United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
the Court are Plaintiff Michael Young's Second Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) and
Preliminary Injunction (Rec. Doc. 25), Magistrate Judge's
Partial Report and Recommendation (Rec. Doc. 28), and
Plaintiff's objections (Rec. Doc. 33). Accordingly,
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's
objections are OVERRULED and the Magistrate
Judge's Partial Report and Recommendation are
ADOPTED as the Court's opinion.
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
is a state inmate housed in B.B. Sixty Rayburn Correctional
Center. See Rec. Doc. 28 at 1; Rec. Doc. 33 at 1. He
filed a civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
against Defendants, proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis. See Rec. Doc. Nos. 1, 4, 7. In
his Complaint, Plaintiff alleged that after he filed a Prison
Rape Elimination Act Complaint against Defendant Officer
Jules Hebert in 2015, Defendant Hebert labeled him a
“snitch” to the other inmates. See Rec.
Doc. 16 at 2; Rec. Doc. 4 at 11. Furthermore, Plaintiff
asserts that the Defendant-Correctional Officers refuse to
adequately protect him from assaults by other inmates and
retaliatory harassment by certain prison officials.
See Rec. Doc. 4 at 11; Rec. Doc. 28 at 2.
August 9, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion for TRO and
preliminary injunction, claiming that he made numerous
requests to Defendants for transfer to another facility or
additional protection from the assaults of other inmates.
See Rec. Doc. 9 at 1-3. On September 22, 2017,
Magistrate Judge Roby reviewed the motion and recommended it
be denied. See Rec. Doc. 14. On October 11, 2017,
Plaintiff filed objections. See Rec. Doc. 16. On
November 29, 2017, this Court issued its Order and Reasons
adopting the report and recommendation. See Rec.
September 26, 2018, Plaintiff filed the instant motion for
TRO and preliminary injunction, arguing the same contentions
he argued in his previous motion for TRO and preliminary
injunction. See Rec. Doc. 25. On September 4, 2018,
Magistrate Judge Roby again recommended that the motion be
denied. See Rec. Doc. 28. On September 24, 2018,
Plaintiff filed objections to the partial report and
recommendation. See Rec. Doc. 33.
TRO and Preliminary Injunction
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 65, a party seeking
temporary and preliminary injunctions must allege specific
facts and show that he will suffer immediate and irreparable
harm. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 65. To obtain a TRO or
preliminary injunction the applicant must establish: (1) a
substantial likelihood of success on the merits; (2) a
substantial threat that the party will suffer irreparable
harm if the injunction is not granted; (3) the movant's
substantial injury outweighs any possible damage to the
nonmovant party; and (4) the grant of the injunction is in
the public interest. See Moore v. Brown, 868 F.3d
398, 402-03 (5th Cir. 2017); Byrum v. Landreth, 566
F.3d 442, 445 (5th Cir. 2009). A movant must carry the burden
of persuasion on all four elements. See Heil Trailer
Int'l Co. v. Kula, 542 Fed. App'x 329, 331 (5th
Cir. 2013); Voting for Am., Inc. v. Steen, 732 F.3d
382, 386 (5th Cir. 2013); Texas Med. Providers Performing
Abortion Servs. v. Lakey, 667 F.3d 570, 574 (5th Cir.
party seeking an injunction must show that he will suffer
both imminent and irreparable harm absent the injunction.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 65. The Fifth Circuit has held
that except in those exceptional cases to prevent clear and
imminent irreparable injury, the courts will not issue an
injunction. See Heath v. City of New Orleans, 320
F.Supp. 545, 546 (E.D. La. 1970), aff'd, 435
F.2d 1307 (5th Cir. 1971). A party may not assert speculative
arguments. Mere speculation of an irreparable injury is
insufficient. See Holland Am. Ins. Co. v. Succession of
Roy, 777 F.2d 992, 997 (5th Cir. 1985)
(“Speculative injury is not sufficient; there must be
more than an unfounded fear on the part of the
applicant.”); see also Monumental Task Comm., Inc.
v. Foxx, 157 F.Supp.3d 573, 583 (E.D. La 2016);
Hanna v. Lynn 1993 U.S. App. LEXIS 39363 *2 (5th
Cir. Sept. 22, 1993). Therefore, an injunction will not be
issued “simply to prevent the possibility of some
remote future injury.” Monumental Task Comm.,
Inc., 157 F.Supp.3d at 583. The injury must be actual
and imminent, not based off of conjecture or theoretical
have repeatedly recognized the delicate nature of issuing
injunctions that are requested in the prison setting.
Specifcally, federal courts, due to judicial restraint,
reluctantly interfere with matters dealing with prison
operations. See Smith v. Bingham, 914 F.2d 740, 742
(5th Cir. 1990). Federal courts give a range of deference to
the decisions of prison administrators when it pertains to
matters of prison administration, including discipline and
the status of inmates. See id. The issuance of
temporary and preliminary injunctions “is an
extraordinary and drastic remedy.” Harris County v.
Carmax Auto Superstores Inc., 177 F.3d 306, 312 (5th
Cir. 1999); White v. Carlucci, 862 F.2d 1209, 1211
(5th Cir. 1989). In other words, injunctions should not be
issued as ordinary practice, but only when the movant meets
the burden of persuasion. See Harris County, 177
F.3d at 312.
Plaintiff Fails to Meet Burden
review of the record, this Court finds that Plaintiff again
fails to carry his burden. Specifically, he fails to show
that he will suffer an irreparable injury or that an
irreparable injury is imminent. Plaintiff, without any proof,
argues that he has suffered serious harm and at a substantial
risk of one of the inmates “harming or killing
[him].” See Rec. Doc. 33 at 8. The Court
acknowledges that Plaintiff has submitted letters attached to
his pleadings that show each of his complaints to the prison
were addressed and investigated by prison officials.
See Rec. Doc. 25. However, Plaintiff has not
produced any medical reports, incident reports, nor any
evidence to support his mere conclusory statements that he is
being assaulted by other inmates and that Defendants are
failing to do anything about it.
the fact that Plaintiff is in a one-man cell already,
Plaintiff asserts a fear of being returned to general
population and being attacked by other inmates. As courts
have repeatedly held, an injunction will not be granted for
speculative concerns or fears that are not imminent and
actual. See Monumental Task Comm., Inc., 157
F.Supp.3d at 583. Thus, Plaintiff's concerns of being
retaliated against or attacked in the future are speculative.
as the Magistrate Judge noted, the prison officials have
already told him that they will provide additional protection
if he reports specific activity with an identified enemy.
See Rec. Doc. 28 at 5. This Court, in its previous
Order and Reasons found that Plaintiff's assertion that
Defendants will allow the other inmates to kill him because
Defendants have constantly failed to protect him is also
speculative. See Rec. Doc. 18 at 7. Therefore,
Plaintiff has again failed to establish that he will suffer
an imminent and irreparable injury if his motion is not
granted. The ...