Morgan v. Wallace et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER re: 16 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by Plaintiff Clinton Wayne Morgan motion is DENIED without prejudice. Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 11/8/13. (MRS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
CLINTON WAYNE MORGAN,
IAN WALLACE, et al.,
Case No. 1:13CV13 SNLJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Pending before the Court is plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction (#16), which
was filed May 29, 2013. The Court ordered defendants to respond and ultimately appointed
counsel for the plaintiff, who is incarcerated with the Missouri Department of Corrections. The
Court ordered plaintiff and his new counsel to file an amended complaint and/or motion for
preliminary injunction within 60 days (#29). Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on August 29,
2013 (#31), but the plaintiff has not filed a reply memorandum in support of his motion, nor has
a new motion been filed.
The Court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss on June 6, 2013. In that
Memorandum and Order (#19), the Court summarized plaintiff’s claims as follows:
Plaintiff filed this action in January of 2013, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
alleging violations of his civil rights during his incarceration at Southeastern
Correctional Center (“SECC”). In his complaint, plaintiff makes allegations
against defendants Ian Wallace, Warden of SECC, and Cheryl Thompson,
Functional Unit Manager. Plaintiff states that he received a conduct violation on
October 30, 2011 during his incarceration at Crossroads Correctional Center
(“CRCC”) for “conspiracy to introduce an illegal substance” into the prison
population.1 He states that his conduct violation was in violation of Institutional
Plaintiff was later moved to SECC.
Rule #11.2, for which he was originally told he would be placed in administrative
segregation for a minimum of twenty (20) days. Plaintiff asserts that each time
his case was reviewed by the Administrative Segregation Review Committee, they
continued his confinement in the Segregation Unit, telling him it was “due to the
serious nature of the violation.” 2 He claims that on several occasions his case was
reviewed directly by defendant Thompson, the Chair of the Committee, who
continued to increase his time in administrative segregation, telling him that “they
are taking these #11.2s more seriously now and that is the reason for the
[psychological assessment request].” In fact, defendant Thompson told him that
he is being held there “indefinitely” until a psychological assessment can be
arranged for him, although plaintiff has not been given a reason for a
psychological assessment. Generally, plaintiff complains that his reviews are
nothing more than a rubber-stamping of his continued confinement and that he has
been given different and changing reasons for his continued confinement in order
to keep him in administrative segregation.
Plaintiff claims that he appealed his extended time in administrative
segregation directly to defendant Wallace. He states that he complained that the
Institutional Rules “see” an #11.2 as a “minor” violation, and he should not still
be housed in administrative segregation more than one-year later. Plaintiff has
attached to his complaint defendant Wallace’s September 21, 2012, response to
his grievance. Regarding the length of time spent in administrative segregation,
Wallace states, “As stated in your IRR response, you were assigned to
administrative segregation due to the nature of conduct violation Rule #11.2 on
10/20/11. Trying to introduce illegal substances into an institutional setting is a
threat to the safety and security of the institution. Once the administrative
segregation committee and Warden deem necessary, you will be released to
Plaintiff takes issue with the length of time defendant Wallace took to
respond to his grievance. However, the majority of his complaint concerns his
belief that the extended time he has been kept in administrative segregation is a
violation of his due process rights.
Plaintiff asks the Court for uniform guidance for the Missouri Department
of Corrections, setting forth the number of days that an inmate can be kept in
administrative segregation for a violation of each specific rule. Plaintiff
additionally seeks an order directing defendants to release him from
administrative segregation. Last, plaintiff seeks an order from this Court directing
defendants to follow their own grievance procedures.
Plaintiff states that his case has been reviewed on several different occasions,
or at least nine (9) different times since he was transferred back from Crossroads
Correctional Center. He claims that these reviews have been pro forma, or rubberstamps —
done simply to keep him confined in administrative segregation.
(#19 at 1-3 ).
Plaintiff moves for a preliminary injunction and requests that the Court enjoin defendants
and others from confining plaintiff to administrative segregation.3 To determine whether
preliminary injunctive relief is warranted, the Court must balance threat of irreparable harm to
the movant, the potential harm to nonmoving party should injunction issue, the likelihood of
success on merits, and the public interest. Dataphase Sys. v. CL Sys., 640 F.2d 109, 113-14 (8th
Cir. 1981) (en banc).
To prevail on a claim like plaintiff’s here, “based on prison housing, an inmate must
show that the segregation created an ‘atypical and significant hardship on him in relation to the
ordinary incidents of prison life’ to demonstrate that his liberty interest was curtailed.” Williams
v. Hobbs, 662 F.3d 994, 1000 (8th Cir. 2011) cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 243 (U.S. 2012) (quoting
Rahman X v. Morgan, 300 F.3d 970, 973 (8th Cir.2002) (alteration omitted) (quoting Sandin v
Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484 (1995)).
The Court has already held that, although plaintiff’s confinement has been routinely
“reviewed,” his allegations are sufficient to implicate a liberty interest at this juncture based on
the sheer length of time he has spent in Administrative Segregation and the allegations he makes
regarding the “rubberstamping” type of “review” he has received. (See #19 at 7.) “Having
determined that a liberty interest does in fact exist in this case, we must next determine what
process is necessary to protect that interest.” Williams v. Hobbs, 662 F.3d 994, 1000 (8th Cir.
2011) cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 243 (2012) (quoting Clark v. Brewer, 776 F.2d 226, 232 (8th Cir.
Plaintiff actually requests that the Court enter an order requiring the defendants to “show
cause why a preliminary injunction should not issue” that would enjoin them from confining
plaintiff to administrative segregation. The Court did order the defendants to respond to
plaintiff’s motion (#19).
1985)). Such an inquiry involves consideration of whether the plaintiff “actually received
meaningful reviews” of his confinement status. Williams, 662 F.3d at 999. “Sham reviews” will
not suffice. Id.
Defendants’ memorandum in response to the plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction
focuses entirely on the conditions of Administrative Segregation and whether they constitute an
atytpical and significant hardship. The defendants address recreation time, phone calls, and
access to the courts, but defendants fail to address the matter of plaintiff’s legal right to a
meaningful, periodic review. On the other hand, no party has provided the Court with the
documentation necessary to show the reviews provided to the plaintiff were meaningful. The
Court cannot hold that the Dataphase factors have been met under the current record. The
parties appear to be in active discovery at the present time, however, and dispositive motions are
due in less than eight weeks. The Court will deny plaintiff’s motion without prejudice at this
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the plaintiff’s Motion for Temporary Restraining
Order and Preliminary Injunction (#16) is DENIED without prejudice.
Dated this 8th day of November, 2013.
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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