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Koch v. Price

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 21, 2019

ROLAND THOMAS KOCH, Plaintiff,
v.
BRANDON PRICE, et.al., Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION RECOMMENDING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF BE DENIED [ECF NO. 19]

         Plaintiff Roland Thomas Price is a civil detainee proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         On June 14, 2019, Plaintiff filed a request for a court order to have “some (like a marshal) to come collect, do copies etc., and deliver said REAL legal correspondence, ” because he does not have access to the law library. The Court construes Plaintiff's request as a request for a preliminary injunction.

         I. DISCUSSION

         The purpose of a temporary restraining order or 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. University of Texas v. Camenisch, 451 U.S. 390, 395 (1981). “A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction [or temporary restraining order] 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, 20 (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 (1997) (quotations and citations omitted) (emphasis in original). A party seeking a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction simply cannot prevail when that motion is unsupported by evidence.

         Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and in considering a request for preliminary injunctive relief, the Court is bound by the requirement that as a preliminary matter, it have before it an actual case or controversy. City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 102 (1983); Valley Forge Christian Coll. V. Ams. United for Separation of Church and State, Inc., 454 U.S. 464, 471 (1982). If the Court does not have an actual case or controversy before it, it has no power to hear the matter in question. Id. 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.”

         A federal court may issue emergency injunctive relief only if it has personal jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter jurisdiction over the lawsuit. See Murphy Bros., Inc. v. Michetti Pipe Stringing, Inc., 526 U.S. 344, 350 (1999) (noting that one “becomes a party officially, and is required to take action in that capacity, only upon service of summons or other authority-asserting measure stating the time within which the party served must appear to defend.”). The Court may not attempt to determine the rights of persons not before it. See Hitchman Coal & Coke Co. v. Mitchell, 245 U.S. 229, 234-35 (1916); Zepeda v. INS, 753 F.2d 719, 727-28 (9th Cir. 1983).

         The Court has no jurisdiction to issue the order requested by Plaintiff. On February 8, 2019, the undersigned issued Findings and Recommendations recommending that the instant action be dismissed for failure to state a cognizable claim for relief. Thus, there is no case or controversy before the Court, and the Court has no jurisdiction to issue any preliminary injunctions. Furthermore, Plaintiffs claim that he does not have access to the law library for copies, and other things, is belied by the fact that on June 19, 2019, he submitted an amended complaint in this action which was lodged by the Court. Therefore, the Court recommends that Plaintiffs motion for preliminary injunctive relief be denied.

         II. RECOMMENDATION

         Based on the foregoing, it is HEREBY RECOMMENDED that Plaintiffs motion for injunctive relief, filed on June 14, 2019, be DENIED.

         This Findings and Recommendation will be submitted to the United States District Judge assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Within fourteen (14) days after being served with this Findings and Recommendation, Plaintiff may file written objections with the Court. The document should be captioned “Objections to Magistrate Judge's Findings and Recommendation.” Plaintiff is advised that failure to file objections within the specified time may result in the waiver ...


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