Alverson v. Thomas et al (INMATE1) (CONSENT)
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Honorable Judge Terry F. Moorer on 6/21/2011. (br, )
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
RODNEY ALVERSON, #132431,
KIM THOMAS, et al.,
) CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:11-CV-299-TFM
This case is before the court on a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint filed by Rodney
Alverson [“Alverson”], a state inmate currently confined at the Draper Correctional
Facility, in which he challenges restrictions placed on out-going legal main and procedures
undertaken by the response team in confiscating property from inmates during shakedowns.
The complaint contained a motion for preliminary injunction. Court Doc. No. 1 at 13-14.
In addition, on May 12, 2011 and May 18, 2011, Alverson filed motions for preliminary
injunctive relief under Rule 65, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, seeking relief from the
challenged restrictions/procedures. Court Doc. No. 11 and Court Doc. No. 13. The
defendants filed a response, supported by relevant evidentiary materials, to these motions
on June 20, 2011. Court Doc. No. 19. Upon thorough review of the documents filed by
the parties, the court concludes the plaintiff’s motions for preliminary injunction are due
to be denied.
The 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 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 injunction 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 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 (11th
Cir. 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 (11th
Cir. 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).
Turning to the first prerequisite for issuance of preliminary injunctive relief, the
court finds that Alverson has failed to demonstrate a substantial likelihood of success on
the merits of his claims. Alverson also fails to demonstrate a substantial threat that he will
suffer the requisite irreparable injury absent issuance of a preliminary injunction. The third
factor, balancing potential harm to the parties, weighs more heavily in favor of the
defendants as issuance of the injunction would adversely impact the daily operation of the
Draper Correctional Facility. Finally, the public interest element of the equation is a
neutral factor at this juncture.
Thus, Alverson has failed to meet his burden of
demonstrating the existence of each prerequisite necessary to warrant issuance of a
preliminary injunction and his motions are due to be denied.
A separate order will accompany this memorandum opinion.
Done this 21st day of June, 2011.
/s/ Terry F. Moorer
TERRY F. MOORER
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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