Theus, Jerome v. Department of Corrections et al
ORDER denying 15 Motion for Temporary Restraining Order. Signed by District Judge Barbara B. Crabb on 7/17/2014. (nln),(ps)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - JEROME THEUS,
OPINION and ORDER
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS,
MICHELLE BONES, LORA BLASSIUS,
WIGANDS, HOWARD, MALONE, KEMP,
CO DIX, CO MORRIS, WILLIE LANE,
KEVIN WOOD, PHILLIP JOHNNY HILL,
CHARLES MADISON and ROGONVOOG,
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - JEROME ANTHONY THEUS,
OPINION and ORDER
MS. WIGAND, MR. KEMPER and
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - In these civil actions, pro se plaintiff Jerome Theus, a prisoner at the Racine
Correctional Institution, contends that defendants have violated the Eighth Amendment
with respect to his medical needs and conditions of confinement and the Fourteenth
Amendment with respect to his property. Now, plaintiff has filed what I construe as a
motion for a temporary restraining order in both lawsuits. 14-cv-224-bbc, dkt. #15; 13-cv681-bbc, dkt. #23. Because plaintiff did not follow this court’s procedures and because he
has not shown that preliminary injunctive relief is warranted at this time, I am denying his
motion. Plaintiff has also requested assistance in recruiting counsel in case no. 13-cv-681bbc, dkt. #22. I am denying that motion as well, because plaintiff has not provided proof
that he has made reasonable efforts in recruiting counsel on his own.
A. Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order
Plaintiff has filed a letter that I construe as a motion for a temporary restraining order
in which he asks the court to protect him from “bullying” by prison staff at Racine
Correctional Institution. 14-cv-224-bbc, dkt. #15; 13-cv-681-bbc, dkt. #23. He also says
that the shot for “TB medication” he received made him sick and that he requires “name
brand” medicine for acid reflux disease. Id. Plaintiff asks that the restraining order be
entered against CO Dix, CO Cruz, Mr. Howard, Mr. Kemper, Ms. Nygen, NP Lora, “the rest
of HSU” and “the other staff.” Id. at 1.
This motion must be denied for several reasons. First, as a general rule, courts will
not grant injunctive relief against a person who is not a party to the lawsuit, and only
defendants Howard and Kemper are parties to any of plaintiff’s lawsuits on which he is
proceeding at this time. Second, plaintiff’s motion does not comply with this court’s
procedures for obtaining preliminary injunctive relief. Under these procedures (a copy of
which was included in the order dated March 18, 2014 in case no. 13-cv-681-bbc, denying
plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction, dkt. #18), plaintiff must file with the court
proposed findings of fact supporting his claim and submit any evidence he has to support
his request for relief. Plaintiff has done neither.
Finally, even if I were to consider the merits of plaintiff’s motion at this time, I would
deny it. Granting preliminary injunctive relief is “is an exercise of a very far-reaching power,
never to be indulged in except in a case clearly demanding it.” Roland Machinery Co. v.
Dresser Industries, 749 F.2d 380, 389 (7th Cir. 1984). A district court must consider four
factors in deciding whether a preliminary injunction should be granted. These factors are:
(1) whether the plaintiff has a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits; (2) whether
the plaintiff will have an adequate remedy at law or will be irreparably harmed if the
injunction does not issue; (3) whether the threatened injury to the plaintiff outweighs the
threatened harm an injunction may inflict on defendant; and (4) whether the granting of a
preliminary injunction will disserve the public interest. Pelfresne v. Village of Williams Bay,
865 F.2d 877, 882-83 (7th Cir. 1989).
I am not persuaded that plaintiff has shown that he is entitled to a temporary
restraining order or to a preliminary injunction. Plaintiff has not shown that he has any
likelihood of success on the merits or that any harm to him is either imminent or irreparable.
The failure to receive the medicine of one’s choice is not a constitutional claim, Forbes v.
Edgar, 112 F.3d 262, 266 (7th Cir. 1997), and plaintiff’s allegation of “bullying” is too
vague to support injunctive relief. Moreover, plaintiff’s other filings suggest that what he
means by “bullying” is verbal harassment and similar treatment, which is also not a claim
upon which relief may be granted. E.g., Plt.’s Cpt., 14-cv-224-bbc, dkt. #1, at 5; Plt.’s Supp.
to Cpt., 13-cv-681-bbc, dkt. #10, at 2-3 (“[T]hey bully me by saying that if I drool blood
and acid on any linen I will have to pay for it. They also stare at me when I’m on the phone;
[they’re] always searching my room, blaming me for stuff I didn’t do.”). Accordingly,
plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order will be denied.
I also note that plaintiff is not permitted to treat his two lawsuits as interchangeable
and file the same document in both cases. Plaintiff’s lawsuits involve distinct claims against
different defendants. He must draft his filings accordingly, making it clear that each filing
is directed to the unique facts and circumstances of each case.
B. Motion for Assistance in Recruiting Counsel
Plaintiff has filed a letter in which he says that he wants a lawyer. His reasons for
requesting assistance are what he says are the merits of his claims in case no. 13-cv-681-bbc.
Plaintiff’s motion must be denied because he has not shown that he has made reasonable
efforts to find a lawyer on his own, which he must do before the court will intervene.
Jackson v. County of McLean, 953 F.2d 1070 (7th Cir. 1992). To prove that he has made
reasonable efforts, he should give the court rejection letters from at least three lawyers.
Therefore, plaintiff’s motion will be denied without prejudice to his refiling it at a later date,
with proof of his efforts in recruiting counsel.
IT IS ORDERED that
1. Plaintiff’s motion for a temporary restraining order, 14-cv-224-bbc, dkt. #15; 13cv-681-bbc, dkt. #23, is DENIED.
2. Plaintiff’s motion for assistance in recruiting counsel, 13-cv-681-bbc, dkt. #22,
is DENIED without prejudice.
Entered this 17th day of July, 2014.
BY THE COURT:
BARBARA B. CRABB
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