United States District Court, D. Delaware
Jose Santiago was an inmate at the Howard R. Young
Correctional Institution in Wilmington, Delaware, when he
filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (D.I. 3
at 2). Plaintiff appears pro se and has been granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (D.I. 6). On
November 7, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion for a temporary
restraining order seeking injunctive relief alleging
retaliation by Defendant Lt. Gray for commencing this action.
(D.I. 16, 17). Defendants oppose the motion. (D.I. 21).
Motion for Injunctive Relief.
preliminary injunction is "an extraordinary remedy that
should be granted only if (1) the plaintiff is likely to
succeed on the merits; (2) denial will result in irreparable
harm to the plaintiff; (3) granting the injunction will not
result in irreparable harm to the defendant; and (4) granting
the injunction is in the public interest."
NutraSweet Co. v. Vit-Mar Enterprises, Inc., 176
F.3d 151, 153 (3d Cir. 1999). The elements also apply to
temporary restraining orders. See NutriSweet Co. v.
Vit-Mar Enterprises., Inc., 112 F.3d 689, 693 (3d Cir.
1997) (a temporary restraining order continued beyond the
time permissible under Rule 65 must be treated as a
preliminary injunction, and must conform to the standards
applicable to preliminary injunctions). "[F]ailure to
establish any element in [a plaintiff's] favor renders a
preliminary injunction inappropriate."
NutraSweet, 176 F.3d at 153. Furthermore, because of
the intractable problems of prison administration, a request
for injunctive relief in the prison context must be viewed
with considerable caution. Rush v. Correctional Med.
Services, Inc., 287 Fed.Appx. 142, 144 (3d Cir. 2008)
(citing Gofrv. Harper, 60 F.3d 518, 520 (8th Cir.
alleges that Gray directed another correctional officer to
file a false disciplinary report against him. Plaintiff was
charged with three violations. (D.I. 16) A disciplinary
hearing was held, at which Plaintiff provided documentation
against Gray, and was found not guilty of all charges.
(Id.). Plaintiff seeks an order for Gray to
"stop harassing him, writing 'bogus'
disciplinary reports on him and to just leave him
alone." (D.I. 16). On December 3, 2018, Plaintiff filed
a notice of change of address advising the Court that he is
now housed at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in
Smyrna, Delaware. (D.I. 22).
their opposition to Plaintiffs motion, Defendants note that
even if the disciplinary report was not valid, there is a
proper and effective system in place to ensure allegations
are investigated before privileges are suspended or
punishment is issued (i.e., before injury occurs).
Defendants argue that Plaintiff has not met his burden to
prove a threat of immediate irreparable injury.
Inasmuch as Plaintiff is no longer housed at the HRYCI,
injunctive relief may not issue. "The relevant inquiry
is whether the movant is in danger of suffering irreparable
harm at the time the preliminary injunction is to be
issued." SI Handling Sys., Inc. v.
Heisley, 753 F.2d 1244, 1264 (3d Cir. 1985). Because
Plaintiff is no longer housed at the same correctional
facility as Gray, it is implausible that he will suffer
irreparable harm because of speculative retaliation by Gray.
addition, proof of a retaliation claim requires Plaintiff
demonstrate that: (1) he engaged in protected activity; (2)
he was subjected to adverse actions by a state actor; and (3)
the protected activity was a substantial motivating factor in
the state actor's decision to take adverse action.
Carter v. McGrady, 292 F.3d 152, 158 (3d Cir. 2002)
(citing Mt. Healthy Bd. of Educ. v. Doyle, 429 U.S.
274, 287 (1977)); see also Allah v. Seiverling, 229
F.3d 220 (3d Cir. 2000) (a factfinder could conclude that
retaliatory placement in administrative confinement would
"deter a person of ordinary firmness from exercising his
First Amendment rights").
Considering the evidence submitted, the Court concludes that
Plaintiff has not met the requirements for injunctive relief.
Upon receipt of a disciplinary report, a hearing was held,
Plaintiff presented evidence, and he was found not guilty.
Even if the disciplinary report was issued in retaliation for
commencing this action (and it is far from clear that it
was), Plaintiff has failed to show the likelihood of success
on the merits or irreparable harm. Therefore, the Court will
deny the motion.
above reasons, the Court will deny the motion for injunctive
relief as moot and for Plaintiffs failure to meet the
requisites for injunctive ...