United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION REGARDING PLAINTIFF'S
MOTION FOR ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE AND RETURN OF PROPERTY [ECF
John Wesley Williams is appearing pro se in this civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for an order to
show cause and return of property, filed November 18, 2019.
Defendants filed a response on December 10, 2019. Plaintiff
did not file a reply.
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
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.
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.” Plaintiff is not entitled to any
relief that is not narrowly drawn to correct the violation of
his rights at issue in this action. Plaintiff contends that
his property is being “unlawfully withheld” at
California State Prison-Corcoran. Plaintiff seeks an
“order to show cause and return of all legal case files
properties associated with this action that are being
unlawfully withheld at California State Prison Corcoran
(CSPC) where defendants work or reside.” (ECF No. 112
at 1.) Plaintiff declares, in pertinent part, the following:
About April 2018, I was transfer[r]ed from California State
Prison Corcoran (CSPC) to Richard J. Donovan (RJD) where I
was recorded to have and maintain four box of legal property
which consist of legal case files, exhibits, and evidence in
pending civil case no. 1:16-cv-01584-LJO-SAB;
1:17-cv-01310-AWI-JLT; 2:16-cv-03002-JAM-DMC; as well as
records related to my current criminal conviction and other
miscellaneous legal and personal papers, all meticulously
stored in individualized plastic bags recycled from prison
lunch meals, then placed in recycled court manilla envelopes
for safe keep and storage. Each envelope is labeled by case
number and/or brief inscription. In addition to the four
legal boxes I am recorded with two box of personal property
items which total six (6) boxes.
On or about July 10, 2018, I was summoned from RJD to CSPC to
participate in a settlement conference in the instant action
before Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe, as well as appear on a
criminal case no. 18cm4292 matter in the Kings County
Superior Court, and RJD property officials inadvertently
forwarded the four legal boxes to CSPC. See Exhibit
“A” herein; however, none of such legal property
was ever issued to me at CSPC, and upon return to RJD, on
August 8, 2018, only three legal boxes had returned from
CSPC, see also Exhibit “A”; the fourth arriving a
week or so later before returned to me at RJD.
On January 23, 2019, RJD property officer Cowart updated my
RJD property card to reflect the six boxes referenced above.
See Exhibit “B” herein.
Between January and February 2019, I was heavily engaged in
civil discovery in this action, including case no.
2:16-03002-JAM-DMC, which caused an increase in legal
property. On February 5, 2019, I was again temporarily
transfer[r]ed from RJD to CSPC for court appearance in Kings
County Superior Court while the six boxes of legal and
personal property referenced was held at RJD.
On about February 15, 2019, CSPC officials manufactured an
indecent exposure charge which remanded me to the CSPC
indecent exposure program for 90 days, during which time I
made countless effort to retrieve the six boxes from RJD
while too prosecuting and defending this action, and those
referenced, without case file records.
On April 5, 2019, CSPC officer Zapata generated a CDCR 1083,
purporting to have inventoried and issued property from RJD,
to me on 4-5-19, however, I was held captive in CSPC indecent
exposure program from about February 15, 2019, to May 14,
2019, and was “never” issued such property was
“never” informed that CSPC had received said
property from RJD, and had absolutely no knowledge of such.
See Exhibit “C” herein.
In fact, if the Court were to conduct an evidentiary hearing
it would be undisputed by mental health progress notes by
licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) Edmonds that the
unlawful placement and retention in CSPC indecent exposure
program without property provoked a series of self injurious
behaviors from cutting which prompt referral to ...