United States District Court, M.D. Florida
ORDER TRANSFERRING CASE
BLOOM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CAUSE is before the Court upon a sua sponte
examination of the record. On October 8, 2019, pro
se Plaintiff, James Brantley Lanier, while incarcerated
at the Avon Park Correctional Institution, filed a civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
several Defendants. ECF No. . On November 19, 2019,
pursuant to the Court's Order, Plaintiff filed an Amended
Complaint naming Centurion Managed Care of Florida only as
Defendant. ECF No. .
Court construes Plaintiff's allegations liberally.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972). A review of
the Amended Complaint reveals that Plaintiff is complaining
of events that occurred while incarcerated at Avon Park
Correctional Institution, located in Avon Park, Florida. Avon
Park is located in Highlands County, but Avon Park
Correctional Institution is located in Polk County, which
lies within the jurisdiction of the United States District
Court for the Middle District of Florida. See Baldwin v.
Fla. Dep't of Corrs., No. 06-14108-CV, 2008 WL
4346302, at *1 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 23, 2008) (transferring case
following Eleventh Circuit remand with instructions to
transfer case challenging conditions of confinement at Avon
Park Correctional Institution, located in Polk County to
Middle District of Florida, where petitioner was convicted
and confined); Bonini v. Fla. Dep't of
Corrs., No. 8:17-cv-164-T-23TGW, 2019 WL 5112257, at *1
(M.D. Fla. Aug. 2, 2019) (“The Florida Department of
Corrections (DOC) employed the plaintiff . . . at its Avon
Park Correctional Institution in Polk County, Florida . . .
decision to transfer an action pursuant to § 1404(a) is
left to the “sound discretion of the district
court.” Roofing & Sheeting Metal Serv. v. La
Quinta Motor Inns, 689 F.2d 982, 985 (11th Cir.
1982); see also Brown v. Conn. Gen. Life Ins. Co.,
934 F.2d 1193, 1197 (11th Cir. 1991). Such transfers may be
made sua sponte by the district court. Mills v.
Beech Aircraft Corp., 886 F.2d 758, 761 (5th Cir. 1989);
see also Bisso v. Jensen, No. 5:08cv371/RS-AK, 2009
WL 1064600, at *1 (N.D. Fla. 2009) (citation omitted). It is
well settled that a civil action filed by an inmate under
authority of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 “may be brought . .
. 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 (3) a
judicial district in which any defendant may be found, if
there is no district in which the action may otherwise be
brought.” 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). The law further
provides that “[f]or the convenience of parties and
witnesses, [and] in the interest of justice, a district court
may transfer any civil action to any other district . . .
where it might have been brought.” See 28
U.S.C. § 1404(a).
transfer an action under § 1404(a) the following
criteria must be met: (1) the action could have been brought
in the transferee district court; (2) a transfer serves the
interest of justice; and (3) a transfer is in the convenience
of the witnesses and parties. See Robinson v. Giarmarco
& Bill, P.C., 74 F.3d 253, 260 (11th Cir. 1996). The
court's consideration of the § 1404(a) factors may
include such criteria as the plaintiff's initial choice
of forum, the convenience of the parties, the convenience of
the witnesses, the relative ease of access to sources of
proof, the location of relevant documents, the availability
of compulsory process for witnesses, the financial ability to
bear the cost of the change, and trial efficiency. See
Tampa Bay Storm, Inc. v. Arena Football League, Inc.,
932 F.Supp. 281, 282 (M.D. Fla. 1996). Federal courts
ordinarily accord deference to a plaintiff's choice of
noted above, it is apparent from Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint that the issues raised in the instant proceeding
and about which he has personal knowledge occurred while
incarcerated at the Avon Park Correctional Institution
located in Polk County, Florida. Thus, the material witnesses
and evidence associated with his claims are all located in
the Middle District of Florida. It is, therefore, apparent
from the face of the Amended Complaint that the proper venue
for this cause of action is the United States District Court
for the Middle District of Florida. See Stateline Power
Corp. v. Kremer, 404 F.Supp.2d 1373, 1382 (S.D. Fla.
2005); Robinson v. Giarmarco & Bill, P.C., 74
F.3d 253, 260 (11th Cir. 1996). Although the plaintiff's
choice of forum is ordinarily given consideration,
Norwood v. Kirkpatrick, 349 U.S. 29, 32 (1955),
“where the operative facts underlying the cause of
action did not occur within the forum chosen by Plaintiff,
the choice of forum is entitled to less consideration.”
Windmere Corp. v. Remington Prods., Inc., 617
F.Supp. 8, 10 (S.D. Fla. 1985). Neither the private interest
of the litigants nor the public interest in the
administration of justice are advanced by having this
proceeding maintained in this District.
light of the foregoing, the Court concludes that in the
interest of justice and for the convenience of the parties
and witnesses, this case should be transferred to the United
States District Court for the Middle District of Florida for
review and determination, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404.
it is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows:
Venue in the above-styled action is
TRANSFERRED to the Middle District of
Clerk of the Southern District of Florida shall
CLOSE this case.
the extent not otherwise disposed of, any scheduled hearings
are CANCELED, all pending motions are
DENIED as moot, and all deadlines are