STILE v. FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge Renee Marie Bumb on 6/19/2017. (tf, n.m.)
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS,
CIV. NO. 16-3832 (RMB)
P.O. Box 2000
Fort Dix, New Jersey 08640
Plaintiff, pro se
JESSICA ROSE O’NEILL
Office of the U.S. Attorney
District of New Jersey
401 Market Street, 4th Floor
P.O. Box 2098
Camden, NJ 08101
On behalf of Defendants
This matter comes before the Court upon Plaintiff’s motions
for a temporary restraining order (ECF Nos. 7, 25, 33) in this
prisoner civil rights action.
For the reasons discussed below,
the Court denies Plaintiff’s motions.
The Court also denies
Plaintiff’s second request for an extension of time to file a
reply to Defendant’s motion for partial summary judgment.
On October 20, 2016, Plaintiff filed an amended prisoner
civil rights complaint, and this Court permitted several claims
to proceed and dismissed the remaining claims. (Opinion, ECF No.
8 at 29-30.)
Plaintiff is a prisoner in FCI Fort Dix.
and Bivens claims arise out of Plaintiff’s requests for time off
from his work assignment to spend in the law library, and his
(Am. Compl., ECF No. 5.)
Officer Colina, to proceed.
(Opinion, ECF No. 8.)
alleged that Colina filed a disciplinary report against him on
grievance against Colina that same day.
(Id. at 20.)
bribe in exchange for agreeing not to reduce Plaintiff’s work
The Court permitted this retaliation claim to
The Court also allowed Plaintiff’s “class of one” equal
protection claim against Colina and Burns to proceed.
Plaintiff alleged Colina and Burns discriminated against
received his medications, more than any other inmate’s pay was
docked for the same reason.
(Id. at 21.)
The Court permitted Plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment claims to
proceed against several defendants.
(Opinion, ECF No. 8 at 22-
First, Plaintiff alleged that Colina compelled him to
perform work that was prohibited by his work limitations given
by the Fort Dix medical department.
(Id. at 23.)
Plaintiff alleged the assistant medical director, Wilkes, was
aware that Plaintiff was being forced to work beyond his medical
(Id. at 24.)
Wilkes failed to obtain Plaintiff’s
medical records for many months, refused to review Plaintiff’s
Administration’s ruling on Plaintiff’s disability.
Third, Officer Kwartin was in charge of job changes in the
area of the prison where Plaintiff worked.
alleged Kwartin refused to authorize a job change for Plaintiff
after he was advised of Plaintiff’s disability.
Plaintiff alleged his mental health provider, Rehwinkle, denied
his requests for more frequent mental health treatment based on
exacerbation of his panic disorder and PTSD; and that Rehwinkle
caused him undue suffering by delaying the recommendation that
Finally, the Court allowed Plaintiff’s FTCA claim(s) to proceed.
(Id. at 28.)
Plaintiff’s First Motion for a Temporary
Restraining Order (“TRO”)
amended complaint was served on the defendants.
(Mot. for TRO
Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 65 (“Pl’s First Mot. for TRO”) ECF
punishment” against Fort Dix prisoners based on the action of
privileges]; 4 p.m. curfews; lockdowns; and reduced hours of law
(Id. at 12.)
As should be readily apparent to this Court
at this time, this Petitioner has a case
load of litigation that some small law firms
do not and cannot entertain even with modern
day tools such as computer word processing
programs, databases, internet, online access
to the Electronic Court Filing System (ECF),
secretaries, and paralegals.
(Id. at 4.)
November 7, 2015.
(Supp. to Mot. for TRO Pursuant to Fed. R.
irreparable harm when the Superior Court of Kennebec County in
Maine denied his motion for an extension of time to file a reply
to the Respondent’s response.
(Id. at 1.)
claims that due to the sanctions imposed by F.C.I. Fort Dix,
Plaintiff failed to timely file an appeal, and the Kennebec
County Superior Court entered an order granting relief to the
Plaintiff then filed a motion to compel the
Court to issue the requested TRO.
(Mot. for U.S.D.C. to Grant
TRO Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 65 as Was Motioned for by Pl. in
ECF No. 7, ECF No. 25.)
On February 28, 2017, Plaintiff filed
an affidavit in support of his first motion for a TRO.
Pl., ECF No. 29.)
Prior to service of the amended complaint, counsel for the
Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) made a special appearance to
respond to Plaintiff’s first motion for a temporary restraining
(BOP Letter, ECF No. 14.)
The BOP argued Plaintiff’s
first TRO motion is entirely based on his First Amendment right
screening the amended complaint.
Plaintiff opposes the
BOP’s letter response as untimely and improperly informal.
Plaintiff’s Second Motion for a TRO
On March 29, 2017, after Defendants filed an answer to the
The BOP’s letter was not untimely because the Amended Complaint
had not yet been served.
The Court will accept the BOP’s
informal letter response to Plaintiff’s first motion for a TRO
because there is no prejudice to Plaintiff.
See Veverka v.
Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., 649 F. App’x 162, 167 (3d Cir.
2016) (district courts have substantial discretion to depart
from their local rules.)
amended complaint and a motion for partial summary judgment,
(Mot. for Restraining Order Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P.
65 (“Pl’s Second Mot. for TRO”) ECF No. 33.)
against Colina as a deterrent.
Plaintiff seeks a
(Id. at 1.)
Pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 65(a), when there is notice of a motion
for preliminary injunctive relief on the adverse party, as with
Plaintiff’s second motion, the Court may issue a preliminary
injunction, rather than a temporary restraining order.
In support of this motion, Plaintiff alleges Colina goes
out of his way to “encounter” Plaintiff when he is trying to
avoid him, and during these encounters, Colina has said things
like, “we will see who gets the last laugh.”
(Pl’s Second Mot.
for TRO, ECF No. 33 at 1-2.)
Furthermore, on more than one
Plaintiff arrived at “last call.”
(Id. at 3-5.)
alleges these acts were in retaliation for Plaintiff filing this
voluntarily attended psychological services for one-and-a-half
years, and in February 2017, he chose to discontinue, as was his
right under the Fourteenth Amendment.
(Id. at 7.)
On March 23, 2017,
Dr. Steinberg threatened to write an
Incident Report, so Plaintiff complied.
told Plaintiff if he did not continue in psychological services,
Disciplinary Report against Plaintiff for refusing to obey an
(Id. at 8.)
Plaintiff stated “[i]t is of significan[t] consequence that
these actions against Stile are occurring at a time when Stile
had filed a Motion for (TRO) Temporary Restraining Order to
prohibit F.C.I. Fort Dix from imposing “mass punishment” against
Plaintiff Stile and other inmates similarly situated at F.C.I.
The Federal Defendants responded by letter to Plaintiff’s
second motion for preliminary injunctive relief.
Letter, ECF No. 37.)
The Federal Defendants argue that the
retaliation claims in Plaintiff’s motion are not connected to
the claims in his amended complaint.
(Id.) Before Plaintiff can
amend his complaint to include new claims of retaliation, he
must first exhaust his administrative remedies.
Standard of Law
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(a)-(b)(1) provides:
(a) Preliminary Injunction.
preliminary injunction only on notice to
the adverse party.
(2) Consolidating the Hearing with the
Trial on the Merits. Before or after
beginning the hearing on a motion for a
preliminary injunction, the court may
advance the trial on the merits and
consolidate it with the hearing. Even when
consolidation is not ordered, evidence
that is received on the motion and that
would be admissible at trial becomes part
of the trial record and need not be
repeated at trial. But the court must
preserve any party's right to a jury
(b) Temporary Restraining Order.
(1) Issuing Without Notice. The court may
without written or oral notice to the
adverse party or its attorney only if:
(A) specific facts in an affidavit or a
verified complaint clearly show that
immediate and irreparable injury, loss,
or damage will result to the movant
before the adverse party can be heard
in opposition; and
(B) the movant's attorney certifies in
writing any efforts made to give notice
and the reasons why it should not be
The same four-factor test is applied to requests for a
temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction.
injunction); DePinto v. Bayonne Bd. of Educ., 514 F.Supp.2d 633,
636 (D.N.J. 2007)(temporary restraining order).
The movant must
Opticians Ass’n of America, 920 F.2d at
The four factors are:
“ the likelihood that the applicant will
prevail on the merits at final hearing; 
the extent to which the plaintiffs are being
irreparably harmed by the conduct complained
of;  the extent to which the defendants
preliminary injunction is issued; and 
the public interest.” Bill Blass, Ltd. v.
Saz Corp., 751 F.2d 152, 154 (3d Cir. 1984).
preserve the relative positions of the parties until a trial on
the merits can be held.”
U.S. 390, 395 (1981).
University of Texas v. Camenisch, 451
“Preliminary injunctive relief is an
‘extraordinary remedy, which should be granted only in limited
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 765 F.3d 205, 210 (3d Cir. 2014)(quoting
Consumer Pharm. Co., 290 F.3d 578, 586 (3d Cir.2002) (quotation
The movant bears the burden of proof.
In his first motion for a TRO, Plaintiff seeks to preclude
“mass punishment” practices at FCI Fort Dix, alleged to be in
violation of his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process, and
interference with his First Amendment right of access to the
The alleged “mass punishment” practices at FCI Fort Dix
have nothing to do with the claims in the amended complaint that
this Court permitted to proceed.
Preliminary injunctive relief is not a tool for prisoners
to use to regulate “in every way, every day, the terms and
conditions of plaintiff's confinement simply because they are
Muhammad v. Director of Corrections, No. CIV S-07-0375 GEB GGH
P, 2009 WL 161075, at *1 (E.D. Ca. Jan. 22, 2009).
cannot establish the likelihood of success on the merits of his
claims by raising new, unrelated claims.
Therefore, the Court
denies Plaintiff’s first motion for a TRO.
Plaintiff’s second motion for preliminary injunctive relief
is based on new allegations of retaliation by Colina and others.
For the reasons discussed below, Plaintiff is not likely to
succeed on the merits of his retaliation claims.
See Snee v.
Barone, 359 F. App’x 281, 284 (3d Cir. 2009)(affirming district
court’s denial of preliminary injunctive relief where prisoner
alleged infringement of his constitutional rights).
plaintiff must allege that: (1) he was
conduct, (2) “he suffered some ‘adverse
officials”; and (3) “his constitutionally
protected conduct was ‘a substantial or
motivating factor’ in the decision” to take
that action. Rauser [v. Horn], 241 F.3d
 333 [3d Cir. 2001].
Bistrian v. Levi, 696 F.3d 352, 376 (3d Cir. 2012).
into whether an alleged “adverse action” is sufficient to deter
a person of ordinary firmness from exercising his constitutional
rights is an objective inquiry, and presents a question of fact.
Bistrian v. Levi, 696 F.3d 352, 376 (3d Cir. 2012).
exercising a constitutional right.
See Burgos v. Canino, 358 F.
App’x 302, 306 (3d Cir. 2009) (“threats alone do not constitute
retaliation . . .”)(citing
Maclean v. Secor, 876 F.Supp. 695,
699 (E.D.Pa. 1995)(collecting cases)).
refused to serve Plaintiff dinner when he arrived late to the
(Pl’s Second Mot. for TRO, ECF No. 33 at 2.)
Plaintiff admits that Colina “relented” but “served only two
hamburger buns with two sausages and nothing more.”
(Id. at 3.)
Similarly, Plaintiff’s claim of retaliation on March 21,
2017, is based, in part, on allegations that Colina embarrassed
Plaintiff by yelling at him in front of others.
(Id. at 4.)
The fact that Plaintiff was embarrassed by Colina yelling at him
retaliation in violation of the First Amendment.
Plaintiff also alleges Colina refused to serve him dinner
establishing the causation element of retaliation.
admits he was not assigned to eat in the particular dining hall
where Colina refused to serve him; he went there only because he
was too late to go to his assigned dining hall. (ECF No. 33 at
establishes that the same decision would have been made absent
any retaliatory motive.
See Watson, 834 F.3d at 426 (citing
Rauser, 241 F.3d at 334 (“once a prisoner demonstrates that his
officials may still prevail by proving that they would have made
reasonably related to a legitimate penological interest.)
Plaintiff alleged Dr. Steinberg wrote an Incident
Report against him around the time when Plaintiff filed his
first motion for a TRO.
Dr. Steinberg has nothing to do with
Plaintiff’s allegations regarding “mass punishment” in his first
motion for a TRO.
Furthermore, Dr. Steinberg is not a defendant
to this action.
It is difficult to imagine why Dr. Steinberg
would retaliate against Plaintiff for bringing this action or
his subsequent motion for a TRO.
See Royster v. Beard, 308 F.
App’x 576, 579 (3d Cir. 2009)(affirming summary judgment for
For all of these reasons, the Court will deny
Plaintiff’s second motion for preliminary injunctive relief.
III. PLAINTIFF’S SECOND REQUEST FOR AN EXTENSION OF TIME
On May 25, 2017, this Court granted Plaintiff’s request for
an extension of time, until August 3, 2017, to file a reply to
Defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment.
With six weeks remaining to file a reply to the
defendants’ motion, Plaintiff requested an additional extension
should be granted.
Plaintiff’s motions for relief injunctive relief under Fed. R.
Civ. P 65, and denies his request for an extension of time to
file a reply to Defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment.
An appropriate order follows.
s/Renée Marie Bumb
RENÉE MARIE BUMB
United States District Judge
Dated: June 19, 2017
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