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Stuart v. United States

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division

June 7, 2018

CURTIS STUART, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; LYNSEY M. BARRON; KAMAL GHALI; BYUNG J. PAK; and JAMES HATTEN, Defendants.

          ORDER

          J. RANDAL HALL CHIEF JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 14.) Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed a response in opposition. (Doc. 16.) Accordingly, Defendants' motion has been fully briefed and is ripe for review. For the following reasons, Defendants' motion is GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is the defendant in a pending criminal matter brought by the United States in the Northern District of Georgia. (See United States v. Stuart, l:16-cr-072, Doc. 1 (N.D.Ga. Feb. 16, 2016).)[1]

         Plaintiff's instant complaint arises out of his related arrest, which took place on February 24, 2016. (Compl., Doc. 1, ¶ 14.) Plaintiff alleges that, during this arrest, he was brought to the Richard B. Russel Federal Building in Atlanta, Georgia, and forced "to sign a document in order to be released from prison." (Id.) On November 21, 2017, Plaintiff initiated this action asserting causes of action for "trespass" and "trespass on the case." (Doc. 1.) In addition to the United States, Plaintiff named three federal prosecutors and the Clerk of Court for the Northern District of Georgia (the "Officers") as defendants in this case. (Id.) Defendants now move to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Defendants move to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint for, inter alia, improper venue and insufficient service of process.

         A. Proper Venue

         Defendants argue that the Southern District of Georgia is not an appropriate venue for this case. When a defendant objects to venue, the plaintiff has the burden of showing that venue in the forum is appropriate. Home Ins. Co. v. Thomas Indus., Inc., 896 F.2d 1352, 1355 (11th Cir. 1990).

         Any action brought against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA"), 28 U.S.C. § 1346, may be prosecuted in the judicial district (1) where the plaintiff resides or (2) where the act complained of took place.[2] 28 U.S.C. § 1402(b). Plaintiff's residence - 2295 Newnan Street, East Point, Georgia, - and the facts giving rise to Plaintiff's complaint are located within the Northern District of Georgia. (See Compl. ¶ 14; Doc. 1, at 8.) Thus, Plaintiff has not carried his burden of establishing that this District is the proper venue for Plaintiff's claims against the United States.

         Venue is also inappropriate with respect to Plaintiff's claims against the Officers. In an action against an individual federal officer, venue is determined in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b), which 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 ...

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