United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
YOSEF S. FRASER, Plaintiff,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER OF TRANSFER
REBECCA RUTHERFORD, UNITED STATUES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiff Yosef S. Fraser's February 12,
2018 filing, which the Court construes as a Motion to
Transfer [ECF No. 23]. For the following reasons,
Plaintiff's motion is GRANTED.
August 15, 2017, Plaintiff filed his Complaint against Nancy
A. Berryhill, then Acting Commissioner of the Social Security
Administration, alleging that his social security benefits
have been improperly withheld. See Compl. 1 [ECF No.
3]. On February 12, 2018, the Court received a letter from
Plaintiff advising the Court of his new address in
Tallahassee, Florida, and asking that this case be
transferred to a district court in his new home jurisdiction.
has a history of homelessness and transiency. The record
reveals that, over the past ten years, Plaintiff has lived in
Texas, California, and possibly Arizona. The Commissioner has
sent correspondence to Plaintiff in each of those states.
See Tr. 53, 64, 70, 89, 97, 101, 104, 107, 109, 116,
141, 460, 463, 470 (agency correspondence addressed to
Plaintiff in Richardson, Texas and Corsicana, Texas); Tr. 7,
27, 30, 75, 156, 167, 181 (agency correspondence addressed to
Plaintiff in Pasadena, California); Tr. 471 (agency
correspondence addressed to Plaintiff in Phoenix, Arizona).
Plaintiff has attended hearings before an Administrate Law
Judge (“ALJ”) in both California and Texas.
See Tr. 28, 30 & 482, 484.
Complaint, Plaintiff identified his address as 3226 Aster
Street, Dallas, Texas, 75211. See Compl. 1. A letter
from Dallas Metrocare Services (“DMS”) dated
October 5, 2016, explains that the address Plaintiff provided
on his Complaint is a boarding home, and that DMS paid
Plaintiff's rent at the boarding home from at least April
2016 through October 31, 2016. See Oct. 5, 2016
Letter [ECF No. 3 at 3]. A Homeless Certification Letter from
the Salvation Army attached to Plaintiff's Complaint
states that Plaintiff resided at the Salvation Army's
Emergency Shelter from March 7, 2016, through April 12, 2016.
See Apr. 13, 2016 Letter [ECF No. 3 at 2]. A second
letter from DMS, dated January 17, 2017, advises that
Plaintiff is no longer eligible for housing assistance
through DMS; and a third letter from DMS, dated, March 4,
2017, states that Plaintiff is homeless, and has been living
under a bridge near the zoo in Dallas, Texas, because he has
exhausted all of his shelter options at The Bridge, the
Dallas Life Foundation, the Salvation Army, and Union Gospel
Mission. See Jan. 17, 2017 Letter [ECF No. 3 at 4]
& Mar. 4, 2017 Letter [ECF No. 3 at 5].
support of his Motion to Transfer, Plaintiff provides
evidence that he recently moved to Tallahassee, Florida, and
purchased a home. See Mot. 2 [ECF No. 23]. Plaintiff
asks the Court to transfer this case to a district court in
42, United States Code, Section 405(g) provides that an
action for judicial review of a final decision of the
Commissioner of the Social Security Administration
“shall be brought in the district court of the United
States for the judicial district in which the plaintiff
resides, or has his principal place of business, or, if he
does not reside or have his principal place of business
within any such judicial district, in the United States
District Court for the District of Columbia.” 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g). However, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a),
a district court, for the convenience of parties and
witnesses and in the interest of justice, may transfer any
civil action to any other district where it might have been
brought. See Montelongo v. Social Sec. Admin., 2014
WL 7398912, at *1 (N.D. Tex. Dec. 30, 2014) (transferring
case brought under §405(g) from district where plaintiff
lived when action was filed to district where plaintiff had
moved during pendency of litigation); see also
O'Brien v. Schweiker, 563 F.Supp. 301 (E.D. Pa.
1983) (noting that § 1404(a) may appropriately be
applied to a matter brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
Plaintiff filed this action for judicial review, venue was
proper in the Northern District of Texas, because Plaintiff
was a resident of Dallas, Texas. See Compl. 1 [ECF
No. 3]. However, Plaintiff has apparently moved to
Tallahassee, Florida. Plaintiff's filing dated February
12, 2018, which the Court construes as a Motion to Transfer
pursuant to Section 1404(a), is proper and should be granted
because Plaintiff no longer resides in this district. See
Montelongo, 2014 WL 7398912, at *1 (citing Crews v.
Sullivan, 1991 WL 46409, at *1 (7th Cir. Apr. 3, 1991)
(“The claim was denied initially, upon reconsideration,
and after a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Appeals Council denied
[plaintiff's] request for review. [Plaintiff] sought
judicial review in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Arkansas. Because [Plaintiff] had moved
to Illinois, 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) required a change of
venue to the District Court for the Southern District of
Commissioner opposes transfer and argues that Plaintiff's
case should remain in this Court because Plaintiff resided in
the Northern District of Texas throughout the relevant time
period in this case - January 2008 through May 24, 2017.
See Resp. 2 [ECF No. 26]. However, the evidence the
Commissioner cites in support of her argument that Plaintiff
resided in Dallas from 2008 to 2017 shows that Plaintiff
received assistance from the state of California during the
time period subsequent to 2011. See Pl.'s Filing
2 [ECF No. 16]. In addition, various correspondence sent to
Plaintiff by the Social Security Administration indicates
that Plaintiff resided in Dallas, Texas, Pasadena,
California, and Phoenix, Arizona during the time period
between 2008 and 2017. Plaintiff has submitted evidence, in
the form of a copy of a Corporate Warranty Deed dated January
17, 2018, which names Plaintiff as Grantee, that Plaintiff
has purchased a home and is residing in Tallahassee, Florida.
The Court finds that, for the convenience of the parties, and
in the interest of justice, this case should be transferred
to the Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee Division.
motion to transfer venue [ECF No. 23] is GRANTED, and this
case is transferred to the Northern District of Florida,