Ward et al v. Payne et al
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER- IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion for preliminary injunction (Docket No. 11 ) is DENIED.. Signed by District Judge Henry Edward Autrey on 09/15/2020. (AAT)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
STANLEY PAYNE, et al.,
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter comes before the Court on the motion for preliminary injunction filed by
plaintiff Kevin Ward. (Docket No. 11). For the reasons discussed below, the motion will be denied.
Plaintiff is a self-represented litigant who is currently incarcerated at the Eastern Reception,
Diagnostic, and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri. On August 18, 2020, plaintiff
jointly filed a civil action with inmate Morris Williams pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Docket No.
1). Along with the complaint, plaintiff filed a motion for appointment of counsel and a motion for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Docket No. 2; Docket No. 3). Both motions were signed by
plaintiff, but not by Morris Williams.
The complaint named Warden Stanley Payne, Functional Unit Manager Ted Eaton, and
CCM II Sara Miller as defendants. In the complaint, plaintiff alleged that he had requested
protective custody, but had instead been placed in administrative segregation, resulting in a denial
of certain privileges. (Docket No. 1 at 6). The complaint also contained similar allegations by
On August 24, 2020, the Court struck Morris Williams from the complaint, and had a new
prisoner civil rights case opened for him. (Docket No. 6). On September 11, 2020, the Court
ordered plaintiff to file an amended complaint on a Court form within thirty days. (Docket No.
10). The amended complaint is due on October 11, 2020. Plaintiff filed the instant motion for
preliminary injunction on September 14, 2020. (Docket No. 11).
Motion for Preliminary Injunction
In his motion for preliminary injunction, plaintiff states that he has requested placement in
protective custody. (Docket No. 11 at 1). Plaintiff asserts that he was initially denied protective
custody altogether. However, he has since been placed in administrative segregation. Plaintiff
alleges that this is a tactic to force him back into general population, regardless of his enemies.
(Docket No. 11 at 1-2).
Plaintiff requests to be removed from administrative segregation. (Docket No. 11 at 2).
Furthermore, if he must wait a long period for a bed in protective custody, he further seeks the
creation of bed space for protective custody, so that waiting “does not become long term punitive
segregation.” Plaintiff states that he is not being provided adequate protection, because he is being
“mixed with offenders in punitive segregation.” He also states that defendants have “enough space
to place the plaintiff in a protective custody unit or create a bed space unit for offenders assigned
to protective custody,” rather than holding such offenders in punitive segregation. (Docket No. 11
“A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy never awarded as of right.” Winter
v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc., 557 U.S. 7, 27 (2008). In determining whether to grant a preliminary
injunction, a district court applies “a flexible consideration of (1) the threat of irreparable harm to
the moving party; (2) balancing this harm with any injury an injunction would inflict on other
interested parties; (3) the probability that the moving party would succeed on the merits; and (4)
the effect on the public interest.” St. Louis Effort for AIDS v. Huff, 782 F.3d 1016, 1021 (8th Cir.
In the prison context, a request for injunctive relief must always be viewed with great
caution because “judicial restraint is especially called for in dealing with the complex and
intractable problems of prison administration.” Goff v. Harper, 60 F.3d 518, 520 (8th Cir. 1995).
For an injunction to issue, “a right must be violated” and the court must determine whether “a
cognizable danger of future violation exists[,] and that danger must be more than a mere
possibility.” Id. at 521. The burden of proving that a preliminary injunction should be issued rests
with the party seeking injunctive relief. Mgmt. Registry, Inc. v. A.W. Cos., Inc., 920 F.3d 1181,
1183 (8th Cir. 2019).
Here, plaintiff has not met his burden of showing that a preliminary injunction should be
granted. First, plaintiff’s allegations regarding his placement in administrative segregation while
awaiting protective custody do not demonstrate that plaintiff is in danger of suffering irreparable
harm. Second, because this is a situation involving prison administration, there is a risk of injury
to the non-moving parties should the Court attempt to intervene at this point in the case, before
plaintiff’s complaint has been subjected to a merits review, and before defendants have been
served, much less answered. Finally, the Court cannot assess the probability of plaintiff’s
likelihood of success on the merits, as the Court is awaiting plaintiff’s amended complaint. For
these reasons, plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction will be denied.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction (Docket
No. 11) is DENIED.
Dated this 15th day of September, 2020.
HENRY EDWARD AUTREY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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