United States District Court, N.D. California, San Francisco Division
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY THIS CASE SHOULD NOT BE
TRANSFERRED TO THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE RE: ECF NO.
BEELER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Joseph Johnson-Bey #06143, who is representing himself, sued
the State of Tennessee, James M. Lammey, and Tom Leith (both
attorneys). In his complaint, he claims violations of
“Treaty Law Article III Jurisdiction - Violation of
Unalienable Rights, ” violations of the Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), libel,
slander, and defamation based on his alleged arrested and
subsequent detention, which he characterizes as being
“held for ransom for 121 days” against his will
“even after it was clear that the court lacked
jurisdiction.”He seeks $25, 000, 000, court costs, and
Eleventh Amendment likely bars the plaintiff's claim
against the State of Tennessee. The Eleventh Amendment
provides that “[t]he Judicial power of the United
States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or
equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United
States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or
Subjects of any Foreign State.” U.S. Const. amend. XI.
“The ultimate guarantee of the Eleventh Amendment is
that nonconsenting States may not be sued by private
individuals in federal court.” Beentjes v. Placer
Cnty. Air Pollution Control Dist., 397 F.3d 775, 777
(9th Cir. 2005) (citation and internal punctuation omitted).
individually named defendants are residents of the state of
Tennessee. The plaintiff is also a resident of
Tennessee, and from the complaint, the court surmises that
the acts surrounding the allegedly wrongful arrest and
detention took place there. If that is true, there is no
venue in the Northern District of California.
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 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.” 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).
venue is improper, the court may either dismiss the case
without prejudice, or, if it is in the “interest of
justice, ” transfer the case “to any district or
division in which it could have been brought.” 28
U.S.C. § 1406(a); In re Hall, Bayoutree Assocs.,
Ltd., 939 F.2d 802, 804 (9th Cir. 1991). Ordinarily, the
interest of justice requires transferring the case to a
proper venue rather than dismissing the case. See Baeta
v. Sonchik, 273 F.3d 1261, 1264-65 (9th Cir. 2001). An
action may be transferred to another court if: (1) that court
is one where the action might have been brought; (2) the
transfer serves the convenience of the parties; and (3) the
transfer will promote the interests of justice. Kinney v.
Gutierrez, No. 3:16-cv-02287-LB, 2016 WL 4268679, at *2
(N.D. Cal. Aug. 15, 2016) (citing E & J Gallo Winery
v. F. & P. S.p.A., 899 F.Supp. 465, 466 (E.D. Cal.
the circumstances, the court orders the plaintiff to show
cause in writing by July 17, 2019 why his case should not be
transferred to the Western District of Tennessee for lack of
proper venue. By July 17, 2019, the plaintiff must do one of
the following: (1) show cause in writing (in no more than
five pages) why the court should not transfer his case to the
Western District of Tennessee; (2) file a statement of
non-opposition to the transfer; or (3) dismiss the case
without prejudice by filing a one-page notice of voluntary
IS SO ORDERED.
 Compl. - ECF No. 1 at 1. Citations
refer to material in the Electronic Case File
(“ECF”); pinpoint citations are to the
ECF-generated page numbers at the top of documents. In his
complaint, the plaintiff also names the Shelby County
Sheriff's Office, the Memphis Police Department, Heidi
Kuhn (a “criminal court clerk), and Tennessee Secretary
of State Tre Hargett under the heading
“Defendants” in his complaint. Id. at
10. They are not listed in the complaint's caption or
civil coversheet, and he did not submit summonses for them.
See id; Civil Cover Sheet - ECF No. 1-1.
 Compl. - ECF No. 1 at 3, 11
(¶¶ 2-3, 7).
Id. at 13-14 (¶¶