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Hicks v. John Does 1 Thru 5

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


August 11, 2008

MICHAEL J. HICKS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHN DOES 1 THRU 5, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIVE RELIEF BE DENIED (Docs. 16, 22) OBJECTION DUE WITHIN FIFTEEN DAYS

Plaintiff Michael Hicks ("plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action was filed on January 4, 2007. On February 25, 2008, and April 7, 2008, plaintiff filed motions seeking a court order requiring the Warden at California State Prison - Sacramento, who is not a party to this action, provide plaintiff with a complete photocopy of his central file without cost. (Docs. 16, 22).

The purpose of a preliminary injunction is to preserve the status quo if the balance of equities so heavily favors the moving party that justice requires the court to intervene to secure the positions until the merits of the action are ultimately determined. University of Texas v. Camenisch, 451 U.S. 390, 395 (1981). A preliminary injunction is available to a plaintiff who "demonstrates either (1) a combination of probable success and the possibility of irreparable harm, or (2) that serious questions are raised and the balance of hardship tips in its favor." Arcamuzi v. Continental Air Lines, Inc., 819 F. 2d 935, 937 (9th Cir. 1987). Under either approach the plaintiff "must demonstrate a significant threat of irreparable injury." Id. Also, an injunction should not issue if the plaintiff "shows no chance of success on the merits." Id. At a bare minimum, the plaintiff "must demonstrate a fair chance of success of the merits, or questions serious enough to require litigation." Id.

Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and as a preliminary matter, the court must have before it an actual case or controversy. City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 102, 103 S.Ct. 1660, 1665 (1983); Valley Forge Christian Coll. v. Ams. United for Separation of Church and State, Inc., 454 U.S. 464, 471, 102 S.Ct. 752, 757-58 (1982); Jones v. City of Los Angeles, 444 F.3d 1118, 1126 (9th Cir. 2006). If the court does not have an actual case or controversy before it, it has no power to hear the matter in question. Id. "A federal court may issue an injunction if it has personal jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter jurisdiction over the claim; it may not attempt to determine the rights of persons not before the court." Zepeda v. United States Immigration Service, 753 F.2d 719, 727 (9th Cir. 1985) (emphasis added).

In this instance, the events at issue in this action arose while plaintiff was incarcerated at the California State Prison - Corcoran. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff is currently housed at California State Prison-Sacramento and the orders sought are aimed at remedying his current conditions of confinement at that prison, namely his access to his central file. The court does not have jurisdiction in this action to issue the order sought, as the case or controversy requirement cannot be met in light of the fact that the issues plaintiff seeks to remedy in his motions bear no relation to the past events at Corcoran giving rise to this suit. The court does not and will not have jurisdiction in this action over prison officials at California State Prison - Sacramento.

Therefore, the court HEREBY RECOMMENDS that plaintiff's motions for a court order, filed, February 25, 2008, and April 7, 2008 be DENIED.

These Findings and Recommendations will be submitted to the United States District Judge assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of Title 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within fifteen (15) days after being served with these Findings and Recommendations, plaintiff may file written objections with the court. The document should be captioned "Objections to Magistrate Judge's Findings and Recommendations." Plaintiff is advised that failure to file objections within the specified time may waive the right to appeal the District Court's order. Martinez v. Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991).

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20080811

© 1992-2008 VersusLaw Inc.



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