FCC Coleman is located. Furthermore, the events giving
rise to the allegations in the complaint occurred in the Middle District of Florida. There are no
allegations in the complaint (besides plaintiff’s current place of incarceration) that took place in
New Jersey. Therefore, this Court finds that the Middle District of Florida is the proper venue for
this case. The Clerk will be ordered to transfer this case to that district.
For the foregoing reasons, this case will be transferred to the United States District Court
for the Middle District of Florida. An appropriate Order will be entered.
DATED: October 13, 2015
s/Robert B. Kugler
ROBERT B. KUGLER
United States District Judge
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