of Columbia under § 1391(e), the Court finds that Plaintiff's claims should be transferred to Illinois pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1404(a).
"For the convenience of the parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil action to any other district or division where it might have been brought." 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). An examination of the facts of each case is required prior to any decision on transfer under Section 1404(a). See Starnes v. McGuire, 168 App. D.C. 4, 512 F.2d 918, 925 (D.C. Cir. 1974). The Court finds that interests of justice and the convenience of the parties are better served by transferring this case to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
In the instant case, convenience dictates that Plaintiff's claims should be transferred to Illinois. Of utmost importance in this regard is the fact that Plaintiff is incarcerated in Illinois. "Many, if indeed not most, petitions filed by prisoners not confined in the District of Columbia and not sentenced here originally, will tend to involve factors that make transfer to the place of incarceration appropriate." Starnes, 512 F.2d at 926. One such factor includes the availability of the prisoner himself when it appears that testimony may be essential to the action. Id. Due to the difficulty of transferring a prisoner, compared to the relative ease with which federal officials can travel to the prison to give evidence, it is appropriate and efficient to have this suit heard in a District close the Plaintiff's place of incarceration. See id. at 927-8; Phillips v. United States Board of Parole, 122 App. D.C. 235, 352 F.2d 711, 716 (D.C. Cir. 1965). Furthermore, this action "might have been brought" by Plaintiff in Illinois. Because Plaintiff may pursue his claims against Defendants in their official capacities in any judicial district, see 28 U.S.C. § 1391(e), Illinois is a permissible forum for Plaintiff's claims. It follows that transfer to Illinois is proper under Section 1404(a).
Plaintiff suggests that venue would be most convenient in the District of Columbia because most of the Defendants are employed here and the violations of Plaintiff's rights occurred here. See Pltf. Response at 26-27. To the extent that Plaintiff's action can be taken to be concerned with federal prison policies formulated at the BOP's headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Court finds that such policy is not determinative in determining which is the appropriate venue under Section 1404. Although the "existence of a national policy issue . . . is a factor to be considered by the district judge in determining whether transfer is appropriate under Section 1404(a)," Starnes, 512 F.2d at 929, Plaintiff principally takes issue with the conduct of individuals, not with the policies underlying that conduct. More specifically, because the implementation of policy is at issue, and because that implementation took place at the Marion facility in Illinois, venue is more appropriately laid in Illinois. See Jones v. United States, 560 F. Supp. 875, 876 (D.D.C. 1983). Even assuming, arguendo, that a true national policy issue was before this Court, Plaintiff raises claims "related to his particular circumstances" which may likely "require evidence from himself and other persons better available in (Illinois)." Starnes, 512 F.2d at 929.
Accordingly, for the foregoing reasons, it is, by the Court, this 27th day of February, 1992,
ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the claims against Defendants in their personal capacities shall be, and hereby is, GRANTED pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2); and, it is,
FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's claims against Defendants in their official capacities shall be, and hereby is, DENIED; and, it is,
FURTHER ORDERED that the Plaintiff's remaining claims against Defendants in their official capacities shall be, and hereby are, transferred to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
CHARLES R. RICHEY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE