United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Pensacola Division
THERENCE W. CROOKS, Plaintiff,
JULIE JONES, et al., Defendants.
ORDER AND REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
ELIZABETH M. TIMOTHY CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis
(“IFP”) in this civil rights action brought under
28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Presently
before the court is Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint
(ECF No. 13) and “Motion for Preliminary Injunction
and/or Temporary Restraining Order, ” with supporting
materials (ECF Nos. 9, 10).
case was referred to the undersigned for the issuance of all
preliminary orders and any recommendations to the district
court regarding dispositive matters. See N.D. Fla.
Loc. R. 72.2(C); see also 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B), (C); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). Upon review of the
Second Amended Complaint and Plaintiff's motion for a
TRO, it is evident that Plaintiff's requests for
declaratory and injunctive relief are moot. Therefore, the
court will provide Plaintiff an opportunity to modify his
request for relief by filing an amended
complaint. The undersigned will also recommend that
Plaintiff's motion for a TRO be denied as moot.
was an inmate of Santa Rosa Correctional Institution when he
commenced this case (see ECF No. 1). In the Second
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff claims that the fourteen named
Defendants, including FDOC Secretary Jones and thirteen
prison officials at Santa Rosa C.I., interfered with his
rights to freely exercise his Rastafarian religion by
requiring him to cut his hair and prohibiting him from
possessing prayer beads and religious head coverings, in
violation of the First Amendment, the Equal Protection
Clause, and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized
Persons Act (“RLUIPA”) (see ECF No. 13).
Plaintiff seeks declaratory relief and nominal damages
(see id. at 17, 20). He also seeks temporary and
permanent injunctive relief, including a temporary and
permanent injunction enjoining Defendants from requiring him
to cut his hair or otherwise punishing him for failing to cut
his hair (see ECF No. 13 at 20; ECF No. 9), as well
as a permanent injunction requiring Defendants to modify FDOC
regulations to allow male Rastafarian inmates to grow their
hair and possess prayer beads and head coverings (ECF No. 13
or denying a temporary restraining order or preliminary
injunction rests in the discretion of the district court.
See Carillon Imp., Ltd. v. Frank Pesce Intern. Grp.
Ltd., 112 F.3d 1125, 1126 (11th Cir. 1997) (citation
omitted). The four factors to be considered in determining
whether temporary restraining or preliminary injunctive
relief should be granted are whether the movant has
established: (1) a substantial likelihood that Plaintiff will
prevail on the merits; (2) a substantial threat that
Plaintiff will suffer irreparable injury if the injunction is
not granted; (3) that the threatened injury to Plaintiff
outweighs the threatened harm an injunction will do to
Defendants; (4) that the granting of the preliminary
injunction will not disserve the public interest. See CBS
Broad., Inc. v. Echostar Communc'n Corp., 265 F.3d
1193, 1200 (11th Cir. 2001) (citation omitted); Schiavo
ex rel. Schindler v. Schiavo, 403 F.3d 1223, 1225-26
(11th Cir. 2005) (citation omitted). “A preliminary
injunction is an extraordinary and drastic remedy not to be
granted unless the movant clearly establishes the
‘burden of persuasion' as to the four
requisites.” CBS Broad., Inc., 265 F.3d at
1200 (citation omitted).
Plaintiff's requests for injunctive relief are moot.
After Plaintiff filed his Second Amended Complaint and his
motion for TRO, he was released from the FDOC. The FDOC
website indicates Plaintiff was released on February 5,
2018.The failure of the court to issue an order
(1) enjoining FDOC officials from requiring Plaintiff to cut
his hair or from punishing him for refusing to cut it, and
(2) directing Defendants to modify FDOC regulations to allow
male Rastafarian inmates to grow their hair and possess
prayer beads and head coverings, could have no effect on
Plaintiff. Plaintiff, therefore, cannot show that he will
suffer irreparable injury if the court fails to grant him
preliminary injunctive relief. See Smith v. Allen,
502 F.3d 1255, 1267 (11th Cir. 2007) (“The general rule
in our circuit is that a transfer or a release of a prisoner
from prison will moot that prisoner's claims for
injunctive and declaratory relief.”); Zatler v.
Wainwright, 802 F.2d 397, 399 (11th Cir. 1986)
(inmate's release from prison mooted claim for
declaratory and injunctive relief); Wahl v. McIver,
773 F.2d 1169, 1173 (11th Cir. 1985) (an inmate's claim
for injunctive and declaratory relief in a section 1983
action fails to present a case or controversy once the inmate
has been transferred); McKinnon v. Talladega Cnty.,
745 F.2d 1360, 1363 (11th Cir. 1984) (inmate's transfer
to a different jail moots claim for declaratory and
injunctive relief); Dudley v. Stewart, 724 F.2d
1493, 1494 (11th Cir. 1984) (transfer from county jail to
state prison mooted claims for injunctive and declaratory
relief against county jailers). Therefore, Plaintiff's
motion for temporary relief should be denied.
in light of Plaintiff's release, he may not recover the
declaratory and injunctive relief he requests in his Second
Amended Complaint. See Spears v. Thigpen, 846 F.2d
1327, 1328 (11th Cir. 1988); Wahl, supra.
Therefore, Plaintiff must modify his pleading in this
it is ORDERED:
clerk of court shall send Plaintiff a civil rights complaint
form for use by prisoners in actions under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. This case number should be written on the form.
Within FOURTEEN (14) DAYS from the date of
docketing of this order, Plaintiff shall file an amended
complaint, which shall be typed or clearly written, submitted
on the court form, and titled “Third Amended
Plaintiff's failure to comply with an order of the court
may result in a recommendation of dismissal of this case.
Plaintiff's “Motion for Preliminary Injunction
and/or Temporary Restraining ...