United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
November 13, 2014
JOHN FITZGERALD KIEL, #188 238, Plaintiff,
GOVERNOR ROBERT BENTLEY, et al., Defendants.
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
TERRY F. MOORER, Magistrate Judge.
This 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action is pending before the court on a complaint filed by Plaintiff, a state inmate. In the instant civil action, Plaintiff challenges the conditions of confinement to which he is subjected at the Decatur Work Release Facility. Plaintiff also complains that any funds correctional officials deduct from his work release earnings over forty percent violates state law,  and his federal constitutional right to due process. To support this claim, Plaintiff maintains that besides deducting the forty percent allowed by Ala. Code § 14-8-6 for the cost of confinement the ADOC charges fees for transportation provided by correctional personnel to/from an inmate's place of employment and laundry service for "free-world" work apparel. Plaintiff names Robert Bentley, Governor of the State of Alabama, Kim Thomas, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections, and Batina Carter, Warden of the Decatur Work Release Facility, as defendants in this cause of action.
Upon review of the factual allegations in the complaint and the assertions set forth by Plaintiff in his motion to change venue, the court concludes this case should be transferred to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama under the directives of 28 U.S.C. § 1404.
A civil action alleging violations of a prisoner's constitutional rights 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, however, 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." 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
The Decatur Work Release Facility is within the jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The conditions and actions about which Plaintiff complains are occurring in the Northern District of Alabama. In addition, Defendant Carter resides in the Northern District of Alabama, as do all individuals with personal knowledge of the alleged violations of Plaintiff's constitutional rights. Although by virtue of their positions as Governor and Commissioner Defendants Bentley and Thomas reside in the Middle District of Alabama, they are subject to service of process throughout the state and commonly defend suits in all federal courts of this state. Consequently, the majority of witnesses and evidence associated with this case are in the Northern District of Alabama. Moreover, Plaintiff argues that because "the incidents [made the basis of this complaint] are [occurring] at Decatur Alabama Work Center in Morgan County Alabama... in the Northern District [of Alabama]... [this case] should be transferred" to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. Motion to Change Venue - Doc. No. 10 at 1.
In light of the foregoing, the court concludes that in the interest of justice and for the convenience of the parties this case be transferred to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama for review and determination.
Accordingly, it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that:
1. Plaintiff's motion to change venue ( Doc. No. 10 ) be GRANTED.
2. This case be TRANSFERRED to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama under 28 U.S.C. § 1404.
It is further
ORDERED that on or before November 28, 2014, Plaintiff may file an objection to the Recommendation. Any objection filed must specifically identify the findings in the Magistrate Judge's Recommendation to which Plaintiff objects. Frivolous, conclusive or general objections will not be considered by the District Court. Plaintiff is advised this Recommendation is not a final order and, therefore, it is not appealable.
Failure to file a written objection to the proposed findings and advisements in the Magistrate Judge's Recommendation shall bar a party from a de novo determination by the District Court of issues covered in the Recommendation and shall bar a party from attacking on appeal factual findings in the Recommendation accepted or adopted by the District Court except upon grounds of plain error or manifest injustice. Nettles v. Wainwright, 677 F.2d 404 (5th Cir. 1982). See Stein v. Reynolds Securities, Inc., 667 F.2d 33 (11th Cir. 1982). See also Bonner v. City of Prichard, 661 F.2d 1206 (11th Cir. 1981) ( en banc ), adopting as binding precedent all of the decisions of the former Fifth Circuit handed down prior to the close of business on September 30, 1981.