Plante v. Weld County District Court et al
ORDER denying the motions for a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order ( 17 and 22 ) by Judge Lewis T. Babcock on 2/9/15.(dkals, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 14-cv-03155-GPG
WELD COUNTY DISTRICT COURT,
GREELEY POLICE DEPARTMENT,
THE WELD COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE,
CORRECTIVE CARE SOLUTIONS,
DR. MARGO GEPPERT,
MICHAEL VEAGUS, Guard,
MR. ROSEBOCK, and
MR. FARNEY, Guard,
This matter is before the Court on two motions (ECF Nos. 17 & 22) filed pro se
by Plaintiff, James Plante, seeking either a preliminary injunction or temporary
restraining order. The Court must construe the motions liberally because Mr. Plante is
not represented by an attorney. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972);
Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). However, the Court should not
be an advocate for a pro se litigant. See Hall, 935 F.2d at 1110.
Mr. Plante is an inmate at the Weld County Jail in Greeley, Colorado. He
initiated this action by filing a Prisoner Complaint (ECF No. 1) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. On December 24, 2014, Mr. Plante filed an amended Prisoner Complaint (ECF
No. 15). On January 28, 2015, Magistrate Judge Gordon P. Gallagher entered an order
directing Mr. Plante to file a second amended Prisoner Complaint that complies with the
pleading and joinder requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Among
other deficiencies, Magistrate Judge Gallagher noted that Mr. Plante’s disorganized and
generally vague and conclusory factual allegations do not provide a clear and concise
statement of the specific claims for relief he is asserting in this action. Mr. Plante has
not yet filed a second amended complaint as directed.
A party seeking a preliminary injunction must show: (1) a substantial likelihood of
prevailing on the merits; (2) he will suffer irreparable injury unless the injunction issues;
(3) the threatened injury outweighs whatever damage the proposed injunction may
cause the opposing party; and (4) the injunction, if issued, would not be adverse to the
public interest. See Lundgrin v. Claytor, 619 F.2d 61, 63 (10th Cir. 1980). “Because a
preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy, the right to relief must be clear and
unequivocal.” Greater Yellowstone Coal. v. Flowers, 321 F.3d 1250, 1256 (10th Cir.
2003). Similarly, a temporary restraining order is appropriate only if “specific facts in an
affidavit or a verified complaint clearly show that immediate and irreparable injury, loss,
or damage will result to the movant before the adverse party can be heard in
opposition.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(1)(A).
“[T]he primary goal of a preliminary injunction is to preserve the pre-trial status
quo.” RoDa Drilling Co. v. Siegal, 552 F.3d 1203, 1208 (10th Cir. 2009). Therefore,
“courts should be especially cautious when granting an injunction that requires the
nonmoving party to take affirmative action - a mandatory preliminary injunction - before
a trial on the merits occurs.” Id. If the movant is seeking a mandatory preliminary
injunction that seeks to alter the status quo, he must make a heightened showing of the
four factors listed above. See id. at 1209.
“[A] showing of probable irreparable harm is the single most important
prerequisite for the issuance of a preliminary injunction.” Dominion Video Satellite, Inc.
v. Echostar Satellite Corp., 356 F.3d 1256, 1260 (10th Cir. 2004). Thus, Mr. Plante
“must first demonstrate that such injury is likely before the other requirements for the
issuance of an injunction will be considered.” Id.
“To constitute irreparable harm, an injury must be certain, great, actual and not
theoretical.” Heideman v. S. Salt Lake City, 348 F.3d 1182, 1189 (10th Cir. 2003)
(internal quotation marks omitted). Therefore, Mr. Plante “must establish both that harm
will occur, and that, when it does, such harm will be irreparable.” Vega v. Wiley, 259 F.
App’x 104, 106 (10th Cir. 2007). Furthermore, a party seeking preliminary injunctive
relief “must show that the injury complained of is of such imminence that there is a clear
and present need for equitable relief to prevent irreparable harm.” Heideman, 348 F.3d
at 1189. A preliminary injunction is only appropriate “to prevent existing or presently
threatening injuries. One will not be granted against something merely feared as liable
to occur at some indefinite time in the future.” Connecticut v. Massachusetts, 282 U.S.
660, 674 (1931).
Mr. Plante’s motions seeking preliminary injunctive relief address a variety of
topics. He contends that jail officials have interfered with his legal mail, he has been
denied adequate medical treatment for a number of medical issues, he has no access
to a law library, and he has been denied access to discovery and other materials in his
criminal case. However, Mr. Plante fails to allege specific facts that demonstrate he will
suffer irreparable injury if the motions are denied. Furthermore, the absence of specific
factual allegations to demonstrate irreparable injury is compounded by the fact that Mr.
Plante has not yet filed a pleading that provides a short and plain statement of his
claims in this action. “[A] party moving for a preliminary injunction must necessarily
establish a relationship between the injury claimed in the party’s motion and the conduct
asserted in the complaint.” Devose v. Herrington, 42 F.3d 470, 471 (8th Cir. 1994) (per
curiam) (citing Penn v. San Juan Hosp., Inc., 528 F.2d 1181, 1185 (10th Cir. 1975).
Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that the motions (ECF Nos. 17 & 22) for a preliminary injunction or
temporary restraining order are denied.
DATED at Denver, Colorado, this 9th
BY THE COURT:
s/Lewis T. Babcock
LEWIS T. BABCOCK, Senior Judge
United States District Court
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