United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. Casper United States District Judge.
reasons set forth below, the court orders that this action be
transferred to the United States District Court for the
District of New Hampshire.
23, 2018, the clerk received for filing a complaint filed by
Lisa Jacobs (“Jacobs”). D. 1. With her complaint,
Jacobs filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. D. 2.
represents that she is a Massachusetts citizen now in custody
of the Cheshire County Department of Corrections in Keene,
New Hampshire. Jacobs's complaint asserts both federal
question jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and
diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 as
bases for this court's subject matter jurisdiction.
two-page, handwritten complaint recounts events surrounding
Jacobs' July 25, 2015 arrest by the Fitzwilliam police in
Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire. The complaint names the following
nine defendants: the Fitzwilliam Police Department and two
Fitzwilliam police officers (Joseph Fillipi and Hailey Rae);
the Town of Fitzwilliam; the Cheshire County Sheriff Eli
Rivera; Cheshire County Attorney Chris McLaughlin; the
Cheshire County Department of Correction; the New Hampshire
State Police; and the State of New Hampshire.
Court's records indicate that this action is one of six
complaints filed against New Hampshire defendants alleging
civil rights violations. See Jacobs v. Fillipi, et
al., C.A. No. 18-11505-JCB (filed Jul. 18, 2018);
Jacobs v. Fillipi, et al., C.A. No. 18-11533-NMG
(filed Jul. 23, 2018); Jacobs v. Fillipi, et al.,
C.A. No. 18-11551-DJC (filed Jul. 24, 2018); Jacobs v.
Fillipi, et al., C.A. No. 18-11558-WGY (filed Jul. 25,
2018); Jacobs v. Fillipi, et al., C.A. No.
18-11603-LTS (filed Jul. 31, 2018); and Jacobs v.
Fillipi, et al., C.A. No. 18-11604-ADB (filed Jul. 31,
Jacobs contends that subject matter jurisdiction lies in the
District of Massachusetts, venue is not proper in this court
under the relevant venue statute. Under 28 U.S.C. §
1391(b), 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.
28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).
subsections (1) and (3) of 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) do not
establish venue in the District of Massachusetts because none
of the defendants reside in Massachusetts. “For the
purposes of venue, state officers ‘reside' in the
district where they perform their official duties.”
Smolen v. Brauer, 177 F.Supp.3d 797, 801 (W.D.N.Y.
2016) citing Crenshaw v. Syed, 686 F.Supp.2d 234,
237 (W.D.N.Y. 2010) (quotation omitted)). Likewise,
subsection (2) does not provide for venue within this
district because “a substantial part of the events or
omissions giving rise to the claim” did not occur in
the District of Massachusetts.
“there is a strong presumption in favor of
plaintiff's choice of forum, ” U.S. ex rel.
Ondis v. City of Woonsocket, RI, 480 F.Supp.2d 434, 436
(D. Mass. 2007) (citing Coady v. Ashcraft-Gerel, 223
F.3d 1, 11 (1st Cir. 2000)), here the defendants do not
reside in this District and Jacobs does not allege that a
substantial part of the events arose in this District. Thus,
venue is not proper in this court under 28 U.S.C. §
light of the above, the court finds that it is in the
interest of justice to transfer this action to the District
of New Hampshire for further proceedings. See 28
U.S.C. § 1404(a) (providing, in relevant part, that
“[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the
interest of justice, a district court may transfer ...