United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia, Martinsburg
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO DENY PLAINTIFF'S
MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER
W. TRUMBLE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
February 22, 2019, the pro se Plaintiff, an
inmate at Huttonsville Correction Center in
Huttonsville, West Virginia, filed a pleading styled
“Motion for T.R.O. to be Issued”, which was
construed as a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. ECF No. 1. The pleading claims that
Plaintiff's life was threatened by a correctional officer
on February 18, 2019, and that his safety required his
transfer from Huttonsville Correctional Center.
February 22, 2019, the Clerk issued a notice of deficient
pleading and intent to dismiss because Plaintiff failed to
file his complaint on Court-approved forms. ECF No. 2. On
March 4, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion to compel styled
“Injunctive Relief Order”. ECF No. 4. The motion
seeks two forms of relief: (1) that Defendants be ordered to
comply with certain policy directives and provide Plaintiff
with a copy of all his previously-filed grievances; and (2)
that the Court schedule an evidentiary hearing so Plaintiff
may establish how the Defendants have prevented him from
exhausting his available administrative remedies.
Id. at 4.
Pro Se Litigants.
must read pro se allegations in a liberal fashion
and hold those pro se pleadings “to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.”
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the Court is required to
perform a judicial review of certain suits brought by
prisoners and must dismiss a case at any time if the Court
determines that the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails
to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. A complaint is frivolous if it is without arguable
merit either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989) (superseded by statute). The Supreme
Court in Neitzke recognized that:
Section 1915(d) is designed largely to discourage the
filing of, and waste of judicial and private resources upon,
baseless lawsuits that paying litigants generally do not
initiate because of the costs of bringing suit and because of
the threat of sanctions for bringing vexatious suits under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11. To this end, the statute
accords judges not only the authority to dismiss a claim
based on an indisputably meritless legal theory, but also the
unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint's
factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual
contentions are clearly baseless.
490 U.S. at 327.
Requests for Injunctive Relief
Fourth Circuit reviews “a district court's decision
to grant a preliminary injunction under an abuse-of-discretion
standard.” International Refugee Assistance
Project v. Trump, 883 F.3d 233, 255 - 56 (4th Cir.
2018), as amended (Feb. 28, 2018). The standard for
granting injunctive relief was articulated by the United
States Supreme Court which held in Winter v. Nat. Res.
Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008) that:
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.
restated by the Fourth Circuit, when a plaintiff seeks the
extraordinary remedy of a preliminary injunction:
The plaintiff “need not establish a certainty of
success, but must make a clear showing that he is likely to
succeed at trial.” A plaintiff seeking a preliminary
injunction must establish that (1) she is likely to succeed
on the merits, (2) she is likely to suffer irreparable harm
in the absence of preliminary relief, (3) the balance ...