Eastman v. Swanson et al
ORDER denying 4 Motion for TRO and Preliminary Injunction. Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy on 1/10/2012. Mailed to Eastman. (TAG, )
IN mE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
JAN 10 2012
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
S:ATRJCI( E. DUFFY. CLERK
FRANKLIN CORBIN EAS1MAN,
DEpuTY CLERK. MISSOUlA
Cause No. CV ll-00073-H-DWM-RKS
ROSS SWANSON, et aI.,
Pending is Plaintiff Franklin Eastman's "Motion for Issuance of a
Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order with Consideration to
Make Same Permanent." Mr. Eastman contends his legal mail is being opened and
read by the Montana State Prison mailroom. The motion seeks an order
appointing a federal investigator/overseer to make a determination regarding what
legal mail of Plaintiff Eastman is either missing, lost or "being held hostage."
Mr. Eastman's Complaint, filed December 12, 2011, raises allegations of
discrimination, harassment, and deliberate indifference on the basis of Mr.
Eastman's transgender status. The Complaint raises no allegations regarding the
receipt of mail in the prison and no allegations in the motion address the claims
raised in the Complaint. I
"The purpose of a preliminary injunction is merely to preserve the relative
positions ofthe parties until a trial on the merits can be held." Univ. of Texas v.
Camenisch, 451 U.S. 390, 395, 101 S.Ct. 1830, 68 L.Ed.2d 175 (1981). A party
seeking a temporary injunctive relief must either establish a likelihood of success
on the merits, a likelihood of irreparable injury if injunctive relief is not granted, a
balance ofhardships favoring the movant, and an advancement ofthe public
interest, see Winter y. Natural Res. Def. Council, 555 U.S. 7, 129 S.Ct. 365, 374,
172 L.Ed.2d 249 (2008) (internal citations omitted), or demonstrate that "serious
questions going to the merits were raised and the balance of hardships tips sharply
in the plaintiffs favor." Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127,
1134 (9th Cir. 2011) (Quotina Lands Council v. McNair, 537 F.3d 981,987 (9th
Preliminary injunctive reliefis meant to maintain the status quo of the
action before a decision on the merits. Caroenisch, 451 U.S. at 395. Mr.
IMr. Eastman has attached an envelope from the Clerk ofCourt's Office as
an Exhibit to his motion as evidence that the prison is opening legal mail from this
Court. Presumably, this envelope contained the Notice ofCase Opening sent to
Mr. Eastman on December 12, 2011. (Dkt. 3). This document is a matter of public
record and is available on the internet. Moreover, "[m]ail from the courts, as
contrasted to mail from a prisoner's lawyer, is not legal mail." Keenan v. Hall, 83
F.3d 1083, 1094 (9th Cir. 1996), amended by 135 F.3d 1318 (9th Cir. 1998).
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Eastman's claims are entirely new and contained nowhere in the Complaint. The
unrelated allegations do not affect the status quo of the claims in his Complaint.
Mr. Eastman will not be permitted to bootstrap new allegations into this case by
way of a motion for a preliminary injunction.
Based on the foregoing, the Court issues the following:
Plaintiffs Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary
Injunction (Dkt. 4) is DENIED.
Dated this J!f;;;y ofJanuary, 2012.
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