United States District Court, D. Colorado
RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE
Kristen L. Mix United States Magistrate Judge.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction
[#28] (the “Motion for Injunctive
Relief”),  and Plaintiff's Request for Action on
His T.R.O./Preliminary Injunction Motion (Filed on 1-17-2017
-2nd Time) and Notice of Hardship [#42] (the “Motion
Requesting Action”). Defendants filed a Response [#68]
in opposition to the Motion for Injunctive
Relief. The Court has reviewed the Motions, the
Response, the entire case file, and the applicable law, and
is sufficiently advised in the premises. For the reasons set
forth below, the Court respectfully RECOMMENDS that the
Motion for Injunctive Relief [#28] be DENIED. The Motion
Requesting Action [#42] is DENIED as moot.
is a prisoner in the custody of the Colorado Department of
Corrections (“CDOC”) at the Sterling Correctional
Facility. He has brought this pro se action against various
prison officials pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See
Second Am. Compl. [#24] at 12. Plaintiff challenges the
replacement of his prescription eyeglasses with state-issued
eyeglasses that he alleges are inadequate. He also challenges
certain restrictions placed on his access to the prison's
law library and his legal materials. See id. at
36-50. Plaintiff seeks immediate injunctive relief related to
provision of new eyeglasses, unlimited and unrestricted
print-outs of and access to his legal documents, and to
“stop all ‘scrutiny' and ‘sharing'
of Plaintiff's privileged confidential legal file
information with other parties, ” among other requests.
Motion for Injunctive Relief [#28] at 25-27.
Plaintiff's Motion Requesting Action [#42] seeks a ruling
on the Motion for Injunctive Relief [#28].
Standard for Injunctive Relief
preliminary matter, because Plaintiff is proceeding pro se,
the Court must construe his pleadings liberally. Haines
v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). However,
the Court should not be the pro se litigant's advocate,
nor should the Court “supply additional factual
allegations to round out [a pro se litigant's] complaint
or construct a legal theory on [his] behalf.”
Whitney v. New Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th
Cir. 1997) (citing Hall, 935 F.2d at 1110).
relief is an extraordinary remedy that should only be granted
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 injunctive relief 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.
a showing of probable irreparable harm is the single most
important prerequisite for the issuance of a preliminary
injunction, the moving party must first demonstrate that such
injury is likely before the other requirements for the
issuance of an injunction will be considered.”
Dominion Video Satellite, Inc. v. Echostar Satellite
Corp., 356 F.3d 1256, 1260 (10th Cir. 2004) (citations
[b]ecause the limited purpose of a preliminary injunction is
merely to preserve the relative positions of the parties
until a trial on the merits can be held, we have identified
the following three types of specifically disfavored
preliminary injunctions . . . (1) preliminary injunctions
that alter the status quo; (2) mandatory preliminary
injunctions; and (3) preliminary injunctions that afford the
movant all the relief that [he] could recover at the
conclusion of a full trial on the merits.
Schrier, 427 F.3d at 1258-59 (citations omitted).
These disfavored injunctions are “more closely
scrutinized to assure that the exigencies of the case support
the granting of a remedy that is extraordinary even in the
normal course.” Id. at 1259.
seeks to change various prison rules, or at least to change
how the rules are applied to him. See generally Motion
for Injunctive Relief [#28]. Thus, Plaintiff seeks a
preliminary injunction which would require Defendants to act
and/or otherwise alter the status quo in relation to their
dealings with Plaintiff. For these reasons, the injunctive
relief sought by Plaintiff “constitutes a specifically
disfavored injunction” that “must be more closely
scrutinized.” See Schrier, 427 F.3d at 1261.
Therefore, “the right to relief must be clear and
unequivocal.” Id. at 1258.
the Court must consider well-established precedent that
prison management functions should be left to the broad
discretion of prison administrators in order to enable them
to manage prisons safely and effectively. See, e.g.,
Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215 (1976). Thus, courts
should grant injunctive relief involving the management of
prisons only under exceptional and compelling circumstances.
Taylor v. Freeman, 34 F.3d 266, 269-70 & n.2
(4th Cir. 1994); see also Citizens Concerned for
Separation of Church & State v. Denver, 628 F.2d
1289, 1299 (10th Cir. 1980). Indeed, the Tenth Circuit has
stated that it “abhor[s] any situation or circumstance
requiring the intervention of the federal courts in matters
involving the administration, control and maintenance by the
sovereign states of their penal systems. It is a delicate
role assigned to the federal courts to display that restraint
so necessary ‘in the maintenance of proper
federal-state relations.'” Battle v.
Anderson, 564 F.2d 388, 392 (10th Cir. 1977) (citation
omitted). As such, “intervention in the management of
state prisons is rarely appropriate when exercising the
equitable powers of the federal courts. . . . [This] is
especially true where mandatory injunctive relief is sought
and only preliminary findings as to the plaintiff's
likelihood of success on the merits have been made.”
Taylor, 34 F.3d at 269 (citations omitted).