Hammou v. USCIS
ORDER OF REASSIGNMENT by Judge Ronald B. Leighton. The clerk shall transfer related cases C17-5260 and C17-0572 to Seattle for a judge assignment. (MET) cc: plaintiff
HONORABLE RONALD B. LEIGHTON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
CASE NO. C17-5260RBL
ORDER OF REASSIGNMENT TO
THIS MATTER is before the Court on its own Motion after review of Plaintiff
15 Hammou’s Motion to proceed in forma pauperis [Dkt. #1].
This case was filed in Tacoma on April 6, 2017. A week later, Hammou filed a
17 substantially similar case (No. C17-0572RAJ) in the Western District’s Northern Division
18 (Seattle). A Minute Order1 was issued in the Seattle case [Dkt. #7 in C17-0572], reassigning it to
19 the judge assigned to this first-filed case, consistent with LCR 3(e)(3) (concerning intra-district
The Order also instructed that future filings should use the case number for the secondfiled case, but the common practice is to use the number of the first-filed case, in this case 1724 5260.
C17-0572RBL - 1
1 transfer to facilitate consolidation under LCR 42) and LCR 3(g)(2)(A) and (B) (concerning
2 related cases).
Plaintiff Hammou lives in Tacoma. She sued “USCIS” (presumably, the United States
4 Citizenship and Immigration Service), seeking a writ of mandamus forcing that entity to process
5 the naturalization application she filed there. [Dkt. #1-1 at 2 in this case; Dkt. # 1-1 at 2 in No.
6 C17-0572]. In each case, Hammou correctly alleged that USCIS was located in Seattle.
LCR 3 governs the intra-district assignment of cases filed in the Western District. Like
8 the broader venue statue, 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b), it instructs that the proper location for a case turns
9 on where the defendant resides or does business, or where the action arose. Neither the statute
10 nor the local rule suggests that the proper venue depends on the plaintiff’s residence:
(e) Intradistrict Assignment and Reassignment
(1) In all civil cases in which all defendants reside, or in which all
defendants have their principal places of business, or in which the
claim arose in the counties of Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor,
Jefferson, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Skamania, Thurston,
and Wahkiakum, the case will usually be assigned to a judge in
Tacoma. In cases where all defendants have their principal places of
business, or in which the claim arose in the counties of Island, King,
San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, or Whatcom, the case will be assigned
to a judge in Seattle[.]
The Defendant in these cases is located, and does business, in Seattle. Hammou’s only
claim is that the application she filed there has not been processed, and she asks the court to
force the agency to act, in Seattle. Both cases should have been filed in Seattle, and are properly
assigned to a Seattle District Court Judge in the first instance. That judge will address the
The numbering, but not the substance, of this Rule was changed effective April 24,
ORDER OF REASSIGNMENT TO SEATTLE - 2
1 pending motions for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, and whether to consolidate these related
The clerk shall transfer these related cases to Seattle for a judge assignment, consistent
4 with the Local Rules and the common practice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated this 27th day of April, 2017.
Ronald B. Leighton
United States District Judge
ORDER OF REASSIGNMENT TO SEATTLE - 3
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