United States District Court, D. South Carolina
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Kaymani D. West United States Magistrate Judge
a civil action filed by a pro se litigant. Pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §636(b)(1), and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(e)
(D.S.C.), this magistrate judge is authorized to review all
pretrial matters in such pro se cases and to submit findings
and recommendations to the district court.
Standard of Review
established local procedure in this judicial district, a
careful review has been made of the pro se complaint pursuant
to the procedural provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915. The
review has been conducted in light of the following
precedents: Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319,
324-25 (1989); Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97
(1976); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972);
Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147 (4th Cir. 1978).
court is required to liberally construe pro se pleadings,
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. at 97, holding them to a
less stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys,
Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5 (1980). The mandated
liberal construction afforded pro se pleadings means that if
the court can reasonably read the pleadings to state a valid
claim on which the plaintiff could prevail, it should do so,
but a district court may not rewrite a pleading to
“conjure up questions never squarely presented”
to the court. Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d
1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985). The requirement of liberal
construction does not mean that the court can ignore a clear
failure in the pleading to allege facts which set forth a
claim currently cognizable in a federal district court.
Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387,
390-91 (4th Cir. 1990).
district courts are vested with the inherent power to control
and protect the administration of court proceedings.
White v. Raymark Indus., Inc., 783 F.2d 1175, 1177
(4th Cir. 1986). Accordingly, the court has the power to
consider sua sponte whether venue is proper. See
Jensen v. Klayman, 115 Fed.Appx. 634, 635-36 (4th Cir.
2004) (per curiam). 28 U.S.C. § 1391 governs the venue
of civil actions brought in the United States district
courts. 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) 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 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). Here, the District of South
Carolina is the wrong district for venue as Plaintiff's
Complaint concerns Raleigh police officers' arrests of
Plaintiff in Wake County, North Carolina, and her
incarceration in the Wake County, North Carolina, jail.
See ECF No. 1.
absence of venue, the court has authority sua sponte
to transfer under either 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) or §
1406(a), or both. See Jensen, 115 Fed.Appx. at
635-36; In re Carefirst of Md., Inc., 305 F.3d 253,
255-56 (4th Cir. 2002). The statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a)
provides: “The 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.” 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a).
Because the Eastern District of North Carolina is the proper
forum in which to adjudicate the claims raised in this
complaint, the undersigned recommends Plaintiff s complaint
be transferred under 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a). The interests
of justice weigh heavily in favor of transferring this
action, and transferring the case is in keeping with the goal
of allowing cases to be decided on their substantive merits,
as opposed to being decided on procedural grounds. See
Goldlawr v. Heiman, 369 U.S. 463, 466-67 (1962); Dubin
v. U.S., 380 F.2d 813, 815 (5th Cir. 1967).
the undersigned recommends this case be transferred to the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
North Carolina for further handling.In the event this
recommended transfer is effected, it is ...