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Cory Dwayne Micheimer v. United States Postal Service

December 30, 2010


(Docs.11, 12)


Plaintiff Cory Dwayne Micheimer ("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 September 15, 2009, alleging interference with mail. (Doc. 1.) On May 24, 2010, Plaintiff filed a motion seeking to be removed from the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and a notice of his inability to serve Defendants in this action. (Docs. 11, 12.) In Plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief he states that from July 22, 1998, until May 18, 2003, he was denied being able to make or receive telephone calls. (Doc. 11, p. 2.) In his notice of inability to serve, Plaintiff states that employees under supervision of the law librarian will not allow him to make copies of the complaint so he can serve Defendants. (Doc. 12, p. 1.)

"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 (1983); Valley Forge Christian Coll. v. Ams. United for Separation of Church and State, Inc., 454 U.S. 464, 471 (1982). If the Court does not have an actual case or controversy before it, it has no power to hear the matter in question. Valley Forge Christian Coll., 454 U.S. at 471; also Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Env't, 523 U.S. 83, 94 (1998). The Prison Litigation Reform Act also places limitations on injunctive relief. Section 3626(a)(1)(A) provides in relevant part, "Prospective relief in any civil action with respect to prison conditions shall extend no further than necessary to correct the violation of the Federal right of a particular plaintiff or plaintiffs."

The case or controversy requirement cannot be met in light of the fact that the issue Plaintiff seeks to remedy in his motion bears no relation to the claim that his mail is being interfered with. Lyons, 461 U.S. at 102; 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(1)(A); also Summers v. Earth Island Inst., 129 S. Ct. 1142, 1148-49 (2009); Steel Co., 523 U.S. at 102-04, 107. Because the case-or-controversy requirement cannot be met, the pendency of this action provides no basis upon which to award Plaintiff injunctive relief. Steel Co., 523 U.S. at 102-103.

Additionally, Plaintiff is advised that because he is proceeding in forma pauperis, he is entitled to have process served on his behalf by the United States Marshal. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d); Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(3). However, as set forth in the Court's First Informational Order, the Marshal will be directed to initiate service of process only after Plaintiff's complaint has been screened and found to state cognizable claims for relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A; Doc. 5, First Informational Order, ¶12. Due to the heavy caseload, Plaintiff's complaint is still awaiting screening. The Court is aware of the pendency of this case and will screen Plaintiff's complaint in due course.

Accordingly, it is recommended that Plaintiff's motions for preliminary injunctive relief, filed May 24, 2010, be DENIED, with prejudice, for lack of jurisdiction.

It is ordered that this finding and recommendation 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 THIRTY (30) DAYS after being served with the finding and recommendation, Plaintiff may file written objections with the Court. The document should be captioned "Objections to Magistrate Judge's Finding and Recommendation." 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).





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