United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
January 12, 2015
GRADY A. LEE, SR., #171 618, Plaintiff,
KIM THOMAS-PRISON COMMISSIONER, et al., Defendants.
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
SUSAN RUSS WALKER, Chief 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 Ventress Correctional Facility. Plaintiff argues that Defendants violated his First Amendment rights by opening his legal mail outside of his presence. Doc. No. 1. Pending before the court is Plaintiff's request for preliminary injunction. He seeks to enjoin Defendants from opening inmates' mail outside of their presence. 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).
The court finds from a review of the pending request for injunctive relief that if Plaintiff's motion were granted, the resulting injunction would amount to a broad instruction to Defendants to obey the law. Fed.R.Civ.P., 65(d), requires requests for injunctions to be specific; an injunction which merely orders the defendants to obey the law is too broad and too vague to be enforceable. See Burton v. City of Belle Glade, 178 F.3d 1175, 1201 (11th Cir. 1999). Because Plaintiff's requested injunction does not conform to the specificity requirement of Rule 65(d), Fderal Rules of Civil Procedure, it is unenforceable and is due to be denied.
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.