United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
C. GARGIULO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
THE COURT are two Motions (ECF Nos. 10 & 11) for
Temporary Restraining Orders and Preliminary Injunctions
filed by Plaintiff Anthony Newsome. Newsome seeks a temporary
restraining order and a preliminary injunction requiring the
defendants to acknowledge his belief system and ensure he
receives religious accommodations (ECF No. 10). He also seeks
a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction
requiring the defendants to provide an adequate law library
and to locate and produce his civil action complaint (ECF No.
11). Having considered the submissions by the parties, the
record, and relevant legal authority, the undersigned United
States Magistrate Judge recommends that the Plaintiff's
Motions for Temporary Restraining Orders and Preliminary
Injunctions be denied.
is a postconviction inmate in the custody of the Mississippi
Department of Corrections (MDOC), currently housed at the
South Mississippi Correctional Institute (SMCI) in
Leakesville, Mississippi. However, this case relates to
events that allegedly occurred while Newsome was housed at
the George County Regional Correctional Facility (ECF No. 5).
He filed an initial complaint in the Circuit Court of Greene
County, Mississippi on August 30, 2017 (ECF No. 1-1). The
Defendants removed this case on October 4, 2017 (ECF No. 1),
and filed an answer on October 17, 2017 (ECF No. 4).
Plaintiff then filed an amended complaint on October 19, 2017
(ECF No. 5). He is seeking declaratory relief and
compensatory and punitive damages from the following
Defendants: Bobby Fairley, Warden at George County; Terry
Rogers, Facility Administrative Assistant and “Inmate
Legal Assistant Program Designee” at George County;
Eric Richard, Chaplain at George County; Gia McLeod, Inmate
Legal Assistance Program (ILAP) Director for the MDOC; and
Eugene Wigglesworth, Chaplaincy Department Director for the
MDOC (ECF No. 5).
makes three claims. First, he contends that he was denied
religious accommodations in violation of the Free Exercise
Clause and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized
Persons Act (RLUIPA). Newsome states that he is a member of
the Natsarim Faith,  and therefore needed to celebrate Passover
with a yeast free diet and participate in an immersion
baptism. He contends that these requests were denied and that
he was denied religious counseling. Second, Newsome contends
that his right to access the courts was denied due to the
inadequate law library and the confiscation,
misappropriation, or destruction of his legal documents.
Finally, he contends that after filing grievances concerning
the above events, the defendants transferred him in
retaliation (ECF No. 5).
December 14, 2017, Newsome filed two Motions for Temporary
Restraining Orders and Preliminary Injunctions (ECF Nos. 10
& 11). In his first motion, he states he “entitled
to a temporary restraining order requiring the defendants to
implement the Natsarim faith group as a legitimate religion .
. . [and] grant religious accommodations . . .” (ECF
No. 10-1). In his second motion, Newsome contends that he is
entitled to another temporary restraining order
“requiring the defendants to locate and produce [his]
‘civil action complaint' and provide adequate legal
law services.” (ECF No. 11-1). Additionally, he seeks
an order requiring the Defendants to provide safeguards for
retaliatory transfers (ECF No. 11-3).
Newsome did not file these two motions until December 14,
2017, he states that he was transferred to Greene County
(SMCI) on August 15, 2017 (ECF No. 10-1). His address of
record remains SMCI.
Claims Against George County Defendants
Newsome has been transferred out of George County, his claim
for injunctive relief regarding policies and procedures at
George County is now moot. See Edwards v. Johnson,
209 F.3d 772, 776 (5th Cir. 2000). Therefore, Newsome is not
entitled to a temporary restraining order or a preliminary
injunction with respect to his religious claims or his access
to courts claim against Fairley, Rogers, or Richard, as they
are George County employees.
Newsome is also suing two MDOC employees, McLeod and
Wigglesworth, and he contends that the “same
actions” occur at SMCI. Additionally, it is unclear
which Defendant or Defendants he is suing for the retaliatory
transfer. Therefore, the undersigned will address these
claims in full.
Newsome is a prisoner pursuing a civil action seeking redress
from a government employee, the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(PLRA) applies. The PLRA limits the availability of
preliminary injunctive relief: such relief “must be
narrowly drawn, extend no further than necessary to correct
the harm the court finds requires preliminary relief, and ...