Singleton v. Fortune et al

Filing 46

FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS, Recommending that Plaintiff's 38 MOTION for Preliminary Injunctive Relief be Denied, signed by Magistrate Judge Gary S. Austin on 6/19/17. Referred to Judge Drozd. Objections to F&R Due Within 14 Days. (Gonzalez, R)

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 7 8 LAMAR SINGLETON, SR., 9 Plaintiff, 10 11 vs. DR. FORTUNE, et al., 12 Defendants. 13 14 I. 1:17-cv-00124-DAD-GSA-PC FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS, RECOMMENDING THAT PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIVE RELIEF BE DENIED (ECF No. 38.) OBJECTIONS, IF ANY, DUE IN FOURTEEN (14) DAYS BACKGROUND 15 Lamar Singleton, Jr., (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma 16 pauperis in this civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This case now proceeds 17 with the First Amended Complaint filed on February 19, 2016, against defendant Fortune 18 (“Defendant”) on Plaintiff’s medical claim pursuant to the Eighth Amendment. (ECF No. 25.) 19 On January 26, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion for the court to notify Mule Creek State Prison 20 that he is being retaliated against and that his legal mail is being unnecessarily held and opened, 21 and that this conduct is illegal and will not be tolerated. 22 23 The court construes Plaintiff’s motion as a motion for preliminary injunctive relief. II. PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 24 “A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy never awarded as of right.” 25 Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 129 S.Ct. 365, 376 (2008) (citation 26 omitted). “A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish that he is likely to 27 succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary 28 relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public 1 1 interest.” Id. at 374 (citations omitted). An injunction may only be awarded upon a clear 2 showing that the plaintiff is entitled to relief. Id. at 376 (citation omitted) (emphasis added). 3 Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and in considering a request for 4 preliminary injunctive relief, the court is bound by the requirement that as a preliminary matter, 5 it have before it an actual case or controversy. City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 102, 6 103 S.Ct. 1660, 1665 (1983); Valley Forge Christian Coll. v. Ams. United for Separation of 7 Church and State, Inc., 454 U.S. 464, 471, 102 S.Ct. 752, 757-58 (1982). If the Court does not 8 have an actual case or controversy before it, it has no power to hear the matter in question. Id. 9 Requests for prospective relief are further limited by 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(1)(A) of the Prison 10 Litigation Reform Act, which requires that the court find the “relief [sought] is narrowly drawn, 11 extends no further than necessary to correct the violation of the Federal right, and is the least 12 intrusive means necessary to correct the violation of the Federal right.” 13 Discussion 14 Plaintiff is presently incarcerated at California State Prison-Los Angeles County (LAC) 15 in Lancaster, California. Plaintiff seeks a court order notifying Mule Creek State Prison 16 (MCSP) that he is being retaliated against and that his legal mail is being unnecessarily held 17 and opened. Plaintiff also requests the court to notify MCSP that this conduct is illegal and will 18 not be tolerated. 19 The court lacks jurisdiction to grant Plaintiff’s motion. “A federal court may issue an 20 injunction [only] if it has personal jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter jurisdiction 21 over the claim; it may not attempt to determine the rights of persons not before the court.@ 22 Zepeda v. United States Immigration Service, 753 F.2d 719, 727 (9th Cir. 1985). Here, the 23 case or controversy requirement cannot be met because the retaliation and mail issues Plaintiff 24 seeks to remedy in his motion bear no relation, jurisdictionally, to the past events giving rise to 25 this suit. Lyons, 461 U.S. at 102; 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(1)(A); also Summers v. Earth Island 26 Inst., 555 U.S. 488, 491–92, 129 S.Ct. 1142, 1148–49, 173 L.Ed.2d 1 (2009); Steel Co. v. 27 Citizens for a Better Env’t, 523 U.S. 83, 102–04, 118 S.Ct. 1003, 140 L.Ed.2d 210 (1998). 28 Indeed, it appears that the conduct complained of in this motion concerns events outside of 2 1 those alleged in his complaint. Because the case-or-controversy requirement cannot be met, the 2 pendency of this action provides no basis upon which to award Plaintiff injunctive relief. Id. 3 Additionally, Plaintiff’s requests related to events at MCSP are now moot based on his 4 transfer from MCSP to LAC as of April 3, 2017. See Johnson v. Moore, 948 F.2d 517, 519 5 (9th Cir. 1991) (per curiam) (stating that transfer to another prison renders request for 6 injunctive relief concerning prison conditions moot absent some evidence of an expectation of 7 being transferred back). 8 9 10 Therefore, the court lacks jurisdiction to issue the order sought by Plaintiff, and Plaintiff’s motion must be denied. III. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION 11 Accordingly, based on the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that 12 Plaintiff’s motion seeking preliminary injunctive relief, filed on January 26, 2017, be DENIED 13 for lack of jurisdiction. 14 These findings and recommendations are submitted to the United States District Judge 15 assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of Title 28 U.S.C. ' 636(b)(l). Within fourteen 16 (14) days after the date of service of these findings and recommendations, any party may file 17 written objections with the court. 18 Magistrate Judge's Findings and Recommendations." Any reply to the objections shall be 19 served and filed within ten days after service of the objections. The parties are advised that 20 failure to file objections within the specified time may result in the waiver of rights on appeal. 21 Wilkerson v. Wheeler, 772 F.3d 834, 838-39 (9th Cir. 2014) (citing Baxter v. Sullivan, 923 22 F.2d 1391, 1394 (9th Cir. 1991)). Such a document should be captioned "Objections to 23 24 25 26 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: June 19, 2017 /s/ Gary S. Austin UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 27 28 3

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