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Griffin v. Stephney

United States District Court, D. Maine

August 12, 2016

WILLIE R. GRIFFIN, Plaintiff,
v.
MISS STEPHNEY, et al. Defendants

          RECOMMENDED DECISION AFTER REVIEW PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915

          John C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge.

         In this action, Plaintiff Willie R. Griffin, with a general delivery return address in Richmond, Virginia, seeks relief from “Miss Stephney, ” Catholic Charities, the Richmond Police Department, and the State of Virginia. (Complaint, ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff moved to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 4), which motion the Court granted. (ECF No. 7.) Because Plaintiff is proceeding in this matter in forma pauperis, his action is subject to review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) to ensure that Plaintiff has stated a claim for which relief may be granted in this Court.[1] After the review, I recommend the Court dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint.

         Discussion

         When deciding whether to dismiss a claim or action for failure to state a claim, a court must accept as true the factual allegations of the complaint, draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff that are supported by the factual allegations, and determine whether the complaint, so read, sets forth a plausible basis for recovery. Trans-Spec Truck Serv., Inc. v. Caterpillar Inc., 524 F.3d 315, 320 (1st Cir. 2008). To allege an action in federal court, however, it is not enough for a plaintiff merely to allege that a defendant acted unlawfully; a plaintiff must affirmatively allege facts that identify the manner by which the defendant subjected the plaintiff to a harm for which the law affords a remedy. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009).

         Although Plaintiff’s complaint is somewhat difficult to decipher, Plaintiff appears to allege that Defendants failed to provide shelter to him, and otherwise mistreated him. Plaintiff and Defendants are alleged to be residents of Virginia, and the alleged incidents occurred in Virginia. Regardless of the substance of Plaintiff’s claim, Plaintiff cannot prosecute his claim in this Court. Assuming Plaintiff has asserted this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, [2] the appropriate venue is determined by reference to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b), which states:

         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 any defendant is subject to the court’s personal jurisdiction with respect to such action.

         Because none of the parties is a resident of Maine, because the incidents about which Plaintiff complains did not occur in Maine, and because the record lacks any evidence to suggest Plaintiff is unable to assert this action in a district in Virginia, Plaintiff cannot prosecute his claim in this District.

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a), “[t]he district court of a district in which is filed a case laying venue in the wrong division or district shall dismiss, or if it be in the interest of justice, transfer such case to any district or division in which it could have been brought.” “Whether dismissal or transfer is appropriate lies within the sound discretion of the district court.” Minnette v. Time Warner, 997 F.2d 1023, 1026 (2d Cir. 1993); see also Quinn v. Watson, 145 Fed. App’x 799, 800 (4th Cir. 2005) (unpublished).[3] Because Plaintiff does not appear to state a federal claim, [4] judicial economy militates in favor of dismissal.

         Conclusion

         Based on the foregoing analysis, after a review of Plaintiff’s complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, I recommend the ...


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