United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
F. BRENNAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action
brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, has filed two
“emergency motion(s) for immediate injunction”
(ECF Nos. 41 & 44) and a motion for summary judgment (ECF
No. 48). Defendants have filed oppositions to these motions.
ECF Nos. 49 & 53. Plaintiff has filed replies. ECF Nos.
54 & 55. Defendants have filed a motion to strike
plaintiff's reply to their opposition to his summary
judgment motion. ECF No. 67. For the reasons discussed below,
it is recommended that each motion be denied.
Motions for Immediate Injunction
relief - either temporary or permanent - is an
“extraordinary remedy, never awarded as of
right.” Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council,
555 U.S. 7, 22 (2008). The Supreme Court has held that:
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 20. Additionally, “[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.” Zepeda v. United States
Immigration & Naturalization Service, 753 F.2d 719,
727 (9th Cir. 1983).
motions, plaintiff alleges that he is in immediate danger as
a result of: (1) receiving inadequate medical care; (2)
defendants telling other inmates he is a
“snitch”; (3) sexual assault by non-defendant
prison staff; (4) non-defendant prison staff's refusal to
provide him meals; and (5) non-defendant prison staff
interfering with his administrative appeals. ECF Nos. 41
& 44. In his first motion, he asks the court to order his
transfer out of the California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation. ECF No. 41 at 2. Plaintiff states that, if
necessary, he is willing to serve his sentence in federal
custody. Id. In his second motion, plaintiff asks
the court to order defendants to explain why he is not being
provided with medical care. ECF No. 44 at 3. He also requests
that the court take some unspecified action to protect him
from the retaliation and abuse being perpetrated against him
by both defendant and non-defendant staff at California
Medical Facility. Id.
underlying claims in this suit are that plaintiff was
sexually assaulted by defendant Rubino on June 24, 2016 and
that defendant Gripe denied him medical care for the injuries
sustained in that assault. ECF No. 8 at 1-2; ECF No. 32 at 3.
The Ninth Circuit has not spoken directly to the issue of
whether a motion for injunctive relief must bear some
relationship to the allegations in the plaintiff's
complaint. Other circuits, in language this court finds
persuasive, have held that a plaintiff seeking injunctive
relief must establish “a relationship between the
injury claimed in the party's motion and the conduct
asserted in the complaint.” See Devose v.
Herrington, 42 F.3d 470, 471 (8th Cir. 1994); see
also Little v. Jones, 607 F.3d 1245, 1251 (10th Cir.
2010); Colvin v. Caruso, 605 F.3d 282, 299-300 (6th
Cir. 2010); Omega World Travel, Inc. v. Trans World
Airlines, 111 F.3d 14, 16 (4th Cir. 1997). To hold
otherwise would require an aggressive and impracticable
expansion of the scope of this litigation. As such, this
court concludes that it cannot order injunctive relief based
on allegations that: (1) defendants labelled him a
‘snitch'; (2) a separate, unrelated sexual assault
was perpetrated against him by non-defendants; (3) that
prison staff has declined to provide him with meals or; (4)
that staff has interfered with his administrative appeals.
These claims, if plaintiff elects to pursue them, should be
brought in separate actions.
court turns to the lone relating claim - that he is receiving
inadequate medical care for injuries sustained during
Rubino's alleged sexual assault. Plaintiff has not
provided any evidence that he will actually suffer
irreparable harm if his motion is not granted. He fails to
allege, for instance, the precise inadequacies in his medical
care or the exact relief he would have the court fashion if
it were to rule in his favor. The court recognizes that
plaintiff has requested that the court order defendants to
explain why he is being denied adequate care. ECF No. 44 at
3. But defendants have already denied plaintiff's
inadequate care allegations by way of their answer to his
complaint - which was filed after plaintiff's second
motion for preliminary injunction. ECF No. 46. Additionally,
they have filed an opposition wherein they deny inadequacies
in plaintiff's care. ECF No. 53. Attached to that motion
is an affidavit from C. Teng - plaintiff's primary care
physician - which states that, at a July 31, 2017
examination, plaintiff appeared in good spirits and did not
report any injuries. Id. at 10. The court sees no
utility in directing defendants to explain shortcomings which
they deny exist and which plaintiff has not provided any
evidence of. Finally, injunctive relief is precluded by the
fact that plaintiff has not demonstrated that he is likely to
succeed on the merits of his claims.
on the foregoing, the court recommends that both motions for
preliminary injunctive relief be denied.
Motion for ...