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Walker v. Turner

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division

February 13, 2019

DEMARIO DONTEZ WALKER PLAINTIFF
v.
MARSHALL TURNER, ET AL. DEFENDANTS

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION [34] FOR A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER OR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

         This matter comes before the court on the plaintiffs motion for a temporary restraining order or, in the alternative, for a preliminary injunction. The plaintiff is an inmate currently housed at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. The plaintiff seeks an order from the court requiring the defendants to house him, instead, at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, which has facilities especially for mentally ill inmates.

         Preliminary Injunctions

         Both temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions are governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 65. Though the same criteria govern the issuance of preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders, the purpose and form of relief differ for each. The purpose of a preliminary injunction is to preserve the status quo during the course of litigation until the court can hold a trial on the matter. Steven S. Gensler, 1 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules and Commentary Rule 65, Practice Commentary; Univ. of Tex. v. Camenisch, 451 U.S. 390, 395, 101 S.Ct. 1830, 68 L.Ed.2d 175 (1981). When adjudicating a preliminary injunction, the court must provide notice to all parties and give them a chance to be heard. Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(a)(1). Once issued, a preliminary injunction stays in effect until the court grants final relief or otherwise modifies the order. Steven S. Gensler, 1 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules and Commentary Rule 65, Practice Commentary. Once the court issues final relief, the preliminary injunction dissolves, as the court need no longer rely on its equitable powers to provide interim relief. 11 A, Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Fed. Prac. & Proc. Civ. § 2947 (3d ed.); U.S. Philips Corp. v. KBC Bank N. K, 590 F.3d 1091, 1094 (9th Cir. 2010). A ruling on a preliminary injunction is immediately appealable:

[T]he courts of appeals shall have jurisdiction over appeals from... [i]nterlocutory orders of the district courts of the United States ... granting, continuing, modifying, refusing, or dissolving injunctions, or refusing to dissolve or modify injunctions

28 U.S.C.A. § 1292(a)(1).

         Temporary Restraining Orders

          Similarly, the purpose of a temporary restraining order is to preserve the status quo and prevent irreparable harm, but only until the court can hold an adversarial hearing for a preliminary injunction. Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(3), Granny Goose Foods, Inc. v. Brotherhood of Teamsters and Auto Truck Drivers Local No. 70 of Alameda County, 415 U.S. 423, 438-439, 94 S.Ct. 1113 (1974). Thus, a temporary restraining order may be granted exparte, but it only lasts for 14 days (28 days if the court permits, with a showing of good cause). Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b)(2). Exparte temporary restraining orders are disfavored, and courts seldom grant them. Steven S. Gensler, 1 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules and Commentary Rule 65, Practice Commentary. Once the court rules on a motion for preliminary injunction, then the temporary restraining order has served its purpose and should be dissolved. Granny Goose, 415 U.S. at 443. Neither party may appeal a district court's ruling on a temporary restraining order, as it has an extremely limited duration. Chicago United Industries, Ltd. v. City of Chicago, 445 F.3d 940, 943 (7th Cir. 2006). However, once the district court rules on a motion for preliminary injunction regarding the issue, the parties may appeal that order. Northeast Ohio Coalition for Homeless Service Employees Intern. Union, Local 1199 v. Blackwell, 467 F.3d 999, 1005 (6th Cir. 2006).

         Elements of Temporary Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunctive Relief

         A party must prove four elements to be entitled to preliminary injunctive relief or a temporary restraining order: (1) a substantial likelihood of success on the merits; (2) a substantial threat of irreparable injury if the injunction is not issued; (3) that the threatened injury to the movant outweighs any harm that may result from the injunction to the non-movant; and (4) that the injunction will not disserve the public interest. DSC Communications Corp. v. DGI Technologies, Inc., 81 F.3d 597, 600 (5th Cir. 1996); Rodriguez v. United States, 66 F.3d 95, 97 (5thCir. 1995), cert, denied, 116 S.Ct. 1058, 134 L.Ed.2d 202 (1996); Cherokee Pump & Equipment, Inc. v. Aurora Pump, 38 F.3d 246, 249 (5th Cir. 1994); Doe v. Duncanville Independent School District, 994 F.2d 160, 163 (5th Cir. 1993); Plains Cotton Co-op Association v. Goodpasture Computer Serv., Inc., 807 F.2d 1256, 1259 (5th Cir.), cert, denied, 484 U.S. 821, 108 S.Ct. 80, 98 L.Ed.2d 42 (1987); Canal Authority of Florida v. Callaway, 489 F.2d 567, 572 (5th Cir. 1974).

         Preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders are extraordinary remedies, Cherokee Pump, 38 F.3d at 249, "not to be granted routinely, but only when the movant, by a clear showing, carries [the] burden of persuasion." Black Fire Fighters Association v. City of Dallas, 905 F.2d 63, 65 (5th Cir. 1990) (quoting Holland American Insurance Co. v. Succession of Roy, 777 F.2d 992, 997 (5th Cir. 1985)); Cherokee Pump, 38 F.3d at 249 (quoting Mississippi Power & Light v. United Gas Pipe Line Co., 760 F.2d 618, 621 (5th Cir. 1985)) ("The decision to grant a preliminary injunction is to be treated as the exception rather than the rule"). Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 65, the party seeking a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order must give security in an amount the court deems proper (which can be zero in some circumstances).

         Analysis

         The plaintiff is unable to demonstrate a substantial likelihood of success on the merits in light of his argument in the instant motion. The plaintiff notes that he is undergoing evaluation by MDOC personnel to determine proper housing for him. The plaintiff argues that, as he is currently taking psychoactive medication, then he should be housed at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, which has a unit designed for severely mentally ill inmates. He believes that he would be better monitored at East Mississippi when compared to other facilities under consideration. However, inmates have neither a protectable property or liberty interest to any particular housing assignment or custodial classification, either under the United States Constitution or under Mississippi law. Hewitt v. Helms, 459 U.S. 460, 468 (1983); Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 224 (1976); Neals v. Norwood, 59 F.3d 530, 533 (5th Cir. 1995); Wilson v. Budney, 976 F.2d 957, 958 (5th Cir. 1992); McCord v. Maggio, 910 F.2d 1248, 1250 (5th Cir. 1990) (citations omitted); Miss. Code Ann. §§ 47-5-99 to -103 (1993). Prisoner classification is a matter squarely within the "broad discretion" of prison officials, "free from judicial intervention" except in extreme circumstances. McCord, 910 F.2d at 1250 (citations omitted). Housing based upon the plaintiffs prescriptions for psychoactive medications falls squarely within the "broad discretion" of prison officials, and the court will not intervene in this process.

         As such, the plaintiff has not demonstrated a substantial likelihood that he will prevail on his claim, and the instant motion [34] for a temporary ...


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