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Barba v. Gonzales

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


July 23, 2010

RYAN A. BARBA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
FERNANDO GONZALES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Seng United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL ACCESS TO LAW LIBRARY

(ECF No. 7)

Plaintiff Ryan Barba ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Compel [ECF No. 7] asking the Court to issue an order requiring the prison to grant him access to the law library. The Court construes the instant motion as a motion for a preliminary injunction.

A prisoner alleging a violation of his right to access the courts must demonstrate that he has suffered or will imminently suffer actual injury. Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 351 (1996). "An inmate cannot establish relevant actual injury simply by establishing that his prison's law library or legal assistance program is sub-par in some theoretical sense." Id. at 351. The inmate must show that the library "hindered his efforts to pursue a legal claim." Id. To satisfy the actual-injury requirement, an inmate must "demonstrate that a non-frivolous legal claim had been frustrated or was being impeded." Id. at 353.

In this case, Plaintiff takes issue with the institution's policy of granting law library access only to those prisoners with a pending legal deadline. However, Plaintiff has failed to point to any deadline that he has missed or any particular hardship he has faced as a result of this policy. Thus, Plaintiff has not shown that the institution's library policy has "hindered his efforts to pursue a legal claim." Id. at 351. Plaintiff's generalized allegations regarding his access to the law library fail to demonstrate the imminent or actual injury required to warrant injunctive relief.

Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion Requesting Court Order to Compel CDCR to Grant Petitioner Access to Law Library [ECF No. 7] is DENIED without prejudice.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20100723

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