Worth v. Wamsley et al
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION: Magistrate Judge RECOMMENDS 11 Plaintiff's MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction be DENIED. Objections to R&R due by 4/18/2017. Signed by Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Preston Deavers on 4/4/2017. (ew)(This document has been sent by regular mail to the party(ies) listed in the NEF that did not receive electronic notification.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
WILLIAM A. WORTH, II,
Civil Action 2:17-cv-43
Judge Algenon L. Marbley
Magistrate Judge Elizabeth P. Deavers
BRENDA WAMSLEY, et al.,
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
This is a civil rights action in which Plaintiff, William A. Worth II, an Ohio inmate
proceeding without the assistance of counsel, alleges that Defendants1 violated his constitutional
rights to meaningful access to the courts under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter is before the Court
for consideration Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction and/or in the Alternative, for a
Temporary Restraining Order. (ECF No. 11.) For the reasons that follow, it is
RECOMMENDED that Plaintiff’s Motion be DENIED.
On January 13, 2017, Plaintiff filed the instant action, asserting a 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against Defendants based on an alleged policy to deny indigent Ohio prisoners notary services in
order to deny them meaningful access to the courts. (ECF No. 1; the “Complaint” or “Compl.”)
More specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants, employees of Pickaway Correctional
Plaintiff names in his Complaint the following Defendants in their individual and official
capacities: Brenda Wamsley, Cashier Supervisor, Pickaway Correctional Institution; Sherri
Rose-Smith, Unit Manager, Pickaway Correctional Institution; and unnamed corrections officers
and staff members. (Compl. ¶¶ 4-6, 36-37.)
Institution (“PCI”), improperly denied him notarization of the requisite court affidavit for filing
indigent motion papers in Ohio State Court, requesting instead that Plaintiff submit a form from
the prison cashier and a six month financial certification and statement of his prison account.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants’ conduct violated his substantive and procedural due process
rights to meaningful access to the courts. Plaintiff further alleges that he complained about the
violations and exhausted his administrative remedies prior to filing this action.
On March 30, 2017, Plaintiff filed the subject Motion for Temporary Restraining Order
and Preliminary Injunction. (ECF No. 11; “Pl.’s Mot.”.) Plaintiff alleges that prison officials are
refusing to allow another inmate, Christopher R. Bruggeman (“Bruggeman”), who is disabled
and wheelchair dependent, access to the main law library on the second floor of PCI. Plaintiff
asserts that disabled and handicapped inmates are only provided access to the law computer and
legal materials in a “make-shift law library” within the unit in which they are housed, separate
and apart from the main law library. (Pl.’s Mot. 3.) Plaintiff further asserts that if his Motion is
not granted, he will suffer irreparable harm as “Bruggeman is the only inmate [in PCI] capable of
assisting Worth in effectively and meaningfully prosecuting this suit in court.” (Pl.’s Mot. 6.)
Plaintiff requests a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction. Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 65(a) and (b) permit a party to seek injunctive relief when the party
believes it will suffer immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage. Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(a)
A district court considering the extraordinary remedy of a preliminary injunction must
consider and balance the following four factors:
(1) whether the movant has shown a strong likelihood of success on the merits;
(2) whether the movant will suffer irreparable harm if the injunction is not issued;
(3) whether the issuance of the injunction would cause substantial harm to others;
and (4) whether the public interest would be served by issuing the injunction.
Overstreet v. Lexington-Fayette Urban Cty. Gov., 305 F.3d 566, 573 (6th Cir. 2002) (citing
Leary v. Daeschner, 228 F.3d 729, 736 (6th Cir. 2000). “These factors are not prerequisites, but
are factors that are to be balanced against each other.” Id. “Although no one factor is
controlling, a finding that there is simply no likelihood of success on the merits is usually fatal.”
Gonzales v. National Bd. of Med. Exam’rs, 225 F.3d 620, 625 (6th Cir. 2000) (citation omitted);
see also Michigan State AFL-CIO v. Miller, 103 F.3d 1240, 1249 (6th Cir. 1997) (“While, as a
general matter, none of these four factors are given controlling weight, a preliminary injunction
issued where there is simply no likelihood of success on the merits must be reversed.”).
A movant’s burden is even more difficult to satisfy where, as here, a prison inmate seeks
an injunction to obtain affirmative relief beyond maintenance of the status quo. See 18 U.S.C. §
3626(a)(2) (“In any civil action with respect to prison conditions . . . [p]reliminary injunctive
relief must be narrowly drawn, extend no further than necessary to correct the harm the court
finds requires preliminary relief, and be the least intrusive means necessary to correct that
harm.”); Texas v. Camenisch, 451 U.S. 390, 395 (1981) (“The purpose of a preliminary
injunction is merely to preserve the relative positions of the parties until a trial on the merits can
The undersigned recommends denial of Plaintiff’s preliminary injunction motion because
the relief he seeks and the bases for that relief are unrelated to the allegations in his Complaint.
As the Supreme Court has explained, “[a] preliminary injunction is . . . appropriate to grant
intermediate relief of the same character as that which may be granted finally,” but is
inappropriate where the injunction “deals with a matter lying wholly outside of the issues in the
suit.” De Beers Consol. Mines Ltd. v. United States, 325 U.S. 212, 220 (1945). Thus, Courts
consistently deny motions for preliminary injunctions where the requested relief is unrelated to
the conduct alleged in the complaint. See, e.g., Colvin v. Caruso, 605 F.3d 282, 300 (6th Cir.
2010) (“A party moving for preliminary injunction must necessarily establish a relationship
between the injury claimed in the party’s motion and the conduct asserted in the complaint.”);
Kaimowitz v. Orlando, 122 F.3d 41, 43 (11th Cir. 1997) (denying preliminary injunction because
“a district court should not issue an injunction when the injunction in question is not of the same
character, and deals with a matter lying wholly outside the issues in the suit”); Devose v.
Herrington, 42 F.3d 470, 471 (8th Cir. 1994) (denying preliminary injunction where the moving
party failed to “establish a relationship between the injury claimed in the party’s motion and the
conduct asserted in the complaint”); Ball v. Famiglio, 396 F. App’x 836, 838 (3d Cir. 2010)
(denying preliminary injunction where individuals whose conduct movant sought to enjoin were
not named defendants and where most of the relief requested was unrelated to allegations in
Here, the bases on which Plaintiff seeks a preliminary injunction are unrelated to the
claim raised in his Complaint regarding the alleged denial of notary services for requisite court
affidavits. Indeed, the individuals from whom Plaintiff seeks relief—prison employees outside
of the cashier’s office—are not named as defendants in this action. Should the Court grant
Plaintiff the relief requested in his underlying Complaint, specifically, access to notary services
and monetary compensation, it would not result in the relief requested by this Motion,
specifically, access to the main law library for disabled and handicapped inmates. For these
reasons, it is RECOMMENDED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and
Preliminary Injunction be DENIED. (ECF No. 11.)
PROCEDURE ON OBJECTIONS
If any party seeks review by the District Judge of this Report and Recommendation, that
party may, within fourteen (14) days, file and serve on all parties objections to the Report and
Recommendation, specifically designating this Report and Recommendation, and the part in
question, as well as the basis for objection. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b).
Response to objections must be filed within fourteen (14) days after being served with a copy.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b).
The parties are specifically advised that the failure to object to the Report and
Recommendation will result in a waiver of the right to de novo review by the District Judge and
waiver of the right to appeal the judgment of the District Court. See, e.g., Pfahler v. Nat’l Latex
Prod. Co., 517 F.3d 816, 829 (6th Cir. 2007) (holding that “failure to object to the magistrate
judge’s recommendations constituted a waiver of [the defendant’s] ability to appeal the district
court’s ruling”); United States v. Sullivan, 431 F.3d 976, 984 (6th Cir. 2005) (holding that
defendant waived appeal of district court’s denial of pretrial motion by failing to timely object to
magistrate judge's report and recommendation). Even when timely objections are filed, appellate
review of issues not raised in those objections is waived. Robert v. Tesson, 507 F.3d 981, 994
(6th Cir. 2007) (“[A] general objection to a magistrate judge’s report, which fails to specify the
issues of contention, does not suffice to preserve an issue for appeal . . . .”) (citation omitted)).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Date: April 4, 2017
/s/ Elizabeth A. Preston Deavers
ELIZABETH A. PRESTON DEAVERS
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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