United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
January 12, 2015
MIKEL HAMMONDS, #177 646, Plaintiff,
WARDEN JONES, et al., Defendants.
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
CHARLES S. COODY, Magistrate Judge.
This case is before the court on a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint filed by Plaintiff, a state inmate incarcerated at the Easterling Correctional Facility. Plaintiff challenges his placement in the restricted dorm which he claims occurred in the absence of due process. Doc. No. 1. Pending before the court is Plaintiff's request for preliminary injunction. He seeks to enjoin Defendants from disregarding administrative regulations and from placing overly restrictive conditions on inmates and requests his removal from Easterling. Upon review of the pending motion, the court concludes that the motion for preliminary injunction is due to be denied.
I. 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) 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 Service, 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.'" Suntrust Bank v. Houghton Mifflin Co., 268 F.3d 1257, 1265 (11th Cir. 2001) (quoting Northeastern Fla. Chapter of Associated Gen. Contractors of America v. City of Jacksonville, 896 F.2d 1283, 1284 (11th Cir. 1990).
Turning to the first prerequisite for issuance of preliminary injunctive relief, the court finds Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of his claims. See Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 485 (1995) ("Discipline by prison officials in response to a wide range of misconduct falls within the expected parameters of the sentence imposed by a court of law."). See also Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 225 (1976) (prisoners do not have a constitutional right to remain in or be transferred to a correctional institution of their own choosing). He likewise fails to establish he will suffer irreparable injury absent issuance of a preliminary injunction. The third factor, balancing potential harm to the parties, weighs in favor of the Defendant as issuance of the requested injunction would interfere with the ability of Defendants to effectively manage the daily operations of the prison. Finally, the public interest element of the equation is, at best, a neutral factor at this juncture. Thus, Plaintiff has failed to meet his burden of persuasion in establishing the existence of each prerequisite necessary to warrant issuance of a preliminary injunction.
Accordingly, it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that:
1. Plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction ( Doc. No. 1 ) be DENIED.
2. This case be referred to the undersigned for further proceedings. It is further
ORDERED that on or before January 26, 2015, Plaintiff may file an objection to the Recommendation. Any objection filed must specifically identify the findings in the Magistrate Judge's Recommendation to which Plaintiff objects. Frivolous, conclusive or general objections will not be considered by the District Court. Plaintiff is advised this Recommendation is not a final order and, therefore, it is not appealable.
Failure to file a written objection to the proposed findings and advisements in the Magistrate Judge's Recommendation shall bar the party from a de novo determination by the District Court of issues covered in the Recommendation and shall bar the party from attacking on appeal factual findings in the Recommendation 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). See Stein v. Reynolds Securities, Inc., 667 F.2d 33 (11th Cir. 1982). See 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.