United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
May 27, 2014
CARLOS CAREY, #245 045, Plaintiff,
WARDEN JONES, et al., Defendants.
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
WALLACE CAPEL, Jr., Magistrate Judge.
This case is before the court on a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint filed by Plaintiff, a state inmate, in which he complains Defendants denied him access to the courts when they intercepted his legal mail and threw it away. Pending before the court is Plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction. Doc. No. 25. He demands entry of an order prohibiting Defendants at the Bullock Correctional Facility from holding his legal and personal mail during his housing assignment at the Kilby Correctional Facility. Upon review, the court concludes that the motion for preliminary injunction is due to be denied.
II. STANDARD OF REVIEW
The decision to grant or deny a preliminary injunction "is within the sound discretion of the district court." Palmer v. Braun, 287 F.3d 1325, 1329 (11th Cir. 2002). This court may grant a preliminary injunction only if Plaintiff demonstrates each of the following prerequisites: (1) a substantial likelihood of success on the merits; (2) a substantial threat irreparable injury will occur absent issuance of the injunction; (3) the threatened injury outweighs the potential damage the requested injunction may cause the non-moving parties; and (4) the injunction would not be adverse to the public interest. Id .; McDonald's Corp. v. Robertson, 147 F.3d 1301, 1306 (11th Cir. 1998); Cate v. Oldham, 707 F.2d 1176, 1185 (11th Cir. 1983); Shatel Corp. v. Mao Ta Lumber and Yacht Corp., 697 F.2d 1352, 1354-55 (11th Cir. 1983). "In this Circuit, [a] preliminary injunction is an extraordinary and drastic remedy not to be granted unless the movant clearly established the "burden of persuasion"' as to the four requisites." McDonald's, 147 F.3d at 1306; All Care Nursing Serv., Inc. v. Bethesda Mem'l Hosp., Inc., 887 F.2d 1535, 1537 (11th Cir. 1989) (a preliminary injunction is issued only when "drastic relief" is necessary); Texas v. Seatrain Int'l, S.A., 518 F.2d 175, 179 (5th Cir. 1975) (grant of preliminary injunction "is the exception rather than the rule, " and movant must clearly carry the burden of persuasion). The moving party's failure to demonstrate a "substantial likelihood of success on the merits" may defeat the party's claim, regardless of the party's ability to establish any of the other elements. Church v. City of Huntsville, 30 F.3d 1332, 1342 (11th Cir. 1994); see also Siegel v. Lepore, 234 F.3d 1163, 1176 (11th Cir. 2000) (noting that "the absence of a substantial likelihood of irreparable injury would, standing alone, make preliminary injunctive relief improper"). "The chief function of a preliminary injunction is to preserve the status quo until the merits of the controversy can be fully and fairly adjudicated.' Northeastern Fl. Chapter of Ass'n of Gen. Contractors of Am. v. City of Jacksonville, Fl., 896 F.2d 1283, 1284 (11th Cir. 1990)." Suntrust Bank v. Houghton Mifflin Co., 268 F.3d 1257, 1265 (11th Cir. 2001).
The court has carefully reviewed Plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction and finds the motion for injunctive relief is inappropriate since the injunction he seeks is not requested or related to the claims in this case and have arisen during the pendency of this action. See Kaimowitz v. Orlando, Fla., 122 F.3d 41, 43 (11th Cir. 1997) ("A district court should not issue an injunction when the injunction in question is not of the same character, and deals with a matter lying wholly outside the issues in the suit."); Westbank Yellow Pages v. BRI, Inc., 1996 WL 255912, *1, (E.D. La. May 13, 1996) ("A preliminary injunction is not an appropriate vehicle for trying to obtain relief that is not even sought in the underlying action."). Despite the similar nature of the cause of action with regard to the claims raised in the complaint and the subject matter of the request for preliminary injunctive relief, i.e., denial of access to courts, the requested injunctive relief concerns a matter outside the issues in the complaint. Even if Plaintiff could establish the propriety of his request for preliminary injunctive relief, his request is devoid of any allegation he will suffer specific and irreparable harm if an injunction is not issued. See Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 351-55 (1996) (to demonstrate a denial of access to courts, a prisoner must allege that he has suffered an actual injury, such as the loss or rejection of a non-frivolous legal claim regarding his sentence or conditions of confinement). Finally, it is impossible to determine what Plaintiff's requested relief would entail exactly preventing the court from determining what burden an injunction would have on the Alabama Department of Corrections and whether issuing one would harm the public interest. Issuing a preliminary injunction is not warranted.
Accordingly, it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that:
1. The motion for preliminary injunction ( Doc. No. 25 ) be DENIED.
2. This case be referred to the undersigned for additional proceedings.
It is further
ORDERED that the parties are DIRECTED to file any objections to the said Recommendation on or before June 10, 2014. Any objections filed must specifically identify the findings in the Magistrate Judge's Recommendation to which the party is objecting. Frivolous, conclusive, or general objections will not be considered by the District Court. The parties are advised that this Recommendation is not a final order of the court and, therefore, it is not appealable.
Failure to file written objections to the proposed findings and recommendations in the Magistrate Judge's report shall bar the party from a de novo determination by the District Court of issues covered in the report and shall bar the party from attacking on appeal factual findings in the report accepted or adopted by the District Court except upon grounds of plain error or manifest injustice. Nettles v. Wainwright, 677 F.2d 404 (5th Cir. 1982); s ee Stein v. Reynolds Securities, Inc., 667 F.2d 33 (11th Cir. 1982); s ee also Bonner v. City of Prichard, 661 F.2d 1206 (11th Cir. 1981) ( en banc ), adopting as binding precedent all of the decisions of the former Fifth Circuit handed down prior to the close of business on September 30, 1981.