United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma
ANTONE L. KNOX, Plaintiff,
JOSEPH ALLBAUGH, et. al., Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
SUZANNE MITCHELL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
L. Knox (Plaintiff), a prisoner in the custody of the
Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) custody and housed
at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary (OSP) in McAlester,
Oklahoma, brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
alleging violations of his federal constitutional rights.
See Doc. 1. He appears pro se.
names the following Defendants, each in their individual and
official capacities: DOC Director Joe Allbaugh; OSP Deputy
Warden Natalie Cooper; OSP Chaplain Charles Allen; and OSP
Warden Mike Carpenter. See Id. at 1-3.
United States District Judge Joe Heaton has referred this
matter to the undersigned Magistrate Judge for initial
proceedings consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B),
(C). See Doc. 7. Following mandatory screening of
Plaintiff's complaint, the undersigned recommends the
transfer of this action to the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.
generally maintains Defendant Allbaugh, as DOC, director is
responsible for DOC policy that allegedly infringes
Plaintiff's religious dietary rights at OSP; that
Defendant OSP Deputy Warden Cooper is liable for restrictions
bearing on Plaintiff's personal and legal mail at OSP;
that Defendant OSP Chaplain Allen has interfered with
Plaintiff's chosen religious diet and engaged in
retaliation; and that Defendant OSP Warden Carpenter, as
supervisor, has failed to remedy these alleged violations.
See Doc. 1, at 1-2.
law requires the court to screen complaints filed by
prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an
officer or employee of a governmental entity. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss any frivolous
or malicious claim, any claim asking for monetary relief from
a defendant who is immune from such relief, or any claim on
which the court cannot grant relief. Id. §
aspect of screening is reviewing whether venue is proper
“when the defense is obvious from the face of the
complaint and no further factual record is required to be
developed.” Trujillo v. Williams, 465 F.3d
1210, 1217 (10th Cir. 2006) (citation omitted). Moreover,
“the court acting on its own motion, may raise the
issue of whether a change of venue would be in the interest
of justice.” Love's Travel Stops & Country
Stores, Inc. v. Oakview Constr., Inc., No. CIV-10-235-D,
2010 WL 4811450, at *6 (W.D. Okla. Nov. 19, 2010)
term ‘venue' refers to the geographic specification
of the proper court or courts for the litigation of a civil
action . . . .” 28 U.S.C. § 1390(a). The proper
venue for Plaintiff's action is in the “judicial
district in which any defendant resides” or the
“judicial district in which a substantial part of the
events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred . . .
.” Id. § 1391(b)(1), (2).
Venue is proper in the Western District of Oklahoma.
Plaintiff identifies Defendant Allbaugh as “a citizen
of Okla City, Oklahoma.” Doc. 1, at 1. He also
identifies Defendant Allbaugh as the “Okla. Dept. of.
Corr. Director.” Id. at 1. “Venue for
actions filed by any prisoner of any state prison . . . in
which . . . the [DOC] . . . or any officer or employee that
has multicounty responsibilities is named as a party shall be
in the county of the official residence of the [DOC].”
Okla. Stat. tit. 57, § 566.4(G)(1). And, Oklahoma County
is “the county of the official residence of the
Department of Corrections . . . .” State ex rel.
Dep't of Corr. v. Brock, 513 P.2d 1293, 1295 (Okla.
is divided into three judicial districts . . . known as the
Northern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Oklahoma.”
28 U.S.C. § 116. Oklahoma County is in the Western
District. See Id. § ...