ALWAN v. SMITH
MEMORANDUM OPINION (Order to follow as separate docket entry). Signed by Honorable Matthew W. Brann on 8/23/17. (lg)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
BARRY SMITH, ET AL.,
AUGUST 23, 2017
Yuwsha Alwan, an inmate presently confined at the State Correctional
Institution, Houtzdale, Pennsylvania (SCI-Houtzdale), filed this pro se civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Accompanying the Complaint is an in forma
pauperis application.1 Service of the Complaint has not yet been ordered.
Named as Defendants are Superintendent Barry Smith and Correctional
Officer and P. Baumer of SCI-Houtzdale. Plaintiff alleges that during his ongoing
SCI-Houtzdale confinement Defendant Baumer subjected him to retaliatory
harassment including verbal threats and a false misconduct charge because of the
inmate’s religious beliefs and his filing of institutional grievances. It is further
Alwan completed this Court's form application to proceed in forma pauperis and authorization
to have funds deducted from his prison account.
alleged that Superintendent Smith failed to take corrective measures to prevent the
mistreatment. As relief, Alwan seeks compensatory and punitive damages as well
as declaratory and injunctive relief.
Title 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) provides that 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 a defendant is subject to the court’s personal
Plaintiff and both of the Defendants are located at SCI-Houtzdale and all of
the alleged events occurred at SCI-Houtzdale. SCI-Houtzdale is located within
both Clearfield County, Pennsylvania and the confines of the United States District
Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. See 28 U.S.C. § 118(c).
It is equally well-settled that a court may transfer any civil action for the
convenience of the parties or witnesses, or in the interest of justice, to any district
where the action might have been brought. 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). The United
States Supreme Court in Hoffman v, Blaski, 363 U.S. 335, 343 (1960), specifically
recognized that under § 1404(a), a civil action may be transferred by a district
court to another district court where that action may have been brought by the
Based on the location of Plaintiff and the named Defendants and the nature
of Alwan’s allegations, it is apparent that the convenience of the parties and the
interests of justice would be best served by transferring this matter to the judicial
district wherein the Plaintiff is incarcerated, the Defendants are located, and the
underlying events transpired.
Since the Western District of Pennsylvania is the proper forum, this matter
will be transferred to the United States District Court for the Western District of
Pennsylvania pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
An appropriate Order will enter.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Matthew W. Brann
Matthew W. Brann
United States District Judge
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