United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
CLISTOPHER L. THOMAS, #229918, Plaintiff,
WALTER MYERS, et al., Defendants.
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Russ Walker United States Magistrate Judge.
U.S.C. § 1983 action is pending before the court on a
complaint filed by Clistopher L. Thomas, an indigent state
inmate incarcerated at the Easterling Correctional Facility.
In this complaint, Thomas alleges that the defendants
subjected him to excessive force on April 18, 2018, including
the use of mace, and failed to allow him access to
decontamination measures in a timely manner. Doc. 1 at 3.
25, 2018, Thomas filed a document which the court construed
to contain a motion for preliminary injunction. In this
motion, Thomas asserts that the segregation cells at
Easterling “are not ventilated, they have no exhaust
ventilation for air to properly circulate.” Doc. 10 at
1. Thomas requests entry of injunctive relief requiring
defendant Walter Myers, the warden at Easterling, “to
stop the use of the segregation cells” for this reason.
Doc. 10 at 1.
court entered an order directing the defendants to file a
response to the motion for preliminary injunction. Doc. 12.
The defendants filed their response in opposition to the
motion for preliminary injunction, supported by an affidavit
from defendant Myers, on June 15, 2018. Docs. 21 & 21-1.
review of the motion for preliminary injunction and the
response filed by the defendants, the court concludes that
this 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 Thomas 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 injunctive relief may cause the non-moving parties;
and (4) the injunction would not be adverse to the public
interest. Palmer, 287 F.3d at 1329;
McDonald's Corp. v. Robertson, 147 F.3d 1301,
1306 (1998); Cate v. Oldham, 707 F.2d 1176
(11th Cir. 1983); Shatel Corp. v. Mao Ta
Lumber and Yacht Corp., 697 F.2d 1352 (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 Memorial
Hospital, Inc., 887 F.2d 1535, 1537 (11thCir.
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
(11thCir. 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).
motion for preliminary injunction, Thomas requests that the
defendants be required to close the segregation cells at
Easterling due to an alleged lack of proper ventilation.
Warden Myers addresses this request for relief as follows:
Inmate Clistopher Thomas … claims that Easterling
Correctional Facility's Segregation Unit Cells have no
ventilation, which causes extreme heat temperatures that
could lead to health problems.
Answer - Inmate Thomas has not had any health issues due to
the heat temperatures. Each segregation cell at Easterling
Correctional Facility has a window that opens to the outside
so that air can flow inside from the outdoors. The
Segregation Unit also has attic fans that are controlled by
the cubicle operators that help the air to properly
circulate. There are no noted complaints of any inmate
exhibiting health issues due to heat temperatures in the
Segregation Unit. Inmate Thomas's accusations are
to the first prerequisite for issuance of preliminary
injunctive relief, the court finds that Thomas has failed to
demonstrate a substantial likelihood of success on the merits
of the claim on which he seeks the requested relief. Thomas
likewise fails to demonstrate a substantial threat that he
will suffer the requisite irreparable injury absent issuance
of the requested preliminary injunction. The third factor,
balancing potential harm to the parties, weighs more heavily
in favor of the defendants, as issuance of the requested
preliminary injunctive relief would interfere with the daily
operation of Easterling. Finally, the public interest element
of the equation is, at best, ...