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Donnie Ray O'neal, Jr v. California Department of Corrections

January 10, 2011

DONNIE RAY O'NEAL, JR.,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER DENYING MISCELLANEOUS MOTIONS

(ECF Nos. 10, 12, & 14)

ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Donnie Ray O'Neal, Jr. ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed his Complaint on September 2, 2009. (ECF No. 1.) He consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction on October 8, 2009. (ECF No. 6.) No other parties have appeared in this action. The Court has not yet screened Plaintiff's Complaint.

Plaintiff now has two motions pending before the Court: a Motion to Compel; a Motion for Immediate Injunction; and a Motion for Reconsideration. (ECF Nos. 10, 12, & 14.) The Court will address each in turn.

II. MOTION TO COMPEL

On March 9, 2010, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Compel Defendants to Respond to Original Medical Complaint. In the Motion, Plaintiff requests that the Court order the medical healthcare department at Corcoran State Prison to respond to the medical complaint he filed in February 2009 and which remained unanswered as of the date of Plaintiff's motion. The lack of response as of March 2010 is documented in attachments to the Motion, but one attachment states that a response was due by April 2010. (ECF No. 10, p. 14.) Instead of waiting, Plaintiff filed this Motion to Compel in March.

To the extent Plaintiff intended this as a motion to compel, it is premature. As of this date, the Court has not yet screened Plaintiff's Complaint, authorized service of it, or authorized discovery. The Court can not compel discovery when discovery has not yet begun.

This Motion may be treated as a request for injunctive relief, i.e., a request for an order directing Defendant's to follow prison guidelines and answer his grievance. However, at this stage in the proceedings, Plaintiff fails to meet the legal prerequisites for injunctive relief. To succeed on such a motion, he 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. Plaintiff has not met all of these prerequisites. While it may well be that Plaintiff will be able to show entitlement to a response to his medical complaint, he has not shown irreparable injury from a delay in the response or that the equities or public interest dictate a more immediate response. Accordingly, this portion of Plaintiff's motion must be DENIED.

III. MOTION FOR INJUNCTION

On May 19, 2010, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Immediate Injunction against Defendants California Department of Corrections and Enenmoh seeking the reinstatement of a pain management regimen and a special diet. Plaintiff states that he had been on pain management for the previous four or five years and on special high fiber diet for chronic diverticulosis and I.B.S., but that Defendant Enenmoh stopped both in retaliation against Plaintiff. These actions caused Plaintiff to suffer unnecessary pain.

"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. Id. "[The] triad of injury in fact, causation, and redressability constitutes the core of Article III's case-or-controversy ...


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