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Travis Bondurant v. F. Gonzalez

June 16, 2011

TRAVIS BONDURANT,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
F. GONZALEZ, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



ORDER DENYING REQUEST FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT, DENYING MOTION REQUIRING DEFENDANTS TO REPLY, DENYING MOTION FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF, AND DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL

(ECF Nos. 22, 21, 20, & 15)

ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Travis Bondurant ("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 began this action on January 28, 2011. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff then filed a First Amended Complaint on March 17, 2011. (ECF No. 12.) Plaintiff's Complaint has yet to be screened by this Court.

II. DEFENDANTS: DEFAULT & REQUIRED RESPONSE

On June 3, 2011, Plaintiff filed a document entitled "Declaration for Entry of Default". (ECF No. 22.) The Court construes this filing as a request to enter default against the Defendants based on their failure to plead or otherwise defend against this action. On May 9, 2011, Plaintiff filed a document entitled "Notice of Motion for Defendant to Reply". (ECF No. 21.) In it, Plaintiff requests that the Court order Defendants to respond to his Complaint.

As Plaintiff was informed in the New Case Documents issued by the Court on January 31, 2011 (ECF No. 6), the Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally "frivolous or malicious," that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1),(2). Because of its large caseload, the Court has yet to screen Plaintiff's Complaint.

The Court will screen Plaintiff's Complaint in due course. The Court will direct the United States Marshal to serve Plaintiff's Complaint only after the Court has screened the Complaint and determined that it contains cognizable claims for relief against the named Defendants. Defendants are required to answer or otherwise defend against Plaintiff's Complaint only after they have been properly served. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12. The default provisions of Rule 55(a) are not implicated until after service has occurred.

Accordingly, Plaintiff's request for entry of default (ECF No. 22) is DENIED and Plaintiff's request for an order requiring Defendants to respond (ECF No. 21) is DENIED.

III. INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

Plaintiff filed a Motion for Injunctive Relief on May 9, 2011. (ECF No. 20.) In it, Plaintiff requests a return to double cell status and group yard.

"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 requirement, and the party invoking federal jurisdiction bears the burden of establishing its existence." Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Env't, 523 U.S. 83, 103-04 (1998).

The standard for a permanent injunction is essentially the same as for a preliminary injunction, with the exception that the plaintiff must show actual success, rather than a likelihood of success. See Amoco Prod. Co. v. Village of Gambell, 480 U.S. 531, 546 n. 12 (1987). However, the Ninth Circuit has recently revived the "serious questions" sliding scale test, and ruled that a preliminary injunction may be appropriate when a plaintiff demonstrates serious questions going to the merits and the balance ...


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