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Porter v. Jennings

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


October 16, 2009

SAMUEL K. PORTER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAPTAIN JENNINGS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Anthony W. Ishii Chief United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIVE RELIEF (Docs. 7, 10, and 16)

Plaintiff Samuel K. Porter, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on July 17, 2009. On July 28, 2009, Plaintiff, who is currently housed at California State Prison-Calipatria, filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction mandating a federal investigation and/or his transfer to a federal prison. Plaintiff subsequently supplemented his motion with two duplicative declarations, filed September 3, 2009, and September 14, 2009.

"A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy never awarded as of right." Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 129 S.Ct. 365, 376 (2008) (citation omitted). "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." Id. at 374 (citations omitted). An injunction may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to relief. Id. at 376 (citation omitted) (emphasis added).

Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and in considering a request for preliminary injunctive relief, the Court is bound by the requirement that as a preliminary matter, it 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. Requests for prospective relief are further limited by 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(1)(A), which requires that the Court find the "relief [sought] is narrowly drawn, extends no further than necessary to correct the violation of the Federal right, and is the least intrusive means necessary to correct the violation of the Federal right."

On August 4, 2009, the United States Magistrate Judge found that Plaintiff's original complaint stated a cognizable Eighth Amendment claim against Defendant Jennings for observing Plaintiff's rape by his cellmate at California State Prison-Corcoran and failing to intervene, but did not state any other claims against Jennings or Defendant Darlene. Further, the United States Magistrate Judge found that Plaintiff's claims against Defendants Ollison, Hernandez, and Howard, which arose from events at Ironwood State Prison and California State Prison-Calipatria, had to be raised in a separate action in the Southern District of California, where venue for those unrelated claims is proper.

Plaintiff was ordered to either file an amended complaint or notify the Court of his willingness to proceed only against Defendant Jennings. Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on August 24, 2009, which was stricken from the record, with leave to amend, because it was not complete within itself without reference to the original complaint. To date, Plaintiff has not complied with the order to file an amended complaint.*fn1

Plaintiff cannot make the requisite showing for a preliminary injunction because the relief he seeks in his motion will not remedy the only cognizable legal claim thus far identified in this action, thereby satisfying the case or controversy and statutory requirements. Because the Court has no jurisdiction to issue either order sought by Plaintiff, his motion is HEREBY DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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