United States District Court, E.D. California
March 26, 2014
ACHIE CRANFORD, Plaintiff,
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR A TEMPOERARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND FOR DISCOVERY (Docs. 6, 7)
JENNIFER L. THURSTON, Magistrate Judge.
Plaintiff, Archie Cranford, is a civil detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On March 21, 2014, Plaintiff filed a motion to begin discovery. (Doc. 6.) On March 24, 2014, Plaintiff filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to be issued ordering Defendant Adams to stay at least 50, 000 feet away from Plaintiff and that Plaintiff be allowed to remain at CSH due to his medical concerns. (Doc. 7.)
The analysis for a temporary restraining order is substantially identical to that for a preliminary injunction, Stuhlbarg Intern. Sales Co., Inc. v. John D. Brush and Co., Inc., 240 F.3d 832, 839 n.7 (9th Cir. 2001), and a "preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy never awarded as of right." Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 24, 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. Therefore, when considering a request for preliminary injunctive relief, the Court is bound by the requirement it have before it an actual case or controversy. City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 102, 103 S.Ct. 1660, 1665 (1983); Valley Forge Christian Coll. v. Ams. United for Separation of Church and State, Inc., 454 U.S. 464, 471, 102 S.Ct. 752, 757-58 (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. By separate order, the Complaint in this action is being dismissed for failure to state a cognizable claim for violation of Plaintiff's federal rights. Thus, this Court currently lacks jurisdiction to issue and/or otherwise consider Plaintiff's request for a temporary restraining order.
Plaintiff's request to begin discovery must likewise fail. The discovery phase of this litigation is not yet open. Plaintiff is directed to the fourth page of the First Informational Order, which issued on February 26, 2014. In that order, Plaintiff was specifically informed that he may not conduct discovery until he has stated a cognizable claim, the defendant files a responsive pleading, and the discovery order issues. Plaintiff's request to open discovery at this time is premature. Further, in his motion to open discovery, Plaintiff requests that Defendant be ordered to answer the Complaint. However, since, as previously stated, Plaintiff's Complaint has been dismissed for his failure to state a cognizable claim in this action, this Court lacks jurisdiction to issue and/or otherwise consider Plaintiff's motion and there is no pleading for Defendant to be ordered to answer.
Accordingly, it is HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's request to open discovery, filed on March 21, 2014 (Doc. 6), and Plaintiff's motion for temporary restraining order, filed March 24, 2014 (Doc. 7), are DENIED without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction.
IT IS SO ORDERED.