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Portnov v. United States Department of Justice

United States District Court, D. Utah

September 3, 2019

ABRAHAM PORTNOV, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, et al., Defendants.

          Paul M. Warner Chief Magistrate Judge

          ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTION AND DIMISSING THE CASE WITHOUT PREJUDICE

          ROBERT J. SHELBY CHIEF JUDGE

         Proceeding in forma pauperis, [1] Plaintiff Abraham Portnov initiated this action on April 17, 2018.[2] The undersigned referred this case to Chief Magistrate Judge Paul M. Warner pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B).[3] On August 9, 2019, Judge Warner issued a Report and Recommendation.[4] Judge Warner recommends dismissing the action without prejudice for improper venue.[5] Portnov timely objected to Judge Warner's Report and Recommendation, [6] so the court reviews Judge Warner's Report and Recommendation de novo.[7] For the reasons explained below, Portnov's Objection[8] is OVERRULED.

         Portnov raises three objections to Judge Warner's Report and Recommendation.[9] First, Portnov claims venue is proper in Utah.[10] Portnov's Complaint names as Defendants the United States Department of Justice and several of its employees.[11] Venue is improper in the District of Utah because the named defendants do not reside here, none of the defendants are subject to this court's personal jurisdiction, and Portnov does not allege any actions or omissions in Utah.[12]And even though this case does not involve real property, Portnov does not reside here.[13] Venue is therefore improper.

         Second, Portnov argues this court has subject-matter jurisdiction, and should not dismiss the action for improper venue.[14] Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), Portnov is proceeding in forma pauperis.[15] “[U]nder § 1915, the district court may consider personal jurisdiction and venue sua sponte only when the defense is obvious from the face of the complaint and no further factual record is required to be developed.”[16] As explained above, venue is improper.[17]Furthermore, no allegation in the Complaint would support venue in the District of Utah, and Portnov makes no effort to suggest that he could establish venue here. It is therefore appropriate for this court to dismiss Portnov's action for improper venue.[18]

         Finally, Portnov asserts his claims have merit.[19] Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), this court “shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action . . . fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted.” After carefully reviewing Portnov's Complaint, the court concludes Portnov has failed to adequately allege “sufficient factual matter . . . to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”[20] Portnov's conclusory allegations will not do.[21]Dismissal is therefore appropriate.[22]

         CONCLUSION

         For the foregoing reasons, Portnov's Objection[23] to Judge Warner's Report and Recommendation[24] is OVERRULED. The action is dismissed without prejudice, and Portnov's pending motions are MOOT.[25] The Clerk of Court is directed to close the case.

         SO ORDERED.

---------

Notes:

[1] Dkt. 2.

[2] Dkt. 3.

[3] Dkt. 7.


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