United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION RECOMMENDING DENIAL OF
PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO COMPEL OFFICIALS TO PROCESS
APPEALS PROPERLY AND 602 APPEAL TIMELINES (ECF NO.
BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Ricardo Martinez (“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 initiated this action on October 23, 2015 in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California. (ECF No. 1.) The matter was transferred to this
Court on January 15, 2016, and received on January 20, 2016.
(ECF No. 10.)
Motion to Compel Prison Officials
August 4, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion requesting the Court
to permit to “force officials to comply with 602
appeals timelines and to process appeals properly.”
(ECF No. 22.) Plaintiff explained that he is currently
incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison and argued that the
authorities there have a pattern of failing to process
appeals properly. Plaintiff attached over a hundred pages of
appeals-related documents to his motion, including copies of
appeals, response to appeals, and correspondence with prison
officials regarding appeals. The date ranges span from
mid-2015 to more recent dates in 2016. The Court construes
Plaintiff’s motion as a request for a temporary
restraining and preliminary injunction against the prison
officials at Corcoran State Prison.
purpose of a preliminary injunction is to preserve the status
quo if the balance of equities so heavily favors the moving
party that justice requires the court to intervene to secure
the positions until the merits of the action are ultimately
determined. Univ. of Texas v. Camenisch, 451 U.S.
390, 395, 101 S.Ct. 1830, 68 L.Ed.2d 175 (1981). “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.”
Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.,
555 U.S. 7, 129 S.Ct. 365, 374, 172 L.Ed.2d 249 (2008).
“[A] preliminary injunction is an extraordinary and
drastic remedy, one that should not be granted unless the
movant, by a clear showing, carries the burden of
persuasion.” Mazurek v. Armstrong, 520 U.S.
968, 972, 117 S.Ct. 1865, 138 L.Ed.2d 162 (1997) (quotations
and citations omitted) (emphasis in original).
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and as a
preliminary matter, the court must have before it an actual
case or controversy. City of Los Angeles v. Lyons,
461 U.S. 95, 102, 103 S.Ct. 1660, 75 L.Ed.2d 675 (1983);
Valley Forge Christian Coll. v. Ams. United for
Separation of Church and State, Inc., 454 U.S. 464, 471,
102 S.Ct. 752, 70 L.Ed.2d 700 (1982). If the court does not
have an actual case or controversy before it, it has no power
to hear the matter in question. Lyons, 461 U.S. at
102. Thus, “[a] federal court may issue an injunction
[only] if it has personal jurisdiction over the parties and
subject matter jurisdiction over the claim; it may not
attempt to determine the rights of persons not before the
court.” Zepeda v. United States Immigration
Serv., 753 F.2d 719, 727 (9th Cir.1985).
pendency of this action does not give the Court jurisdiction
over prison officials in general. Summers v. Earth Island
Institute, 555 U.S. 488, 491-93, 129 S.Ct. 1142, 173
L.Ed.2d 1 (2009); Mayfield v. United States, 599
F.3d 964, 969 (9th Cir.2010). The Court’s jurisdiction
is limited to the parties in this action and to the viable
legal claims upon which this action is proceeding.
Summers, 555 U.S. at 491-93; Mayfield, 599
F.3d at 969.
seeks a temporary restraining order and preliminary
injunction ordering prison officials to process appeals in a
certain manner. However, Plaintiff has not met the
requirements for this relief. 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). Plaintiff’s
complaint, or any portion thereof, is subject to dismissal if
it is frivolous or malicious, if it fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2); 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). In this matter, Plaintiff’s
complaint has not yet been screened to determine whether it
states a cognizable claim. No defendant has been ordered
served and no defendant has yet made an appearance. Thus, the
Court lacks personal jurisdiction over the prison officials,
and it cannot issue an order requiring them to take any
action. Nor has there been a showing that the relief
requested relates to the prison officials named in this
complaint, or to the matters at issue in this action.
Conclusion and Recommendation
the Court HEREBY RECOMMENDS that Plaintiff's motion to
compel officials to process appeals, construed as a motion a
motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary
injunction, be DENIED.
Findings and Recommendation will be submitted to the United
States District Judge assigned to the case, pursuant to the
provisions of Title 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Within
fourteen (14) days after being served with these Findings and
Recommendation, Plaintiff may file written objections with
the court. The document should be captioned “Objections
to Magistrate Judge’s Findings and
is advised that failure to file objections within the
specified time may result in the waiver of the “right
to challenge the magistrate’s factual findings”
on appeal. Wilkerson v. Wheeler, 772 F.3d 834, 839