District Court Decisions
Bosman v. United States, No. 12-1320, 2012 WL 1747972 (N.D. Cal. May 15, 2012) (Rogers,J.). Holding: Dismissing plaintiff's FOIA claim, without prejudice, based upon improper venue. The court dismisses plaintiff's FOIA claim, without prejudice, on the basis that she "has not alleged or offered facts to show that venue is proper in the Northern District of California." For one, the court finds that plaintiff "cannot establish proper venue . . . by virtue of her residence" where she resides in Virginia and "does not allege that she resided in the Northern District of California when she filed her complaint or at any other time." The court determines that plaintiff's "intentions to make California her ultimate 'domicile' have no bearing on whether, at the time that she filed her complaint, venue was proper in this district" and notes that the FOIA "look[s] only to 'residence'" for the purpose of establishing venue. Additionally, the court concludes that plaintiff also fails to meet "non-residency bases for venue" where she "does not allege that she has a 'principal place of business' in this district, or that the records she seeks are located in this district." The court notes that, in fact, "the evidence offered in support of the motion indicates that none of the records would be in California."
Pickard v. DOJ, No. 10-5253, 2011 WL 2199297 (N.D. Cal. June 7, 2011) (Beeler, Mag.). Holding: Granting government's motion to transfer the case based on improper venue; and denying plaintiff's request for leave to amend his complaint without prejudice with leave to seek to amend in the district court to which the action was transferred. The court grants defendant's "motion to transfer based on improper venue." The court notes that the "FOIA and the Privacy Act provide for venue in any of the following districts: (1) the district where the plaintiff resides or has his principal place of business; (2) the district where the records at issue are located; or (3) the District of Columbia." The court finds that for FOIA purposes, plaintiff who is a federal prisoner, "resides where he is incarcerated." Accordingly, the court concludes that "venue is appropriate in the District of Arizona (where Plaintiff resides), the Eastern District of Virginia (where the records are), or the District of Columbia." "Given that the records are in the Eastern District of Virginia, . . . the court transfers the case there."
Royer v. BOP, No. 10-146, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122878 (E.D. Va. Nov. 19, 2010) (Brinkema, J.). The court holds that venue is improper in the Eastern District of Virginia and transfers the action to the District Court for the District of Columbia. The court concludes that although plaintiff's "domicile may well be in the Eastern District of Virginia," "in light of the fact that he is presently serving a 20-year sentence and is confined to a federal facility in Colorado, [he] has failed to set forth sufficient information establishing that he resides in this District for FOIA and Privacy Act purposes." The court observes that the Fourth Circuit has not expressly addressed this issue, but notes that "other courts, most notably the D.C. Circuit, have found that for the purposes of venue, 'a prisoner has his residence at his place of confinement.'"