Flores v. Cruz, et al.

Filing 45

ORDER Denying Plaintiff's 20 23 Motions for Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order signed by District Judge Dale A. Drozd on 09/26/2017. (Flores, E)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 CARLOS MANUEL FLORES, 12 13 14 15 No. 1:15-cv-01184-DAD-BAM Plaintiff, ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTIONS FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AND TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER v. C/O CRUZ, Defendant. (Doc. Nos. 20, 23) 16 17 18 Plaintiff Carlos Manuel Flores appears pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights 19 action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action proceeds on plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment 20 claim against defendant Cruz for excessive use of force, based on events that allegedly took place 21 while plaintiff was housed by the California Department of Corrections at Kern Valley State 22 Prison (“KVSP”). (See Doc. No. 39.) 23 On August 8, 2016, plaintiff Flores filed a motion for a temporary restraining order 24 against all defendants then remaining in the case, alleging that he was subject to a pattern of 25 harassment by the defendants because of his participation in this litigation. (Doc. No. 20.) On 26 September 2, 2016, plaintiff filed a similar motion for a preliminary injunction and temporary 27 restraining order against the same defendants and other unnamed officials due to alleged 28 harassing behavior on their part. (Doc. No. 23.) Plaintiff further requested an order prohibiting 1 1 defendants from coming within 180 feet of him. (Id. at 2.) On August 26, 2016, defendants filed 2 an opposition to plaintiff’s first motion. (Doc. No. 21.) The standard for issuing a temporary restraining order is “substantially identical” to the 3 4 standard for issuing a preliminary injunction. See Stuhlbarg Intern. Sales Co. v. John D. Brush & 5 Co., 240 F.3d 832, 839 n.7 (9th Cir. 2001). “The proper legal standard for preliminary injunctive 6 relief requires a party to demonstrate ‘that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely to 7 suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his 8 favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest.’” Stormans, Inc. v. Selecky, 586 F.3d 1109, 9 1127 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008)); 10 see also Ctr. for Food Safety v. Vilsack, 636 F.3d 1166, 1172 (9th Cir. 2011) (“After Winter, 11 ‘plaintiffs must establish that irreparable harm is likely, not just possible, in order to obtain a 12 preliminary injunction.”); Am. Trucking Ass’n, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles, 559 F.3d 1046, 1052 13 (9th Cir. 2009). The Ninth Circuit has also held that “[a] preliminary injunction is appropriate 14 when a plaintiff demonstrates . . . that serious questions going to the merits were raised and the 15 balance of hardships tips sharply in the plaintiff’s favor.” Alliance for Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 16 632 F.3d 1127, 1134–35 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting Lands Council v. McNair, 537 F.3d 981, 97 (9th 17 Cir. 2008) (en banc)).1 The party seeking the injunction bears the burden of proving these 18 elements. Klein v. City of San Clemente, 584 F.3d 1196, 1201 (9th Cir. 2009). Finally, an 19 injunction is “an extraordinary remedy that may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the 20 plaintiff is entitled to such relief.” Winter, 555 U.S. at 22. In addition, the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) “establishes standards for the 21 22 entry and termination of prospective relief in civil actions challenging conditions at prison 23 facilities.” Miller v. French, 530 U.S. 327, 333 (2000). Under the PLRA, a court “shall not grant 24 or approve any prospective relief unless the court finds that such relief is narrowly drawn, extends 25 1 26 27 28 The Ninth Circuit has found that this “serious question” version of the circuit’s sliding scale approach survives “when applied as part of the four-element Winter test.” Alliance for Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1134 (9th Cir. 2011). “That is, ‘serious questions going to the merits’ and a balance of hardships that tips sharply towards the plaintiff can support issuance of a preliminary injunction, so long as the plaintiff also shows that there is a likelihood of irreparable injury and that the injunction is in the public interest.” Id. at 1135. 2 1 no further than necessary to correct the violation of the Federal right, and is the least intrusive 2 means necessary to correct the violation of the Federal right.” 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(1)(A). The 3 court must “give substantial weight to any adverse impact on public safety or the operation of a 4 criminal justice system caused by the preliminary relief.” 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(2). 5 Defendant Cruz and the former defendants in this action are currently employed at KVSP, 6 in Delano, California, where the alleged events at issue in this case took place. (Doc. No. 21-2 ¶ 7 3.) Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at a different institution—California State Prison- 8 Sacramento, in Represa, California. (See Doc. No. 35.)2 Thus, because plaintiff does not appear 9 to have had any contact with defendant Cruz or the former defendants, his motions for injunctive 10 relief will be denied as having been rendered moot by his transfer. See Holt v. Stockman, No. 11 CV-1-04-6073-MHM, 2012 WL 259938, at *6 (E.D. Cal. Jan. 25, 2012) (a prisoner’s claim for 12 injunctive relief is rendered moot when he is transferred from the institution whose employees he 13 seeks to enjoin); see also Andrews v. Cervantes, 493 F.3d 1047, 1053 n.5 (9th Cir. 2007). 14 Moreover, plaintiff’s motions will also be denied to the extent they are brought against non- 15 parties, because plaintiff has failed to adequately demonstrate that such individuals may be 16 properly bound by the order he seeks. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(d)(2); Zepeda v. U.S. I.N.S., 753 17 F.2d 719, 727 (9th Cir. 1983) (“A federal court may issue an injunction if it has personal 18 jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter jurisdiction over the claim; it may not attempt to 19 determine the rights of persons not before the court.”). 20 For the reasons set forth above, 21 1. Plaintiff’s motion for a temporary restraining order (Doc. No. 20) is denied; 22 ///// 23 ///// 24 ///// 25 ///// 26 2 27 28 In fact, according to his complaint, plaintiff Flores was no longer housed at KVSP at the time he commenced this action. Instead, as he represented that at the time this action was initiated, he was incarcerated at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, in San Diego, California. (See Doc. No. 1 at 1.) 3 1 2. Plaintiff’s motions for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order (Doc. 2 3 4 5 No. 23) is denied; and 3. This matter is referred back to the assigned magistrate judge for further proceedings. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: September 26, 2017 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?