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Rodriguez v. Unknown-Named Disciplinary Hearings Agent

March 9, 2010


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge


Presently before this court is plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction and seven separate requests for judicial notice.*fn1 For the reasons set forth below, this court recommends that plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction be denied, and orders that plaintiff's requests for judicial notice be granted in part and denied in part.


Plaintiff Jose DeJesus Rodriguez, a pro se litigant, filed a motion for preliminary injunction in this action*fn2 on December 29, 2009. (Dkt. No. 16.) Although the motion was originally noticed for January 14, 2009 [sic], this court subsequently took the matter under submission after permitting defendants 30 days to respond to the request for injunctive relief. Defendants Steve Moore, Sheriff of San Joaquin County and Jeffrey Simmons*fn3 timely opposed the motion.


Motion for Preliminary Injunction

A preliminary injunction will not issue unless necessary to prevent threatened injury that would impair the court's ability to grant effective relief in a pending action. Sierra On-Line, Inc. v. Phoenix Software, Inc., 739 F.2d 1415, 1422 (9th Cir. 1984); Gon v. First State Ins. Co., 871 F.2d 863 (9th Cir. 1989). A preliminary injunction represents the exercise of a far reaching power not to be indulged except in a case clearly warranting it. Dymo Indus. v. Tapeprinter, Inc., 326 F.2d 141, 143 (9th Cir. 1964). The Ninth Circuit recently modified its standard for preliminary injunctive relief to conform to the Supreme Court's admonition in Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., ___ U.S. ___, 129 S.Ct. 365, 375-76 (2008), that the moving party must demonstrate that-absent an injunction-irreparable injury is not only possible, but likely.*fn4

Stormans, Inc. v. Selecky, 586 F.3d 1109, 1126 (9th Cir. 2009). Under this standard, "preliminary injunctive relief requires a party to demonstrate '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.'" Stormans, Inc., at 1127.*fn5

Procedural defects aside, plaintiff has not shown that future irreparable injury is likely or that he even has standing to bring a request for injunctive relief. Plaintiff, in sum, seeks the following relief:

That... this Court order defendants, their successors, agents, employees and all persons acting in concert with them to provide plaintiff and other pretrial detainees in administrative segregation who have been subjected to a punishment known as "full restriction," which among other things denies them a phone call for up to twenty five (25) days. And that they cooperate when this Court orders an authorization to the FBI to conduct an investigation of plain tiff's [sic] claims. (Dkt. No. 16 at 3.)

Yet plaintiff does not contend that he is currently incarcerated or subject to confinement by defendants, nor does he explain why he is actually, as he alleges "in imminent danger of serious physical injury." (Dkt. No 16 at 2.) Plaintiff's request for relief is based upon "contingent future events that may not occur as anticipated, or indeed may not occur at all." Texas v. United States, 523 U.S. 296, 300 (1998); B.C. v. Plumas County School Dist., 192 F. 3d 1260, 1264 (9th Cir. 1999) (finding that plaintiff had no standing to seek injunctive relief against drug searches where a former student no longer attended the school and had no plans to re-enroll). The court cannot issue a preliminary injunction unless plaintiff has demonstrated that a threat of harm presently exists, even if injury is not absolutely certain to occur. FDIC v. Garner, 125 F.3d 1272, 1279-80 (9th Cir. 1997). In other words, since plaintiff is not a pretrial detainee of defendants, the injury from which plaintiff seeks relief is purely speculative. The court cannot find that he faces an immediate threat of irreparable harm based on speculation. See Caribbean Marine Servs. Co. v. Baldridge, 844 F.2d 668, 674 (9th Cir. 1998). Any threatened future injury must be real and immediate, not conjectural or hypothetical. San Diego County Gun Rights Committee v. Reno, 98 F.3d 1121, 1126 (9th Cir. 1996).

Moreover, plaintiff does not appear likely to prevail on the merits of his claims. The evidence and law submitted in this action to date appear to support defendants' position. See Clayton Decl. ISO Opp'n to Request for Injunctive Relief; Bell v. Wolfish, 511 U.S. 520, 547 (1979) (recognizing that prison officials are entitled to wide-ranging deference when balancing the obligations related to inmate and staff safety against the duty to accord inmates certain rights and privileges). Finally, the balance of the equities and public interest weigh against an injunction. Ordering an injunction in this action will not preserve the status quo and an issuance of an injunctive relief against a governmental entity will not serve the public interest in this case. City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95 (1983).

Because plaintiff's motion suffers from numerous procedural defects, is not supported with sufficient evidence demonstrating a likelihood of irreparable injury, and does not meet the legal standards in support of an injunction, his motion ...

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