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Marco Gomez v. Institutional Gang Investigations Unit

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


April 9, 2013

MARCO GOMEZ, PLAINTIFF,
v.
INSTITUTIONAL GANG INVESTIGATIONS UNIT, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Allison Claire United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff has filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.

The federal venue statute 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 action, any judicial district in which any defendant is subject to the court's personal jurisdiction with respect to such action." 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).

In this case, the plaintiff seeks damages in connection with his validation as a gang member, which took place while plaintiff was housed at North Fork Correctional Center in Sayre, Oklahoma, which is located in the Western District of Oklahoma.*fn1 According to the complaint, defendants include employees of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR") who appear to be located at North Fork, such as correctional officers and the former warden. See ECF No. 1 at 2.

A review of the complaint therefore reflects that all defendants may not be residents of California, as would be required for venue in this district under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(1). Instead, venue is appropriate, under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2), in the Western District of Oklahoma, a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred.

Therefore, plaintiff's claim should have been filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. In the interest of justice, a federal court may transfer a complaint filed in the wrong district to the correct district. See 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a); Starnes v. McGuire, 512 F.2d 918, 932 (D.C. Cir. 1974).

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this matter is transferred to the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.


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