Miller v. Suggs et al
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS of the Magistrate Judge that the Court DISMISS Plaintiff's 4 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction. The Court ORDERS any party seeking to object to this Report and Recommendation to file specific written objections withi n fourteen (14) days of the date on which this Report and Recommendation is entered. (Objections to R&R due by 11/7/2017). ORDER directing service of the REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge. Signed by Magistrate Judge R. Stan Baker on 10/24/2017. (ca)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
CIVIL ACTION NO.: 5:17-cv-123
TAMMY SUGGS; HILTON HALL; KEVIN
DAVIS; WILLIE COOK; C.O. GREEN; C.O.
YOUNGBLOOD; C.O. LYNN DAVIS; and
ORDER and MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Presently before the Court are Plaintiff’s Motion to Appoint Counsel, (doc. 3), and
Motion for Preliminary Injunction 1, (doc. 4).
For the reasons set forth below, the Court
DENIES Plaintiff’s Motion to Appoint Counsel. Furthermore, I RECOMMEND the Court
DENY Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction.
Motion to Appoint Counsel (Doc. 3)
In this civil case, Plaintiff has no constitutional right to the appointment of counsel.
Wright v. Langford, 562 F. App’x 769, 777 (11th Cir. 2014) (citing Bass v. Perrin, 170 F.3d
1312, 1320 (11th Cir. 1999)). “Although a court may, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1),
appoint counsel for an indigent plaintiff, it has broad discretion in making this decision, and
should appoint counsel only in exceptional circumstances.” Wright, 562 F. App’x at 777 (citing
Plaintiff filed this as a Motion to Stay. However, it is clear from his Motion that the relief he seeks is a
preliminary injunction. Accordingly, the Court recasts this Motion to Stay as a Motion for Preliminary
Injunction. See Retic v. United States, 215 F. App’x 962, 964 (11th Cir. 2007) (“Federal courts
sometimes will ignore the legal label that a pro se litigant attaches to a motion and recharacterize the
motion in order to place it within a different legal category.” (quoting Castro v. United States, 540 U.S.
375, 381 (2003))).
Bass, 170 F.3d at 1320). Appointment of counsel in a civil case is a “privilege that is justified
only by exceptional circumstances, such as where the facts and legal issues are so novel or
complex as to require the assistance of a trained practitioner.” Fowler v. Jones, 899 F.2d 1088,
1096 (11th Cir. 1990) (citing Poole v. Lambert, 819 F.2d 1025, 1028 (11th Cir. 1987) and Wahl
v. McIver, 773 F.2d 1169, 1174 (11th Cir. 1985)). The Eleventh Circuit has explained that “the
key” to assessing whether counsel should be appointed “is whether the pro se litigant needs help
in presenting the essential merits of his or her position to the court. Where the facts and issues
are simple, he or she usually will not need such help.” McDaniels v. Lee, 405 F. App’x 456, 457
(11th Cir. 2010) (quoting Kilgo v. Ricks, 983 F.2d 189, 193 (11th Cir. 1993)).
Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 4)
Plaintiff filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction asking this Court to ensure that he
cannot be transferred to another prison. (Doc. 4.) To be entitled to a preliminary injunction, the
movant must show: (1) a substantial likelihood of ultimate success on the merits; (2) an
injunction or protective order is necessary to prevent irreparable injury; (3) the threatened injury
outweighs the harm the injunction or protective order would inflict on the non-movant; and (4)
the injunction or protective order would not be adverse to the public interest. Schiavo ex rel.
Schindler v. Schiavo, 403 F.3d 1223, 1225–26 (11th Cir. 2005). In this Circuit, an “injunction is
an extraordinary and drastic remedy not to be granted unless the movant clearly established the
‘burden of persuasion’ as to the four requisites.” Horton v. City of Augustine, Fla., 272 F.3d
1318, 1326 (11th Cir. 2001).
If a plaintiff succeeds in making such a showing, then “the court may grant injunctive
relief, but the relief must be no broader than necessary to remedy the constitutional violation.”
Newman v. Alabama, 683 F.2d 1312, 1319 (11th Cir. 1982). Accordingly, where there is a
constitutional violation in the prison context, courts traditionally are reluctant to interfere with
prison administration, unless there is a clear abuse of discretion. See Procunier v. Martinez, 416
U.S. 396, 404–05 (1974) (“Traditionally, federal courts have adopted a broad hands-off attitude
toward problems of prison administration [because] . . . courts are ill equipped to deal with the
increasingly urgent problems of prison administration and reform.”), overruled on other grounds
by Thornburgh v. Abbott, 490 U.S. 401 (1989). In such cases, “[d]eference to prison authorities
is especially appropriate.” Newman, 683 F.2d at 1320–21 (reversing district court’s injunction
requiring release of prisoners on probation because it “involved the court in the operation of the
State’s system of criminal justice to a greater extent than necessary” and less intrusive equitable
remedy was available).
Plaintiff has not shown that he has satisfied the prerequisites in order to be entitled to a
preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order. Specifically, Plaintiff has not shown the
likelihood of success on the merits of his claims or that injunctive relief is necessary to prevent
irreparable injury. Furthermore, Plaintiff has since been transferred to Calhoun State Prison in
Morgan, Georgia so this Motion is moot. Therefore, I RECOMMEND the Court DENY
Plaintiff’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction.
Based on the foregoing, the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s Motion to Appoint Counsel, (doc.
3). Additionally, I RECOMMEND that the Court DISMISS Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary
Injunction, (doc. 4).
The Court ORDERS any party seeking to object to this Report and Recommendation to
file specific written objections within fourteen (14) days of the date on which this Report and
Recommendation is entered. Any objections asserting that the Magistrate Judge failed to address
any contention raised in the pleading must also be included. Failure to do so will bar any later
challenge or review of the factual findings or legal conclusions of the Magistrate Judge. See 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985). A copy of the objections must be
served upon all other parties to the action. The filing of objections is not a proper vehicle
through which to make new allegations or present additional evidence.
Upon receipt of objections meeting the specificity requirement set out above, a United
States District Judge will make a de novo determination of those portions of the report, proposed
findings, or recommendation to which objection is made and may accept, reject, or modify in
whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the Magistrate Judge. Objections not
meeting the specificity requirement set out above will not be considered by a District Judge. A
party may not appeal a Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation directly to the United
States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Appeals may be made only from a final
judgment entered by or at the direction of a District Judge. The Court DIRECTS the Clerk of
Court to serve a copy of this Report and Recommendation upon Plaintiff.
SO ORDERED, this 24th day of October, 2017.
R. STAN BAKER
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
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