Regassa v. Sanders et al
ORDER : Plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction and/or TRO is DENIED without prejudice. Signed by Judge J. Phil Gilbert on 1/10/2018. (tjk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
K. SANDERS, et al.,
Case No. 17-cv-999-JPG
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
GILBERT, District Judge:
This matter is before the Court for case management.
Plaintiff Admassu Regassa,
presently incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois (“USP Marion”), filed
a pro se action for deprivations of his constitutional rights by persons acting under the color of
federal authority pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Agents of the Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S.
388 (1971) and the Federal Torts Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346, 2671-2680. The original
Complaint, which asserted claims against 116 defendants at three different institutions (USP
Marion (Illinois), USP Lewisburg (Pennsylvania), and FCC Allenwood (Pennsylvania)) for
conduct that spans approximately five years, was dismissed without prejudice and with leave to
amend. Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint (Doc. 16) on December 5, 2017. The Amended
Complaint is awaiting preliminary review.
On January 4, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Temporary
Restraining Order (“TRO”). (Doc. 18). Plaintiff sought issuance of a TRO and/or preliminary
injunction prohibiting officials at Marion from transferring him to another facility. Id. Without
providing any specific information, Plaintiff claimed that any such transfer would be an act of
retaliation for the above captioned action. Id. On January 5, 2018, the Court denied the Motion
On January 8, 2018, Plaintiff filed a brief in support of his Motion, alleging additional
facts and argument pertaining to the pending transfer. Plaintiff opens his briefing by suggesting
that he has been the victim of a campaign of retaliation since filing the instant action. (Doc. 20,
p. 2). Most recently, Plaintiff claims, a correctional officer filed a false disciplinary report
against him that resulted in, among other things, the revocation of good conduct credit. Id.
Sometime thereafter, Plaintiff learned that officials at Marion are in the process of transferring
him to another facility.
Officials have informed him that his pending transfer is for
disciplinary reasons. For instance, one official told Plaintiff he was being transferred for his
“misbehavior the whole time [he has been] in the SHU.”2 (Doc. 20, p. 4). He was also told that
he is being transferred because of “repeated incident reports.” (Doc. 20, p. 5).
Despite Plaintiff’s initial generic references to retaliation, the bulk of his briefing objects
to the pending transfer for other reasons. Specifically, Plaintiff contends the Court should
intervene to stop the pending transfer because: (1) some of the incident reports have been
expunged from his record; (2) he has maintained “clear conduct” over the last few years; (3) it is
in his “best interest” to remain at USP Marion, so he can complete the SOTP-R program and
have a better shot at early parole; (4) the DHO did not order a transfer in connection with his
recent disciplinary ticket; and/or (5) he has had only one incident report in the last 4 years.
Plaintiff’s briefing does not alter the Court’s original decision. Plaintiff still has not
established that the pending transfer will result in immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or
The Motion indicated that it was being filed with a brief in support. However, no such brief was included.
Regardless, because Plaintiff requested a TRO, the Court immediately considered the motion. See Wheeler v.
Wexford Health Sources, Inc., 689 F.3d 680 (7th Cir. 2012).
“SHU” refers to the Special Housing Unit.
In essence, Plaintiff is arguing that the reasoning in support of his pending transfer
and/or the procedures followed with regard to the same are flawed (e.g., officials are wrongfully
relying on expunged incident reports, officials have failed to recognize Plaintiff’s recent “clear
conduct” over the years, or the DHO did not order the pending transfer). But, “prisoners possess
neither liberty nor property in their classifications and prison assignments. States may move their
charges to any prison in the system.” DeTomaso v. McGinnis, 970 F.2d 211, 212 (7th Cir. 1992)
(citing Montanye v. Haymes, 427 U.S. 236 (1976)). Additionally, the only alleged harm in
Plaintiff’s briefing is that he is “better off” at Marion and will have a better chance of obtaining
parole. However, as the Court previously explained, convicted prisoners have no expectation
that they will remain in any particular facility, and prison officials have broad authority to
transfer prisoners from one facility to another. See Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215 (1976);
Montanye v. Haymes, 427 U.S. 236 (1976); Shango v. Jurich, 681 F.2d 1091, 1098-99 (7th Cir.
Against this backdrop, the Court remains convinced that a TRO or preliminary injunction
should not issue at this time; there is no indication of an immediate and irreparable injury.
Accordingly, Plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction and/or TRO is DENIED without
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: January 10, 2018
s/J. Phil Gilbert
U.S. District Judge
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