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Cowart v. Rahman

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 12, 2017

GARDELL COWART, Plaintiff,
v.
RAHMAN, et al., Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS THAT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIVE RELIEF BE DENIED AND ORDER REQUESTING ASSISTANCE OF WARDEN AND LITIGATION COORDINATOR (DOC. 32) THIRTY (30) DAY DEADLINE

          Sheila K. Oberto UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff, Gardell Cowart, is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On May 10, 2017, Plaintiff filed a request for injunctive relief to obtain various forms of medical care, (Doc. 32), mirroring previous motions, (Docs. 16, 20, 22, 25, 28, 29), which have all been denied (Docs. 17, 19, 30).

         As stated in the findings and recommendations on Plaintiffs prior request for injunctive relief, "[a] plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits and 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, 20 (2008) (citations omitted). "A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy never awarded as a matter of right. In each case, courts must balance the competing claims of injury and must consider the effect on each party of the granting or withholding of the requested relief. In exercising their sound discretion, courts of equity should pay particular regard for the public consequences in employing the extraordinary remedy of injunction." Id., at 24 (citations and quotations omitted). An injunction may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such relief. Id., at 22.

         Requests for prospective relief are further limited by 18 U.S.C. § 3626 (a)(1)(A) of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, which requires that the Court find the "relief [sought] is narrowly drawn, extends no further than necessary to correct the violation of the Federal Right, and is the least intrusive means necessary to correct the violation of the Federal Right."

         As a threshold matter, Plaintiff must establish that he has standing to seek preliminary injunctive relief. Summers v. Earth Island Institute, 555 U.S. 488, 493-94, 129 S.Ct. 1142, 1149 (2009); Mayfield v. United States, 599 F.3d 964, 969 (9th Cir. 2010). Plaintiff "must show that he is under threat of suffering an 'injury in fact' that is concrete and particularized; the threat must be actual and imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical; it must be fairly traceable to challenged conduct of the defendant; and it must be likely that a favorable judicial decision will prevent or redress the injury." Summers, 555 U.S. at 493 (citation and quotation marks omitted); Mayfield, 599 F.3d at 969.

         The medical care claims which Plaintiff alleges arise from events which occurred at the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility ("SATF") in Corcoran, California. Plaintiff is currently housed at the California Institution for Men ("CEVf") in Chino, California. Accordingly, Plaintiff lacks standing to seek relief directed at remedying his current conditions of confinement at CEVI. Further, to the extent that his motion for temporary restraining order seeks relief to remedy his conditions of confinement for the time he was at SATF, it was rendered moot on his transfer to CFM. See Dilley v. Gunn, 64 F.3d 1365, 1368 (9th Cir. 1995); Johnson v. Moore, 948 F.2d 517, 519 (9th Cir. 1991). Thus, Plaintiffs motion for a preliminary injunction must be denied. However, the Warden and Litigation Office are requested to look into the matter and facilitate Plaintiffs access to medical care that has been ordered for him by his treating physicians and any specialists.[1]

         Accordingly, the Court HEREBY RECOMMENDS that Plaintiffs motion for injunctive relief, filed on May 10, 2017, be DENIED. The Clerk's Office is directed to forward a copy of this order and Plaintiffs motion to the Warden and the Litigation Coordinator at California Institution for Men to facilitate Plaintiffs access to the medical care ordered for him by his treating physicians and any specialists.

         These Findings and Recommendations 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 thirty (30) days after being served with these Findings and Recommendations, Plaintiff may file written objections with the Court. Local Rule 304(b). The document should be captioned "Objections to Magistrate Judge's Findings and Recommendations." Failure to file objections within the specified time may result in the waiver of rights on appeal. Wilkerson v. Wheeler, 772 F.3d 834, 839 (9th Cir. 2014) (citing Baxter v. Sullivan, 923 F.2d 1391, 1394 (9th Cir. 1991)).

         IT IS SO ORDERED.

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Notes:

[1] How access is best facilitated in light of Plaintiff's housing status and other custody or classification factors is left to the sound ...


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