Ardds v. Hudge et al

Filing 93

ORDER: Plaintiff's motions (ECF Nos. 30 , 33 , 43 , 47 , 50 , 52 , 58 , 63 , 68 and 70 ) for injunctive relief are Denied. Signed by Judge William Q. Hayes on 11/22/2017. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(ajs)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 11 12 13 ANTOINE L. ARDDS, CDCR No. P-59915, CASE NO. 16cv2904-WQH-BLM Plaintiff, ORDER v. D. HODGE; L. ROMERO; D. PARAMO; P. BARAMONTE; G. VALDOVINOS; RENTERIA; C. GARDINEZ; McGEE; SMITH, 14 Defendants. 15 HAYES, Judge: 16 The matters before the Court are various Motions for Injunctive Relief (ECF Nos. 17 30, 33, 43, 47, 50, 52, 58, 63, 68, 70) filed by Plaintiff Antoine L. Ardds. 18 I. Procedural Background 19 Antoine L. Ardds (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se, is currently incarcerated at the 20 Corcoran State Prison, located in Corcoran, California. On November 16, 2016, 21 Plaintiff filed a document entitled “Coloring Agreement,” which the Court construed 22 as a civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1). In the three months 23 after filing his complaint, Plaintiff filed the following documents: two certified copies 24 of his inmate trust account statement, which the Court construed as a Motion to Proceed 25 In Forma Pauperis (“IFP”) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) (ECF Nos. 2, 15); a 26 Supplemental Complaint (ECF No. 8); two documents titled Ex Parte Motions, which 27 the Court construed to be Supplemental Documents in Support of Complaint (ECF Nos. 28 12, 14); a Motion for Preliminary Injunction (ECF No. 6); a Motion to Dismiss -1- 16cv2904-WQH-BLM 1 Improperly Named Defendant (ECF No. 10); and an Ex Parte Notice (ECF No. 4). 2 On February 28, 2017, this Court granted Plaintiff’s Motion to Proceed In Forma 3 Pauperis, denied the Motion for Preliminary Injunction, granted the Motion to Dismiss 4 an improperly named defendant, and dismissed the Complaint for failing to state a claim 5 upon which relief could be granted. (ECF No. 18). On March 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed 6 a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”). (ECF No. 23). On May 4, 2017, this Court 7 found Plaintiff’s FAC “contained factual content sufficient to survive the ‘low 8 threshold’ for proceeding past the sua sponte screening required by 28 U.S.C. §§ 9 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b).” (ECF No. 24 at 9). 10 Plaintiff has filed ten motions for injunctive relief (ECF Nos. 30, 33, 43, 47, 50, 11 52, 58, 63, 68, 70) and eleven declarations in support of the requested remedial 12 measures (ECF Nos. 54, 60, 61, 64, 65, 76, 77, 80, 82, 88, 90) for alleged “continued 13 [] acts of intimidation, harassment, threats, physical assaults on disable [sic] E.O.P. 14 patients,” “hinderance [sic] of Plaintiff’s access to other district courts,” “failing to send 15 Plaintiff’s legal boxs [sic], legal mail,” (ECF No. 50 at 2,7) and improper denial of 16 single-cell status (ECF No. 64 at 3). On August 8, 2017 the Court ordered Defendants 17 to reply to six Motions for Preliminary Injunction (ECF Nos. 30, 33, 43, 47, 50, 52) that 18 Plaintiff had filed at the time. (ECF No. 53). On August 28, 2017, Defendants filed a 19 response in opposition to the six motions for injunctive relief identified by the Court, 20 and one motion (ECF No. 63) filed by Plaintiff subsequent to the Court’s order. (ECF 21 No. 66 at 1). On September 14, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion requesting an extension 22 for his reply to Defendants’ opposition (ECF No. 73), which the Court granted on 23 September 19, 2017. (ECF No. 74). Plaintiff has filed additional declarations in 24 support of his previously filed motions (ECF Nos. 76, 77, 80, 82, 88, 90) and two 25 additional motions for injunctive relief (ECF Nos. 68, 70). 26 On November 20, 2017, Plaintiff filed his reply to Defendants’ Response to his 27 motions for injunctive relief. (ECF No. 92). 28 II. Contentions -2- 16cv2904-WQH-BLM 1 Plaintiff contends that (1) he has “been continuously harassed and denied access 2 to legal property” (ECF No. 30 at 1); (2) his “legal boxes at RJD, have been destroyed 3 per order by Defendant D. Paramo” (ECF No. 33 at 1); and (3) his four transfers since 4 February 2017 are a result of Defendants’ efforts to “hinder plaintiff’s access to the 5 courts by hiding him in other facilit[ies].” (ECF No. 50 at 13). Plaintiff further 6 contends that the refusal by Defendants to place him on single cell status has put him 7 at “substantial risk of harm from other inmates.” (ECF No. 43 at 4). Plaintiff also 8 makes claims about alleged assaults on inmates not party to this case and requests that 9 the Court order an investigation of the alleged assaults. (ECF Nos. 50, 63). Plaintiff 10 requests that the Court order Defendants to “release [his] legal property so that [he] may 11 respond to Court deadlines,” (ECF No. 33 at 2) “place him on single cell status,” (ECF 12 No. 43 at 4) and “rehouse [him] on a safer and constitutional [sic] secured facility.” 13 (ECF No. 50 at 3). Plaintiff requests that the Court “order CDCR’s direct [sic] 14 secretary, Scott Kernan to conduct an adequate investigation into the assault and battery 15 upon inmates Dion Terrell . . . and K. Flemmings.” Id. at 10. 16 Defendants contend that Plaintiff has not satisfied the requirements for injunctive 17 intervention by the Court. (ECF No. 66 at 2). Specifically, Defendants contend that 18 Plaintiff has not established “a likelihood of success on the merits of his underlying 19 claim,” a “ risk of irreparable injury if his motions are not granted,” or “the balance of 20 hardships that would result if his motions are denied tip in his favor.” Id. at 2. 21 Defendants contend that Plaintiff’s various requests for injunctive relief are “overly 22 broad, vague, and based on speculation.” Id. at 4. Defendants support this contention 23 by offering the docket reports for cases currently being litigated by Plaintiff in other 24 courts. Defendants assert the docket reports establish that Plaintiff has not been denied 25 access to legal materials or access to the courts. Id. at 5. Defendants contend that 26 Plaintiff has not provided any “evidence that he meets the criteria for single-cell status.” 27 Id. at 6. Defendants contend that Plaintiff has provided only “vague assertions” that he 28 is unsafe at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (“RJD”) and that without any -3- 16cv2904-WQH-BLM 1 concrete evidence or allegation of specific facts, “it is difficult for Defendants to submit 2 evidence to counter Plaintiff’s vague assertions.” Id. at 6. Lastly, Defendants contend 3 that “the Court cannot issue orders to defense counsel or outside agencies to conduct 4 investigations with regard to inmates that are not party to this case.” Id. at 10. 5 III. Legal Standard 6 Rule 65(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows the Court to issue a 7 temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction. Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b). When 8 the nonmovant has received notice, as here, the standard for issuing a temporary 9 restraining order is the same as that for issuing a preliminary injunction. See Stuhlbarg 10 Int’l Sales Co. v. John D. Brush & Co., 240 F.3d 832, 839 n.7 (9th Cir. 2001). 11 To obtain preliminary injunctive relief, a movant must show “that he is likely to 12 succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of 13 preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an injunction 14 is in the public interest.” Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008); 15 see also Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1135 (9th Cir. 2011). 16 At a minimum, “the moving party must demonstrate a significant threat of irreparable 17 injury.” Arcamuzi v. Cont’l Air Lines, Inc., 819 F.2d 935, 937 (9th Cir. 1987) (citation 18 omitted). “Issuing a preliminary injunction based only on a possibility of irreparable 19 harm is inconsistent with our characterization of injunctive relief as an extraordinary 20 remedy that may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to 21 such relief.” Winter, 555 U.S. at 22. 22 A. 23 Prisoners have a constitutional right of access to the courts. See Lewis v. Casey, Access to Legal Materials 24 518 U.S. 343, 346 (1996). This right “requires prison authorities to assist inmates in 25 the preparation and filing of meaningful legal papers by providing prisoners with 26 adequate law libraries or adequate assistance from persons trained in the law.” Bounds 27 v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 828 (1977); see also Phillips v. Hurst, 588 F.3d 652, 655 (9th 28 Cir. 2009). -4- 16cv2904-WQH-BLM 1 To establish a violation of the right of access to the courts a prisoner must allege 2 facts sufficient to show that: (1) a nonfrivolous legal attack on his conviction, sentence, 3 or conditions of confinement has been frustrated or impeded, and (2) he has suffered an 4 actual injury as a result. See Lewis, 518 U.S. at 353-55; Christopher v. Harbury, 536 5 U.S. 403, 415 (2002) (to state an access to courts violation, plaintiff must describe the 6 non-frivolous nature of the “underlying cause of action, whether anticipated or lost”). 7 The prisoner must demonstrate that he has suffered or will imminently suffer actual 8 injury. Lewis, 518 U.S. at 348. Delays in providing legal materials or assistance that 9 result in actual injury are “not of constitutional significance” if “they are the product of 10 prison regulations reasonably related to legitimate penological interests.” Id. at 362. 11 In this case, the fact that Plaintiff has a pending “non-frivolous” civil action 12 which raises a constitutional challenge to the conditions of his confinement does not 13 entitle him to a preliminary injunction. See James v. Emmens, Case No.: 3:16-cv14 02823-WQH-NLS (S.D. Cal. Jan. 31, 2017). To meet the “irreparable harm” 15 requirement, Plaintiff must do more than simply allege imminent harm; he must 16 demonstrate it. Caribbean Marine Servs. Co., Inc. v. Baldridge, 844 F.2d 668, 674 (9th 17 Cir. 1988). Plaintiff must provide specific facts demonstrating that he faces a credible 18 threat of immediate and irreparable harm, unless an injunction issues. Fed. R. Civ. P. 19 65(b). “Speculative injury does not constitute irreparable injury sufficient to warrant 20 granting a preliminary injunction.” Caribbean Marine Servs, Co., Inc., 844 F.2d at 21 674-75. 22 Plaintiff claims he has been “continuously harassed and denied access to legal 23 property,” (ECF No. 30 at 1), that his “legal boxes at RJD, [were] destroyed per order 24 by Defendant D. Paramo,” (ECF No. 33 at 1), and that unspecified persons have 25 “fail[ed] to send [his] legal boxs [sic], legal mail, [and are] keep[ing] outgoing legal 26 correspondence from the courts.” (ECF No. 50 at 7). Plaintiff fails to identify the nature 27 of the materials, the relevance of the materials to his pending litigation, or “actual 28 prejudice with respect to [his] existing litigation, such as the inability to meet a filing -5- 16cv2904-WQH-BLM 1 deadline or to present a claim.” Lewis, 518 U.S. at 348. 2 Defendants request judicial notice of the dockets in three district court cases that 3 Plaintiff is currently litigating. (ECF No. 66-1). A court “‘may take notice of 4 proceedings in other courts, both within and without the federal judicial system, if those 5 proceedings have a direct relation to matters at issue.’” Bias v. Moynihan, 508 F.3d 6 1212, 1225 (9th Cir. 2007) (quoting Bennett v. Medtronic, Inc., 285 F.3d 801, 803 n.2 7 (9th Cir. 2002)) (alterations in original). Accordingly, this Court takes judicial notice 8 of docket proceedings in Ardds v. Pizano, et al., Northern Dist. Cal. Civil Case No. 9 3:15-cv-00686-JCS, Ardds v. Pizano, et al., Northern Dist. Cal. Civil Case No. 5:16-cv10 01389-EJD, and Ardds v. Constancio, et al., Eastern Dist. Cal. Civil Case No. 2:17-cv11 00679-EFB. (ECF No. 66-1 at 4-25). The docket in each of these proceedings indicates 12 that Plaintiff is actively litigating each case. Plaintiff’s claims of denied access to legal 13 materials are general and Plaintiff does not offer evidence of a specific period during 14 which he was denied access to legal materials. 15 Plaintiff also alleges that “[d]efendants continue to hinder plaintiff’s access to 16 courts by hiding him in other facilit[ies] with the agreement of fellow wardens to delay 17 all legal mail process.” (ECF No. 50 at 13). While Plaintiff has been transferred to 18 several different prisons within California since he first commenced this action, 19 Plaintiff fails to provide facts indicating that these transfers were retaliatory. In fact, 20 Plaintiff’s motions indicate that Plaintiff sought a transfer from RJD. Plaintiff 21 requested a protective order or transfer because “defendants are trying to keep me 22 housed at RJD, even upon their acknowledgment of the substantial risk of harm,” (ECF 23 No. 52 at 3), and because he was not “getting [the] mental health services” he required. 24 (ECF No. 60 at 2).1 25 Plaintiff fails to offer sufficient evidence to establish that the transfers or alleged 26 destruction of legal materials significantly hindered his ability to litigate claims before 27 28 1 Plaintiff is currently housed in California State Prison, Corcoran (CSP-COR). The Court concludes that any request to transfer from RJD is moot. -6- 16cv2904-WQH-BLM 1 the Court. The Court concludes that Plaintiff has failed to establish a threat of 2 irreparable harm or likelihood of success on the merits with regard to access to legal 3 materials. Plaintiff’s requests for injunctive relief related to his legal materials are 4 denied. 5 B. Single-cell Status 6 Plaintiff claims the failure of defendants and other parties not named in this case 7 to grant him single-cell status has created “a substantial risk of harm from other inmates 8 placed in his cell.” (ECF No. 43 at 4). Although Plaintiff need not wait for an injurious 9 event to occur to seek injunctive relief, Plaintiff has not shown a real or immediate 10 threat of retaliation or injury. Cf. Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 33 (1993) (stating 11 that it “would be odd to deny an injunction to inmates who plainly proved an unsafe, 12 life-threatening condition in their prison on the ground that nothing yet has happened 13 to them”). 14 In his FAC, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants used Plaintiff’s cellmate as “an 15 instrument of attack to harm Plaintiff.” (FAC at 7). Plaintiff alleges his cellmate 16 “attempted to carry out an assault under the influence of speed or heroin.” Id. at 20. 17 Plaintiff asserts it was a “failed attempt.” Id. This alleged incident at a facility in which 18 Plaintiff is not currently housed does not amount to an immediate threat of irreparable 19 harm warranting injunctive relief. Plaintiff is not currently housed at RJD. (ECF No. 20 85). The Court concludes that Plaintiff’s request for single-cell status at RJD is moot. 21 See Dilley v. Gunn, 64 F.3d 1365, 1368 (9th Cir. 1995) (noting that when an inmate has 22 been released from custody or transferred to another prison and there is no reasonable 23 expectation or demonstrated probability that he will again be subjected to the conditions 24 from which he seeks injunctive relief, his claim for injunctive relief should be dismissed 25 as moot). The Court denies Plaintiff’s request for injunctive relief granting him single26 cell status. 27 C. Claims Regarding Other Inmates 28 Plaintiff alleges that “[f]or the last year defendants L. Romero, G. Valdovinos, -7- 16cv2904-WQH-BLM 1 A. Renteria, W. Smith, S. McGee, C. Gardinez, and D. Hodge have continued their 2 assaults upon ‘C’ yard’s E.O.P. mentally disabled inmate population” and that “each 3 [defendant] has continued their acts of intimidation, harassment, threats, physical 4 assaults on disabled E.O.P. patients.” (ECF No. 50 at 6, 7). Plaintiff requests that the 5 Court order an “investigat[ion] into the assault and battery upon [other] inmates . . . who 6 were victims of unnecessary use of force. (ECF No. 50 at 10). 7 A federal court’s jurisdiction can be invoked only when the plaintiff himself has 8 suffered “some threatened or actual injury resulting from the putatively illegal action.” 9 Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 499 (1975). The court may not determine the rights of 10 persons not before it. See, e.g., Hitchman Coal & Coke Co. v. Mitchell, 245 U.S. 229, 11 234-35 (1916); Zepeda v. INS, 753 F.2d 719, 727-28 (9th Cir. 1983) (“A federal court 12 may issue an injunction if it has personal jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter 13 jurisdiction over the claim; it may not attempt to determine the rights of persons not 14 before the court.”). 15 In this case, Plaintiff requests relief for prisoners not party to this action in 16 relation to alleged actions by prison officials not party to this action. The Court lacks 17 jurisdiction to determine the rights of individuals not party to this case. 18 IV. Conclusion 19 IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motions (ECF Nos. 30, 33, 43, 47, 20 50, 52, 58, 63, 68, and 70) for injunctive relief are DENIED. 21 DATED: November 22, 2017 22 23 WILLIAM Q. HAYES United States District Judge 24 25 26 27 28 -8- 16cv2904-WQH-BLM

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