Trimble v. Allen, et al (INMATE 1)
ORDER directing that the 26 Recommendation is ADOPTED; Plaintiff's 27 Objection is OVERRULED; and Plaintiff's 25 Motion for Preliminary Injunction is DENIED; further ORDERED that Plaintiff's claims against Defendants are REFERRED back to the Magistrate Judge assigned to this case for any order or recommendation as may be appropriate. Signed by Honorable Judge Mark E. Fuller on 10/27/11. (scn, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
AIS # 139540,
RICHARD ALLEN, et al.,
CASE NO. 2:11-cv-391-MEF
On October 11, 2011, the Magistrate Judge filed a Recommendation in this case (Doc.
# 26), to which Plaintiff has filed a timely Objection (Doc. # 27). The Court reviews de novo
the portion of the Recommendation to which the Objection applies. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
For the reasons that follow, the Objection is due to be overruled and the Recommendation
Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. # 25) seeks a court order “either
allow[ing] [P]laintiff to use tobacco in his religious ceremonies [at Easterling Correctional
Facility] . . . or transfer[ing] [Plaintiff] to a facility in which the use of tobacco is allowed.”
(Doc. # 25, at 1.) Plaintiff’s first objection regards the Magistrate Judge’s conclusion that
Plaintiff “has failed to demonstrate a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of his
[request].” (Recommendation 3.) Plaintiff must show that he has a substantial likelihood of
success on his First Amendment free exercise claim. “Although ‘prisoners do not shed all
constitutional rights at the prison gate, . . . [l]awful incarceration brings about the necessary
withdrawal or limitation of many privileges and rights.’” Hathcock v. Cohen, 287 F. App’x
793, 800 (11th Cir. 2008) (quoting Sandlin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 485 (1995)). A prison
regulation, even one that infringes the inmate’s constitutional rights to some degree, is
actionable only if unreasonable. Hakim v. Hicks, 223 F.3d 1244, 1247 (11th Cir. 2000). The
reasonableness of a prison regulation is evaluated using the four factors of Turner v. Safley,
482 U.S. 78 (1987). “Thus, inmates retain the right to free exercise of religion subject to
prison regulation consistent with the Turner reasonableness standard.” Hathcock, 287 F.
App’x at 800.
Plaintiff faces a high hurdle in attempting to argue that Easterling Correctional
Facility’s regulation of tobacco use is unreasonable under Turner, and his First Amendment
challenge is not likely to succeed on the merits on account of the deference afforded to prison
officials. See Cutter v. Wilkinson, 544 U.S. 709, 725 n.13 (2005) (“It bears repetition,
however, that prison security is a compelling state interest . . . .”). Furthermore, the Court
concludes that Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate that the other requirements for a
preliminary injunction have been satisfied.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED that the Recommendation (Doc. # 26) is ADOPTED;
Plaintiff’s Objection (Doc. # 27) is OVERRULED; and Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary
Injunction (Doc. # 25) is DENIED. It is further ORDERED that Plaintiff’s claims against
Defendants are REFERRED back to the Magistrate Judge assigned to this case for any order
or recommendation as may be appropriate.
DONE this 27th day of October, 2011.
/s/ Mark E. Fuller
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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