United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Pensacola Division
JIMI P. MCDONALD, Plaintiff,
MICHAEL A. ADKINSON, JR., et al., Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
ELIZABETH M. TIMOTHY CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the court on Plaintiff's Motion for
Preliminary Injunction (ECF No. 4). Plaintiff initiated this
action by filing a civil rights complaint (ECF No. 1)
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against officials at Walton
County Jail where he is currently being held. Review of the
complaint reveals that Plaintiff claims several violations of
his constitutional rights at the jail, chief among them being
that he has been classified as a high security inmate and
placed into administrative confinement, which also reduces
his rights or privileges at the jail, including access to the
prison library or legal materials. In the instant motion for
injunctive relief, Plaintiff states that he seeks to be
released from administrative confinement into the general
population and that he be allowed access to the law library
so that he can have proper access to the courts.
purpose of preliminary injunctive relief is to preserve the
status quo between the parties and to prevent irreparable
injury until the merits of the lawsuit itself can be
reviewed. See Devose v. Herrington, 42 F.3d 470, 471
(8th Cir. 1994). The grant or denial of preliminary
injunctive relief 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 district court, however, must
exercise its discretion in light of whether:
1. There is a substantial likelihood that Plaintiff will
prevail on the merits;
2. There exists a substantial threat that Plaintiff will
suffer irreparable injury if the injunction is not granted;
3. The threatened injury to Plaintiff outweighs the
threatened harm an injunction will do to the defendant; and
4. 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); Carillon Imp., Ltd., 112 F.3d at 1126.
“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). Because the purpose of
preliminary injunctive relief is to preserve the status quo
between the parties and to prevent irreparable injury until
the merits of the lawsuit itself can be reviewed, the relief
sought in the motion must be closely related to the conduct
complained of in the actual complaint. Devose, 42
F.3d at 471; Penn v. San Juan Hosp., 528 F.2d 1181,
1185 (10th Cir. 1975). Also, the persons from whom the
injunctive relief is sought must be parties to the underlying
action. See In re Infant Formula Antitrust Litig., MDL
878 v. Abbott Lab., 72 F.3d 842, 842-43 (11th Cir.
allegations do not provide a basis for granting injunctive
relief. He provides only the broad, conclusory statements
identified above in support of his motions. Plaintiff fails
to identify the legal actions underpinning his need for
access to the law library, or how his lack of access would
affect the outcome of those legal actions. The interference
with an inmate's access to the courts is a violation of a
First Amendment right actionable under section 1983.
Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 116 S.Ct. 2174, 135
L.Ed.2d 606 (1996); Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817,
97 S.Ct. 1491, 52 L.Ed.2d 72 (1977); Chandler v.
Baird, 926 F.2d 1057 (11thCir. 1991). However, as the
Eleventh Circuit has noted, an inmate alleging a violation of
his right of access must show an actual injury. Cline v.
Tolliver, 434 Fed.Appx. 823, 824 (11th Cir. 2011).
Id. “In order to show actual injury, a
plaintiff must provide evidence that prison officials'
actions impeded the inmate's pursuit of a nonfrivolous,
post-conviction claim or civil rights action, such as the
denial or dismissal of a direct criminal appeal, habeas
petition, or civil rights case.” Id. at
824-25. There is no constitutional mandate “to suggest
that the State must enable the prisoner to discover
grievances, and to litigate effectively once in court.”
Lewis, 518 U.S. at 354. Assuming Plaintiff's
access claim is directed toward the instant case, and
considering that this case is only in its infancy, Plaintiff
cannot demonstrate that the case has been negatively
affected. In fact, it appears from Plaintiff's filings he
has been able to adequately present his claims to the court.
Plaintiff's claim of placement in administrative
confinement, there is no constitutional right to a particular
classification or confinement status at a prison or jail.
See Moody v. Daggett, 429 U.S. 78, 97 S.Ct. 274, 50
L.Ed.2d 236 (1976); Hewitt v. Helms, 459 U.S. 460,
466, 103 S.Ct. 864, 869, 74 L.Ed.2d 675 (1983); Anderson
v. Chapman, 604 Fed.Appx. 810, 813 (11th Cir. 2015);
see also Rodgers v. Singletary, 142 F.3d 1252 (11th
Cir. 1998) (dismissing inmate's claim that he was denied
due process when he was wrongfully confined in administrative
confinement for two months; inmate failed to show that he was
deprived of a constitutionally protected liberty interest).
at this early stage of the litigation, and because
Plaintiff's claims are unsupported and conclusory,
granting the injunction would require the federal courts to
interfere in the administration of the jail and take over the
management or treatment of a single inmate. Federal courts
should normally be reluctant to interfere with matters of
internal prison administration since they are ill-equipped to
do so. Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396, 404-05,
94 S.Ct. 1800, 1807, 40 L.Ed.2d 224 (1974), overruled on
other grounds, Thornburgh v. Abbott, 490 U.S. 401, 109
S.Ct. 1874, 104 L.Ed.2d 459 (1989); Sandin v.
Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 482, 115 S.Ct. 2293, 132 L.Ed.2d
418 (1995); Newman v. Alabama, 683 F.2d 1312, 1320
(11th Cir. 1982). In light of all of the above,
Plaintiff's request for injunctive relief should be
it is respectfully RECOMMENDED:
Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction (ECF No. 4)
TO THE PARTIES
to these proposed findings and recommendations must be filed
within fourteen (14) days after being served a copy thereof.
Any different deadline that may appear on the electronic
docket is for the court's internal use only, and does not
control. A copy of objections shall be served upon all
other parties. If a party fails to object to the magistrate
judge's findings or recommendations as to any particular
claim or issue contained in a report and recommendation, that
party waives the right to challenge on ...