HOPKINS v. DICRISTI et al
OPINION. Signed by Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 9/22/2014. (TH, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
CASSANDRA DiCRISTI, et al.,
Civil No. 13-5490 (JBS)
Shane Hopkins, Pro Se
New Jersey State Prison
P.O. Box 861
Trenton, NJ 08625
SIMANDLE, Chief Judge
Pending before this Court is a motion for a temporary
restraining order (“TRO”) and preliminary injunction (Docket Item
41) filed by Plaintiff, Shane Hopkins, currently incarcerated at the
New Jersey State Prison, Trenton, New Jersey.
On September 12, 2013, Plaintiff filed this complaint alleging
violations of his constitutional rights (Docket Item 1). He asserts
that his rights under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (“IAD”)
have been violated.
On August 11, 2014, he filed this Motion (Docket
Item 41) to which Defendants responded on September 9, 2014 (Docket
Item 52). This Court has reviewed the papers, and for the following
reasons, the motion is denied.
In the motion, Plaintiff states that on July 20, 2014, he sent
letters to appropriate officials requesting that the Department of
Corrections submit paperwork requesting disposition of his
outstanding charges to the Commonwealth of Virginia. (Motion, Docket
Item 41 at ¶ 3). At the time he filed the motion, Department officials
had not done so (Id. at ¶ 7). Plaintiff argues that the failure of
Department officials to act is “actively preventing the Plaintiff
from obtaining a speedy trial.” (Id. at ¶ 8).
Defendants responded first with a letter, filed September 2,
2014 (Docket Item 47), informing the Court that they were in the
process of providing required forms to Plaintiff, and asking for a
seven day extension to submit a declaration as to such. This Court
granted the request on September 3, 2014 by letter and noted that
Defendants’ opposition to the motion would be due by September 9,
2014 (Docket Item 48). On September 9, 2014, Defendants filed a
response opposing the motion for the TRO and attaching the
Declaration of Marshall Fletcher (“Fletcher Decl.”),
Classifications Officer at New Jersey State Prison (Docket Item 52).
Mr. Fletcher declares that he served Plaintiff with the required
paperwork. Attached to the Declaration are exhibits that evidence
the service of the IAD paperwork.
Injunctive relief is an “extraordinary remedy, which should be
granted only in limited circumstances.” Novartis Consumer Health v.
Johnson & Johnson—Merck Consumer Pharms. Co., 290 F.3d 578, 586 (3d
Cir. 2002) (quotation and citation omitted). The “well-settled”
standard of review in this circuit for a party seeking a preliminary
injunction was recently observed in Starego v. New Jersey State
Interscholastic Athletic Ass'n, 970 F. Supp.2d 303, 307 (D.N.J.
2013). Namely, to secure the extraordinary relief of a preliminary
injunction or temporary restraining order, Plaintiff must show: (1)
a likelihood of success on the merits; (2) that he will suffer
irreparable harm if the injunction is denied; (3) that granting
preliminary relief will not result in even greater harm to the
non-moving party; and (4) that the public interest favors such
relief. See id. (citing Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sec'y
of the U.S. Health and Serv., 724 F.3d 377, 382 (3d Cir. 2013); Kos
Pharms. Inc. v. Andrx Corp., 369 F.3d 700, 708 (3d Cir. 2004). The
Third Circuit has further instructed, and freshly reconfirmed, that
a plaintiff seeking an injunction must meet all four criteria, as
“[a] plaintiffs failure to establish any element in its favor renders
a preliminary injunction inappropriate.” Conestoga, 724 F.3d at 382
(quoting NutraSweet Co. v. Vit—Mar Enters., Inc., 176 F.3d 151, 153
(3d Cir. 1999).
Here, Plaintiff’s motion seeks “an order directing the
Defendants to promptly complete all necessary paperwork and promptly
forward the completed paperwork to the appropriate officials within
the State of Virginia via certified mail return receipt requested.”
(Motion, Docket Item 41 at ¶ 10).
Defendants state in opposition to the motion: “Plaintiff has
now been provided with the necessary [paperwork] to request
disposition of his detainer.” Further, Defendants note that:
“Finally, pursuant to N.J.A.C. § 10A:10-4.5, Plaintiff must now
complete and submit Form II to the Classification Department before
it can complete the process.” (Opposition, Docket Item 52).
Additionally, in an earlier letter from Defendants attaching
the Declaration of Cassandra DeCristi, Supervising Classification
Officer (Docket Item 47, “DeCristi Decl.”), Defendants point out that
the Commonwealth of Virginia was contacted by the Classifications
Department on June 3, 2014 as to pending charges against Plaintiff
(DeCristi Decl. at ¶ 6, Exhibit B). Virginia’s county attorney
responded to the Classification Department that Plaintiff’s charges
were still outstanding, but refused to extradite him until he is
finished serving his New Jersey sentence (Id. at ¶ 7, Exhibit C).
Plaintiff was advised of Virginia’s response and the intention to
extradite him after release from New Jersey custody by memo dated
July 9, 2014 (Id. at ¶ 8, Exhibit D).
It is well established that “the federal courts may not decide
an issue unless it presents a live case or controversy.” Abdul–Akbar
v. Watson, 4 F.3d 195, 206 (3d Cir. 1993). There is a venerable, narrow
exception to this rule for conditions “capable of repetition, yet
evading review.” Southern Pacific Terminal Co. v. ICC, 219 U.S. 498,
515 (1911). That exception has two requirements: “(1) the challenged
action was in its duration too short to be fully litigated prior to
its cessation or expiration, and (2) there [is] a reasonable
likelihood that the same complaining party would be subjected to the
same action again.” Abdul–Akbar, 4 F.3d at 206 (quoting Weinstein
v. Bradford, 423 U.S. 147 (1975); see also Ghana v. New v. Jersey
State Parole Bd., 2011 WL 3608633 (D.N.J. Aug. 15, 2011).
In this case, Plaintiff requested Defendants’ compliance with
the IAD, including paperwork to submit his requests. Defendants have
complied with the request. Since Plaintiff’s request in this motion
was for a specific, directed purpose, and Plaintiff has been provided
all he sought in the motion, the motion will be dismissed as moot.
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff’s motion for a TRO and
preliminary injunction (Docket Item 41) is hereby dismissed as moot.
An appropriate Order accompanies this Opinion.
s/ Jerome B. Simandle
JEROME B. SIMANDLE, Chief Judge
United States District Court
September 22, 2014
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