Beasley v. Westbrooks et al
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION: For the reasons stated, the Court respectfully RECOMMENDS that Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order (Docket Entry No. 49 ) be DENIED. Signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara D. Holmes on 9/19/2017. (xc:Pro se party by regular mail. ) (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(hb)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
BRUCE WESTBROOKS, et al.
Honorable Laurie J. Michelson, District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
By Order entered December 20, 2016 (Docket Entry No. 5), this prisoner civil rights action
was referred to the Magistrate Judge for pretrial proceedings under 28 U.S.C. §§ 636(b)(1)(A) and
(B), Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Local Rules of Court.
Plaintiff has filed a motion for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order
(Docket Entry No. 49), to which Defendants have responded in opposition. See Docket Entry
No. 51. For the reasons set out below, the undersigned Magistrate Judge respectfully recommends
that the motion be denied.
Demance Beasley (“Plaintiff’) is an inmate of the Tennessee Department of Correction
(“TDOC”) currently confined at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution (“RMSI”) in
Nashville, Tennessee. He filed this lawsuit pro se and in forma pauperis on November 21, 2016,
against several prison officials seeking relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of his
constitutional rights alleged to have been committed at the RMSI.
Upon initial review of Plaintiff’s complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A,
the Court dismissed all claims and defendants except for claims of unconstitutional retaliation
brought against former RMSI Warden Bruce Westbrooks (“Westbrooks”) and RMSI Correctional
Corporal Brandi McClure (“McClure”). See Memorandum and Order entered December 20, 2016
(Docket Entry Nos. 5 & 6). Plaintiff alleges that, on or about July 15, 2016, Defendant Westbrooks
directed that he be taken to segregation after a verbal altercation occurred with Westbrooks about
writing on Plaintiff’s cell door. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant McClure retaliated against him by
issuing him a disciplinary infraction for defiance after he complained to McClure about his prison
grievances not being processed. Defendants have answered the Complaint and a scheduling order
has been entered. See Docket Entry Nos. 27 and 28. Both Defendants have filed dispositive motions
which are pending before the Court. See Defendant Westbrooks’ motion for judgment on the
pleadings (Docket Entry No. 32) and Defendant McClure’s motion for summary judgment (Docket
Entry No. 42).
II. PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
In his motion, Plaintiff complains about recent events at the RMSI: his cell has been
searched and documents have been stolen; his mail has not been sent out or delivered to him; he has
had problems having copies made by prison staff; he has been having limited access to legal
materials, legal assistants, and the RMSI law library; and he has been issued a disciplinary report.
He contends that these actions are examples of an effort by prison officials to purposeful hinder his
ability to litigate this lawsuit and to respond to Defendants’ pending motions. Plaintiff implicates
Defendants’ counsel in the events, contending that she directed prison officials to not return to him
documents that had been sent for copying. Plaintiff asserts that he has suffered stress and depression
because of “all of the threats, harassment, and intimidation that has arisen pertaining to [the
lawsuit].” See Docket Entry No. 49 at 5. Plaintiff seeks an order directing Defendants’ counsel and
seven RMSI officials, and “all others” acting in concert with these individuals, from harassing,
threatening, intimidating, and hindering his pursuit of this lawsuit and his legal claims. Id. at 6.
Defendants have filed a response opposing the motion, contending that the Court lacks
personal jurisdiction over the individuals sought to be enjoined and that Plaintiff has not established
the elements necessary to grant a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction. See Docket
Entry No. 51. Through her affidavit, Charlotte Davis, counsel of record for Defendants, testifies that
she has never directed anyone to steal Plaintiff’s documents, but, in fact, she attempted to assist
Plaintiff in the process of having documents copied at the RMSI. See Docket Entry No. 52.
Temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions are considered preventive,
prohibitory, or protective measures taken pending resolution on the merits, see Clemons v. Board
of Educ., 228 F.2d 853, 856 (6th Cir. 1956), and are extraordinary relief. Detroit Newspaper
Publishers Ass’n v. Detroit Typographical Union No. 18, Int’l Typographical Union, 471 F.2d 872,
876 (6th Cir. 1972). Plaintiff, as the moving party, has the burden of proving that the circumstances
“clearly demand” a preliminary injunction. Overstreet v. Lexington–Fayette Urban Cnty. Gov't, 305
F.3d 566, 573 (6th Cir. 2002). Under Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a plaintiff
seeking a preliminary injunction must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is
likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips
in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest. Winter v. Nat'l Resources Def. Council,
Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20, 129 S.Ct. 365, 172 L.Ed.2d 249 (2008).
Plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunctive relief should be denied.
undersigned notes that the requested relief is unrelated to the two narrow claims at issue in this
action. A basic showing necessary for obtaining a preliminary injunction is that there must be some
relationship between the conduct giving rise to the claims in the complaint and the injury sought to
be prevented by the motion for preliminary injunctive relief. See Colvin v. Caruso, 605 F.3d 282,
299-300 (6th Cir. 2010). This link is lacking. Additionally, injunctive relief generally cannot be
directed at individuals who are not defendants in the present action. See In re N.A.A.C.P., 849 F.2d
1473 (Table), 1988 WL 61504 at *3 (6th Cir. June 13, 1988) (noting that a court’s decree is generally
only binding on parties).
Finally, Plaintiff has not met his burden for preliminary injunctive relief he seeks. He has
not shown a strong or substantial likelihood of success on the merits of his claims. He has also not
shown that he will suffer irreparable harm if the injunctive relief requested is not granted. The
record clearly demonstrates that Plaintiff has been able to make multiple filings in the action and has
been able to adequately prosecute his claims. The Court, by separate order, has also extended
additional time to Plaintiff to respond to Defendants’ pending motions. See Docket Entry No. 55.
The balancing of harms required by the third factor does not weigh in favor of the requested relief,
and Plaintiff has not persuasively demonstrated that a public interest would be advanced by the
requested relief as is required for the fourth factor. National Hockey League Players Ass’n v.
Plymouth Whalers Hockey Club, 372 F.3d 712, 720 n.4 (6th Cir. 2003). Further still, absent
extraordinary and urgently compelling reasons, the Court will not intervene in matters such as the
day-to-day operations in a correctional facility. See Kendrick v. Bland, 740 F.2d 432, 438, n. 3 (6th
Cir. 1984). Such reasons have not been shown by Plaintiff.
For the reasons stated, the Court respectfully RECOMMENDS that Plaintiff’s motion for a
preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order (Docket Entry No. 49) be DENIED.
ANY OBJECTIONS to this Report and Recommendation must be filed with the Clerk of
Court within fourteen (14) days of service of this Report and Recommendation and must state with
particularity the specific portions of this Report and Recommendation to which objection is made.
Failure to file written objections within the specified time can be deemed a waiver of the right to
appeal the District Court's Order regarding the Report and Recommendation. See Thomas v. Arn,
474 U.S. 140, 106 S.Ct. 466, 88 L.Ed.2d 435 (1985); United States v. Walters, 638 F.2d 947 (6th Cir.
BARBARA D. HOLMES
United States Magistrate Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?