United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Pensacola Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
ELIZABETH M. TIMOTHY JUDGE
matter is before the court on a civil complaint alleging
civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (ECF No.
1). Upon review of the complaint, it is apparent that venue
is not proper in the Northern District. Accordingly, this
case should be transferred.
is a detainee or inmate housed at the Baker County Jail in
Macclenny, Florida. As the lone Defendant, she names a deputy
who works at the jail. Plaintiff claims she was subjected to
sexual assault and robbery at the hands of Defendant while
housed at the jail. As relief, she seeks monetary damages.
for actions under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is governed by 28
U.S.C. § 1391(b), which provides:
A civil action wherein jurisdiction is not founded solely on
diversity of citizenship may, except as otherwise provided by
law, be brought only in (1) a judicial district where any
defendant resides if all defendants reside in the same State,
(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) a judicial district in which any
defendant may be found, if there is no district in which the
action may otherwise be brought.
Id. Furthermore, 28 U.S.C. § 1404 provides:
“[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the
interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil
action to any other district or division where it might have
been brought.” 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). The decision
to transfer an action pursuant to § 1404(a) is left to
the “sound discretion of the district court and [is]
reviewable only for an abuse of that discretion.”
Roofing & Sheeting Metal Serv. v. La Quinta
Motor Inns, 689 F.2d. 982, 985 (11th Cir. 1982). Such
transfers may be made sua sponte by the district court.
Mills v. Beech Aircraft Corp., 886 F.2d
758, 761 (5th Cir. 1989); Robinson v. Madison, 752
F.Supp. 842, 846 (N.D. Ill. 1990) (“A court's
authority to transfer cases under § 1404(a) does not
depend upon the motion, stipulation or consent of the parties
to the litigation.”); Empire Gas Corp. v. True
Value Gas of Florida, Inc., 702 F.Supp. 783, 784 (W.D.
Mo. 1989); accord Roofing & Sheeting, 689 F.2d
at 991 n.14.
analyzing the issue of proper venue in the context of motions
to dismiss under the federal doctrine of forum non
conveniens, courts have looked to certain factors set forth
by the United States Supreme Court relating to the private
interest of the litigants and the public interest in the fair
and efficient administration of justice. See Gulf Oil
Corp. v. Gilbert, 330 U.S. 501, 508-09, 67 S.Ct. 839,
843, 91, L.Ed. 1055 (1988), superseded by statute on
other grounds as explained in American Dredging Co. v.
Miller, 510 U.S. 443, 449 n.2, 114 S.Ct. 981, 986 n.2,
127 L.Ed.2d 285 (1994); accord Cowan v. Ford Motor Co.,
713 F.2d 100, 103 (5th Cir. 1983).While forum non conveniens
would not apply in a case such as this where there exists an
alternative federal forum in which this case could have been
brought and to which this case may be transferred, the
factors enunciated in Gilbert, which provide the
basis for a court's analysis of the relative fairness and
convenience of two alternative forums, are helpful in
determining whether to effect a change in venue under section
factors set forth in Gilbert are as follows:
[i]mportant considerations are the relative ease of access to
sources of proof; availability of compulsory process for
attendance of unwilling, and the cost of obtaining attendance
of willing, witnesses; possibility of view of premises, if
view would be appropriate to the action; and all of the
practical problems that make trial of a case easy,
expeditious and inexpensive. . . . Factors of public interest
also have [a] place in applying the doctrine. Administrative
difficulties follow for courts when litigation is piled up in
congested centers instead of being handled at its origin.
Jury duty is a burden that ought not to be imposed upon the
people of a community which has no relation to the
litigation. . . .
Gilbert, 330 U.S. at 508-09.
instant case, the acts or occurrences forming the basis of
the complaint occurred in the Baker County Jail in Baker
County, Florida, which is located in the Middle District.
Thus, attendance of witnesses and availability of sources of
proof favor a transfer there. Moreover, the Northern District
appears to have no relation to the litigation at issue.
Neither the private interest of the litigants nor the public
interest in the administration of justice is even minimally
advanced by venue being maintained in this
district. Therefore, in the interest of justice,
this action should be transferred to the Middle District.
it is respectfully, RECOMMENDED:
this case be transferred to the United States District Court