United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO (1) DENY
DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO STRIKE AND (2) DENY
PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION (ECF NOS.
18, 31, 34, 40) FOURTEEN (14) DAY DEADLINE
Michael J. Seng UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a civil detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis
in this civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. The action proceeds on Plaintiff's claim
that, on separate occasions, Defendants Bigot and Bell denied
Plaintiff access to religious items in violation of
Plaintiff's First Amendment free exercise rights. (ECF
Nos. 16 and 19.) All other claims and Defendants have been
dismissed. (Id .)
has filed two motions for injunctive relief. (ECF Nos. 18 and
34.) Plaintiff's first motion (ECF No. 18) requests that
the Court enjoin non-parties from confiscating Native
American religious items “already issued to him and
found not to be contraband at that [sic] time he received
them.” (Id. at 1.) His second motion for
injunctive relief (ECF No. 34) does not clearly state the
relief he seeks, but appears to be related to the denial of a
“religious package” that was to be delivered to
him but was withheld by non-party prison officials, allegedly
in part at the direction of Defendant Bell.
filed motions to strike Plaintiff's injunction motions.
(ECF Nos. 31 and 40.) Defendants assert that Plaintiff's
motions raise claims separate from those in his complaint and
seek injunctive relief against non-parties. They argue that
Plaintiff's motions “fit the very definition of
immaterial matter that should be stricken to avoid the
expenditure of time and money that must arise from litigating
spurious issues by dispensing with those issues prior to
trial.” (Id.) As discussed below, they also
challenge Plaintiff's claims of Defendant Bell's
involvement in the events giving rise to Plaintiff's
second request for injunctive relief. Plaintiff filed a reply
to Defendant's first motion to strike (ECF No. 38), but
not the second.
matters are deemed submitted pursuant to Local Rule
Motion for Preliminary Injunction
relief, whether temporary or permanent, is an
“extraordinary remedy, never awarded as of
right.” Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council,
555 U.S. 7, 22 (2008). Plaintiffs seeking a preliminary
injunction must establish that they are likely to succeed on
the merits, that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm
in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of
equities tips in their favor, and that an injunction is in
the public interest. Am. Trucking Ass'ns, Inc. v.
City of Los Angeles, 559 F.3d 1046, 1052 (9th Cir. 2009)
(quoting Winter, 555 U.S. at 20).
Court does not have jurisdiction to order injunctive relief
which would require directing parties not before the Court to
take action. Zepeda v. United States Immigration &
Naturalization Serv., 753 F.2d 719, 727 (9th Cir. 1985)
(“A federal court may issue an injunction 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.”).
Rule 12(f) Motion to Strike
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f), the Court may
“strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any
redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous
matter.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f). “Redundant
allegations are those that are needlessly repetitive or
wholly foreign to the issues involved in the action.”
Cal. Dep't of Toxic Substances Control v. Alco
Pacific, Inc., 217 F.Supp.2d 1028, 1033 (C.D. Cal. 2002)
(internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Immaterial
matter is “that which has no essential or important
relationship to the claim for relief or the defenses being
pleaded.” Fantasy, Inc. v. Fogerty, 984 F.2d
1524, 1527 (9th Cir. 1993) (internal quotation marks and
citations omitted), rev'd on other grounds, 510 U.S. 517
(1994). Impertinent matter “consists of statements that
do not pertain, and are not necessary, to the issues in
question.” Id. And scandalous matter is that
which “improperly casts a derogatory light on someone,
most typically on a party to the action.” Germaine
Music v. Universal Songs of Polygram, 275 F.Supp.2d
1288, 1300 (D. Nev. 2003) (internal quotation marks and
motions to strike are “often used as delaying tactics,
” they are “generally disfavored” and are
rarely granted in the absence of prejudice to the moving
party. Rosales v. Citibank, FSB, 133 F.Supp.2d 1177,
1180 (N.D. Cal. 2001). “Where the moving party cannot
adequately demonstrate . . . prejudice, courts frequently
deny motions to strike even though the offending matter was
literally within one or more of the categories set forth in
Rule 12(f).” N.Y.C. Emps.' Ret. Sys. v.
Berry, 667 F.Supp.2d 1121, 1128 (N.D. Cal. 2009). Courts
may find prejudice “where superfluous pleadings may
confuse the jury, or where a party may be required to engage
in burdensome discovery around frivolous matters.”
J & J Sports Prods., Inc. v. Luhn, Civ. No.
2:10- 3229 JAM CKD, 2011 WL 5040709, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Oct.
24, 2011) (citations omitted).