United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Charleston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. Goodwin, Judge
before the court is Plaintiff's Motion for Emergency
Preliminary Injunction [ECF No. 10]. The defendants responded
[ECF Nos. 15, 16]. For the reasons stated herein, the Motion
Factual and Procedural Background
plaintiff, Garland Murray, is an inmate at Mount Olive
Correctional Complex (“MOCC”). Compl. ¶ 3
[ECF No. 1]. On May 17, 2018, the plaintiff filed this action
against twelve named MOCC employees and John Doe Correctional
Officers. Id. ¶¶ 4-6. The Complaint
contains seven counts: (1) excessive force in violation of
the Eighth Amendment, (2) inadequate conditions of
confinement in violation of the Eighth Amendment, (3)
retaliation in violation of the First Amendment, (4) assault
and battery, (5) intentional infliction of emotional
distress, (6) negligence, and (7) spoliation. Id.
¶¶ 89-170 Over the past five years, the plaintiff
has filed several lawsuits regarding incidents at MOCC.
Pl.'s Mot. for Emer. Prelim. Inj. 1 [ECF No. 10]. The
plaintiff believes that MOCC employees are currently
retaliating against him for these lawsuits. Id. at
1-2. The plaintiff alleges that in November 2017, without
being provoked, MOCC correctional officers sprayed him with
pepper spray and then beat him. Id. at 2. Shortly
after this incident, MOCC correctional officers allegedly
pepper sprayed the plaintiff again, hit his head against a
sink multiple times, and held his head under hot water, which
exacerbated the effects of the spray. Id. MOCC
officers then left the plaintiff in a solitary confinement
cell in his wet, contaminated clothing overnight.
plaintiff alleges that MOCC employees also told other inmates
that he “requested protective custody, thus indicating
that he was a ‘snitch.'” Id. at 3.
According to the plaintiff, in January 2018, inmates placed
feces outside and underneath his cell door. Id. MOCC
staff then refused to clean it. Id. Because of his
complaints about the feces, the plaintiff was moved to a
different cell, which allegedly did not have drinkable water.
Id. The plaintiff was left in this cell for nearly
two weeks, during which time his only source of water was his
toilet. Compl. ¶¶ 76-83. Additionally, on more than
one occasion during this period, MOCC staff dumped the
plaintiff's food trays onto the floor. Id.
¶ 84. Lastly, the plaintiff alleges that MOCC staff
placed him near racist inmates who are associated with his
2013 stabbing at MOCC. Pl.'s Mot. 3.
from the allegation that MOCC staff placed the plaintiff near
racist inmates, the factual allegations in the Motion repeat
those outlined in the Complaint. The plaintiff claims that he
now suffers from anxiety, depression, and fear, along with
physical injuries. Id. The plaintiff has repeatedly
requested to be transferred to a different facility, but his
requests have been denied. Id. at 3-4.
12, 2018, the plaintiff filed a motion for an
“emergency preliminary injunction.” Id.
at 1. The Motion requests that the court enter a preliminary
injunction ordering that the plaintiff be transferred from
MOCC to a different West Virginia Division of Corrections
(“WVDOC”) facility. Id.
17, 2018, the plaintiff filed a Notice of Supplemental
Evidence in Support of Plaintiff's Motion for Emergency
Injunction [ECF No. 14]. The Notice states that there is
additional evidence attached as “Exhibit D, ” but
the plaintiff failed to attach anything to the Notice. The
Notice states, however, what the attachment supposedly shows.
First, it says that it “sets forth one example of
Plaintiff's attempts to be transferred to a
facility” and defendant Ralph Terry's response that
he “will be housed where WVDOC deems applicable and
appropriate.” Notice 1. Second, it says that Exhibit D
shows that the plaintiff was subjected to “further
intimidation” on July 16, 2018. Id.
Specifically, the plaintiff alleges that:
[he] was suddenly called into a meeting at MOCC in the
private security room where [he] was previously beaten which
has no video cameras. At least two defendants who were
involved in [his] beating, Defendants Smith and Richards,
were sitting with other officers in the room. Upon seeing
Defendants and the location of the meeting, [he] immediately
advised the officer who had escorted him to the meeting that
he felt unsafe and he was escorted back to his unit,
considerably shaken. [He] has confirmed that he has no
outstanding disciplinary matters that would have led to said
Notice 1-2 (citations omitted).
their response, the defendants submitted an incident report
dated July 14, 2018, that describes how the plaintiff ripped
down a memo which was hanging on the wall and wadded it up.
Defs.' Resp. Ex. D, at 1 [ECF 16-4]. According to the
defendants, the July 16 meeting was to discuss this incident.
Defs.' Resp. 4-5.
preliminary injunction is “an extraordinary remedy that
may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff
is entitled to such relief.” Winter v. Natural Res.
Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 22 (2008). “A
plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish
[(1)] that he is likely to succeed on the merits, [(2)] that
he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of
preliminary relief, [3)] ...