United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
F. MOORER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
cause of action is currently pending before the court on a 42
U.S.C. § 1983 complaint filed by Rodney Alverson, an
indigent state inmate currently incarcerated at Easterling
Correctional Facility. In the instant complaint, Alverson
challenges his exposure at Easterling to second-hand smoke
which he believes contains a toxic chemical substance.
Alverson seeks issuance of preliminary injunction requiring
that defendant Dunn (i) prevent the chemical substance from
entering Easterling, (ii) test the chemical substance to
obtain its identity, and (iii) transfer him to a
chemical-free facility, i.e., Limestone, if the flow of the
substance into Easterling is not stopped. Doc. 2 at 2.
April 16, 2018, the court entered an order directing the
defendant to show cause why Alverson's motion for
preliminary injunction should not be granted. Doc. 6.
Dunn filed a response to this order on May 1, 2018. Doc. 14.
Alverson then filed a reply to the defendant's response.
review of the motion for preliminary injunction filed by the
plaintiff, the defendants' response thereto,
plaintiff's reply and well-settled law, the court
concludes that the motion is due to be denied.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
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
Alverson meets 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. at 1329;
Parker v. State Bd. of Pardons & Paroles, 275
F.3d 1032, 1034-35 (11th Cir. 2001); Tefel v. Reno,
180 F.3d 1286, 1295 (11th Cir. 1999); McDonald's
Corp. v. Robertson, 147 F.3d 1301, 1306 (11th Cir.
1998); Cate v. Oldham, 707 F.2d 1176 (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 (internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting All
Care Nursing Serv., Inc. v. Bethesda Mem. Hosp., Inc.,
887 F.2d 1535, 1537 (11th Cir. 1989)); see Texas v.
Seatrain Int'l, S.A., 518 F.2d 175, 179 (5th Cir.
1975) (holding that a 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 request for injunctive relief,
regardless of the party's ability to establish any of the
other requisite elements. Church v. City of
Huntsville, 30 F.3d 1332, 1342 (11th Cir. 1994); see
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 Fla. Chapter of
Ass'n of Gen. Contractors of Am. v. City of Jacksonville,
Fla., 896 F.2d 1283, 1284 (11th Cir. 1990); Suntrust
Bank v. Houghton Mifflin Co., 268 F.3d 1257, 1265 (11th
response to the motion for preliminary injunction, the
defendant denies any violation of Alverson's
constitutional rights with respect to his alleged exposure to
toxic second-hand smoke. Walter Myers, the warden at
Easterling, addresses Alverson's request for injunctive
relief, in pertinent part, as follows:
Inmate Rodney Alverson . . . stated that in the last 4 months
3 inmates have died at Easterling Correctional Facility due
to chemical joint use and that there have been numerous
fights and stabbings due to the mind-altering effects of the
Answer - Two inmates have died at Easterling Correctional
Facility this year [but] their cause of death is unknown to
me. Forensic Scientists conducted an autopsy of those
inmates, although they are not available to me. Easterling
Correctional Facility's Staff works diligently to
eliminate the use of drugs at this facility and to decrease
the number of altercations that occur at this institution.
Inmate Alverson stated that he is being exposed to
second-hand smoke, from chemical joints, causing him
headaches and diarrhea.
Answer - Inmate Alverson has not requested any treatment from
the Health Care Unit for ...