United States District Court, D. Colorado
WILLIAM B. ELLER, Plaintiff,
MR. TOUCHE, MRS. RUCH, MRS. PARK, MRS. TAVNER, MR. LEFEVER, MR. RUSSELL, SARAH DARULA, and NICOLE ALBRIGHT, Defendants.
RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE
MICHAEL E. HEGARTY, Magistrate Judge.
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary
Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction
("Motion") [filed December 11, 2015; docket #3].
The Motion is referred to this Court for recommendation.
See docket #18. Based on clearly established law,
the Court decides this matter without further briefing. For
the following reasons, the Court recommends Plaintiff's
Motion be denied.
is incarcerated at Buena Vista Correctional Complex
("BVCC") in Buena Vista, Colorado. Plaintiff
initiated this lawsuit, proceeding pro se, on
December 11, 2015. Docket #1. Plaintiff brings eight claims,
asserting numerous violations of the Eighth Amendment and
other constitutional provisions against seven named
Defendants for events that occurred when he was incarcerated
at Sterling Correctional Center ("SCC") in
Sterling, Colorado. See dockets ##1, 5.
Motion presently before the Court, which appears to have been
filed before Plaintiff was transferred from SCC to BVCC,
Plaintiff represents that the named Colorado Department of
Corrections ("CDOC") employees were continuing to
threaten Plaintiff with violence for filing this lawsuit.
Docket #3 at 2. Because Plaintiff asserts Defendants broke
his leg while escorting him at SCC and then intentionally
deprived him of medical care - the basis of his Complaint -
his present Motion seeks an order from the Court to
"transfer and reassign all named [D]efendants to other
working areas, housing units and issue a [500-foot] and no
contact order." Id. at 5.
Court recommends denial of Plaintiff's Motion as his
transfer to BVCC makes his request moot in that he cannot
show any possibility of irreparable injury in the absence of
Standard of Review
Pro Se Pleadings
federal court must construe a pro se plaintiff's
"pleadings liberally, applying a less stringent standard
than is applicable to pleadings filed by lawyers. [The]
court, however, will not supply additional factual
allegations to round out a plaintiff's complaint or
construct a legal theory on plaintiff's behalf."
Whitney v. New Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th
Cir. 1997) (quotations and citations omitted). The Tenth
Circuit interpreted this rule to mean, "if the court can
reasonably read the pleadings to state a valid claim on which
the plaintiff could prevail, it should do so despite the
plaintiff's failure to cite proper legal authority, his
confusion of various legal theories, his poor syntax and
sentence construction, or his unfamiliarity with pleading
requirements." Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106,
1110 (10th Cir. 1991). However, this interpretation is
qualified in that it is not "the proper function of the
district court to assume the role of advocate for the pro se
Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction
of a temporary restraining order is subject to the
court's discretion. Hinkel Dry Goods Co. v. Wichison
Indus. Gas Co., 64 F.2d 881, 883 (10th Cir. 1933). Where
the opposing party has notice, the procedure and standards
for issuance of a temporary restraining order mirror those
for a preliminary injunction. 11A Charles Alan Wright, Arthur
Miller & Mary Kay Kane, Federal Practice and Procedure Â§ 2951
(2d ed. 1995).
preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy that should
be granted only when the moving party clearly and
unequivocally demonstrates its necessity. Schrier v.
Univ. of Colo., 427 F.3d 1253, 1258 (10th Cir. 2005). In
the Tenth Circuit, a party requesting a preliminary
injunction must clearly establish that: (1) the party will
suffer irreparable injury unless the injunction issues; (2)
the threatened injury outweighs whatever damage the proposed
injunction may cause the opposing party; (3) the injunction,
if issued, would not be adverse to the public interest; and
(4) there is a substantial likelihood of success on the
merits. Id. (citations omitted). The burden is on
the movant to establish his right to the relief requested.
Penn v. San Juan Hosp., Inc., 528 F.2d 1181, 1185
(10th Cir. 1975).
Plaintiff cannot meet the first element for the issuance of a
temporary restraining order as his move from SCC, where
Defendants work, to BVCC obviates any possibility of
irreparable injury in the absence of injunctive relief.
Furthermore, the issuance of a temporary restraining order
under these circumstances would damage Defendants
disproportionately to the injury alluded to by Plaintiff as
Plaintiff seeks reassignment of the officers to other
facilities. The Court also notes that prison officials retain
great discretion in the handling of prison affairs, for the
purpose of managing prisons safely and effectively, raising
questions regarding whether issuance of such an injunction
would be in the public interest. See, e.g.,Meachum v. Fano,427 U.S. 215 (1976). ...