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Ardds v. Hudge

United States District Court, S.D. California

November 22, 2017

ANTOINE L. ARDDS, CDCR No. P-59915, Plaintiff,
v.
D. HODGE; L. ROMERO; D. PARAMO; P. BARAMONTE; G. VALDOVINOS; RENTERIA; C. GARDINEZ; McGEE; SMITH, Defendants.

          ORDER

          HAYES, Judge

         The matters before the Court are various Motions for Injunctive Relief (ECF Nos. 30, 33, 43, 47, 50, 52, 58, 63, 68, 70) filed by Plaintiff Antoine L. Ardds.

         I. Procedural Background

         Antoine L. Ardds (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se, is currently incarcerated at the Corcoran State Prison, located in Corcoran, California. On November 16, 2016, Plaintiff filed a document entitled “Coloring Agreement, ” which the Court construed as a civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1). In the three months after filing his complaint, Plaintiff filed the following documents: two certified copies of his inmate trust account statement, which the Court construed as a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (“IFP”) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) (ECF Nos. 2, 15); a Supplemental Complaint (ECF No. 8); two documents titled Ex Parte Motions, which the Court construed to be Supplemental Documents in Support of Complaint (ECF Nos. 12, 14); a Motion for Preliminary Injunction (ECF No. 6); a Motion to Dismiss Improperly Named Defendant (ECF No. 10); and an Ex Parte Notice (ECF No. 4).

         On February 28, 2017, this Court granted Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis, denied the Motion for Preliminary Injunction, granted the Motion to Dismiss an improperly named defendant, and dismissed the Complaint for failing to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. (ECF No. 18). On March 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”). (ECF No. 23). On May 4, 2017, this Court found Plaintiff's FAC “contained factual content sufficient to survive the ‘low threshold' for proceeding past the sua sponte screening required by 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b).” (ECF No. 24 at 9).

         Plaintiff has filed ten motions for injunctive relief (ECF Nos. 30, 33, 43, 47, 50, 52, 58, 63, 68, 70) and eleven declarations in support of the requested remedial measures (ECF Nos. 54, 60, 61, 64, 65, 76, 77, 80, 82, 88, 90) for alleged “continued [] acts of intimidation, harassment, threats, physical assaults on disable [sic] E.O.P. patients, ” “hinderance [sic] of Plaintiff's access to other district courts, ” “failing to send Plaintiff's legal boxs [sic], legal mail, ” (ECF No. 50 at 2, 7) and improper denial of single-cell status (ECF No. 64 at 3). On August 8, 2017 the Court ordered Defendants to reply to six Motions for Preliminary Injunction (ECF Nos. 30, 33, 43, 47, 50, 52) that Plaintiff had filed at the time. (ECF No. 53). On August 28, 2017, Defendants filed a response in opposition to the six motions for injunctive relief identified by the Court, and one motion (ECF No. 63) filed by Plaintiff subsequent to the Court's order. (ECF No. 66 at 1). On September 14, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion requesting an extension for his reply to Defendants' opposition (ECF No. 73), which the Court granted on September 19, 2017. (ECF No. 74). Plaintiff has filed additional declarations in support of his previously filed motions (ECF Nos. 76, 77, 80, 82, 88, 90) and two additional motions for injunctive relief (ECF Nos. 68, 70).

         On November 20, 2017, Plaintiff filed his reply to Defendants' Response to his motions for injunctive relief. (ECF No. 92).

         II. Contentions

         Plaintiff contends that (1) he has “been continuously harassed and denied access to legal property” (ECF No. 30 at 1); (2) his “legal boxes at RJD, have been destroyed per order by Defendant D. Paramo” (ECF No. 33 at 1); and (3) his four transfers since February 2017 are a result of Defendants' efforts to “hinder plaintiff's access to the courts by hiding him in other facilit[ies].” (ECF No. 50 at 13). Plaintiff further contends that the refusal by Defendants to place him on single cell status has put him at “substantial risk of harm from other inmates.” (ECF No. 43 at 4). Plaintiff also makes claims about alleged assaults on inmates not party to this case and requests that the Court order an investigation of the alleged assaults. (ECF Nos. 50, 63). Plaintiff requests that the Court order Defendants to “release [his] legal property so that [he] may respond to Court deadlines, ” (ECF No. 33 at 2) “place him on single cell status, ” (ECF No. 43 at 4) and “rehouse [him] on a safer and constitutional [sic] secured facility.” (ECF No. 50 at 3). Plaintiff requests that the Court “order CDCR's direct [sic] secretary, Scott Kernan to conduct an adequate investigation into the assault and battery upon inmates Dion Terrell . . . and K. Flemmings.” Id. at 10.

         Defendants contend that Plaintiff has not satisfied the requirements for injunctive intervention by the Court. (ECF No. 66 at 2). Specifically, Defendants contend that Plaintiff has not established “a likelihood of success on the merits of his underlying claim, ” a “ risk of irreparable injury if his motions are not granted, ” or “the balance of hardships that would result if his motions are denied tip in his favor.” Id. at 2. Defendants contend that Plaintiff's various requests for injunctive relief are “overly broad, vague, and based on speculation.” Id. at 4. Defendants support this contention by offering the docket reports for cases currently being litigated by Plaintiff in other courts. Defendants assert the docket reports establish that Plaintiff has not been denied access to legal materials or access to the courts. Id. at 5. Defendants contend that Plaintiff has not provided any “evidence that he meets the criteria for single-cell status.” Id. at 6. Defendants contend that Plaintiff has provided only “vague assertions” that he is unsafe at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (“RJD”) and that without any concrete evidence or allegation of specific facts, “it is difficult for Defendants to submit evidence to counter Plaintiff's vague assertions.” Id. at 6. Lastly, Defendants contend that “the Court cannot issue orders to defense counsel or outside agencies to conduct investigations with regard to inmates that are not party to this case.” Id. at 10.

         III. Legal Standard

         Rule 65(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows the Court to issue a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction. Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b). When the nonmovant has received notice, as here, the standard for issuing a temporary restraining order is the same as that for issuing a preliminary injunction. See Stuhlbarg Int'l Sales Co. v. John D. Brush & Co., 240 F.3d 832, 839 n.7 (9th Cir. 2001).

         To obtain preliminary injunctive relief, a movant must show “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 Res. Def. Council, 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008); see also Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1135 (9th Cir. 2011). At a minimum, “the moving party must demonstrate a significant threat of irreparable injury.” Arcamuzi v. Cont'l Air Lines, Inc., 819 F.2d 935, 937 (9th Cir. 1987) (citation omitted). “Issuing a preliminary injunction based only on a possibility of irreparable harm is inconsistent with our characterization of injunctive relief as an extraordinary remedy that may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such relief.” Winter, 555 U.S. at 22.

         A. Access to ...


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