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Jackson v. Unknown Perala

United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division

January 17, 2019

DOUGLAS CORNELL JACKSON #748757, Plaintiff,
v.
UNKNOWN PERALA, et al., Defendants.

          HON. PAUL L. MALONEY JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          TIMOTHY P. GREELEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This is a civil rights action brought by state prisoner Douglas Cornell Jackson pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed an “Emergency Motion to Stop Threats of Death, Physical Harm and Other Harassment During the Pendency of this Civil Action by Prison Guard Douglas Black.” (ECF No. 39). The undersigned views this motion as a motion for preliminary injunctive relief. Defendants have responded. (ECF No. 40). For the reasons stated below, the undersigned recommends that the Court deny Plaintiff's motion.

         Injunctive relief is “an extraordinary remedy which should be granted only if . . . the circumstances clearly demand it.” Overstreet v. Lexington-Fayette Urban County Gov't, 305 F.3d 566, 573 (6th Cir. 2002). The issuance of such relief is committed to the discretion of the district court. Planned Parenthood Ass'n v. City of Cincinnati, 822 F.2d 1390, 1393 (6th Cir. 1987). In exercising that discretion, the court must consider and balance four factors:

1. Whether the movant has shown a strong or substantial likelihood or probability of success on the merits.
2. Whether the movant has shown irreparable injury.
3. Whether the preliminary injunction could harm third parties.
4. Whether the public interest would be served by issuing a preliminary injunction.

Washington v. Reno, 35 F.3d 1093 (6th Cir. 1994). These factors are not prerequisites to the grant or denial of injunctive relief, but factors that must be carefully balanced by the district court in exercising its equitable powers. Id. Moreover, where a prison inmate seeks an order enjoining state prison officials, the court is required to proceed with the utmost care and must recognize the unique nature of the prison setting. See Kendrick v. Bland, 740 F.2d 432 at 438, n.3, (6th Cir. 1984). See also Harris v. Wilters, 596 F.2d 678 (5th Cir. 1979). It has also been remarked that a party seeking injunctive relief bears a heavy burden of establishing that the extraordinary and drastic remedy sought is appropriate under the circumstances. See Checker Motors Corp. v. Chrysler Corp., 405 F.2d 319 (2d Cir. 1969), cert. denied, 394 U.S. 999 (1969). See also O'Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342 (1986).

         In his motion, Plaintiff complains that Corrections Officer Black has been harassing and threatening him at Oaks Correctional Facility. The alleged events occurred between November 4, 2018 and December 25, 2018. Plaintiff requests that the Court order Corrections Officer Black to stop harassing and threatening him. However, Corrections Officer Black is not a defendant in the underlying case. And, as noted by the Court in its screening opinion, “[t]he Court does not have jurisdiction over individuals that are not parties to this action.” (ECF No. 12, PageID.636 citing Zenith Radio Corp., v. Hazeltine Research Inc., 395 U.S. 100 (1969)). In fact, Plaintiff's injunctive relief request is entirely unrelated to his underlying claims. While “[a] preliminary injunction is always appropriate to grant intermediate relief of the same character as that which may be granted finally, ” an injunction should not issue when “it deals with a matter lying wholly outside the issues in the suit.” De Beers Consolidated Mines v. United States, 325 U.S. 212, 220 (1945).

         In addition, in the context of a motion impacting on matters of prison administration, the interests of identifiable third parties and the public at large weigh against the granting of an injunction. Any interference by the federal courts in the administration of state prison matters is necessarily disruptive. The public welfare therefore militates against the issuance of extraordinary relief in the prison context, absent a sufficient showing of a violation of constitutional rights. See Glover v. Johnson, 855 F.2d 277, 286-87 (6th Cir. 1988). That showing has not been made here.

         Because Plaintiff has failed to meet the heavy burden establishing the need for injunctive relief, the undersigned recommends that Plaintiff's request (ECF No. 39) be denied.

         NOTICE TO PARTIES: Objections to this Report and Recommendation must be served on opposing parties and filed with the Clerk of the Court within fourteen (14) days of receipt of this Report and Recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); W.D. Mich. LCivR 72.3(b). Failure to file timely objections constitutes a waiver of any further right to ...


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