United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
Paradise Baxter Magistrate Judge
Barry Fischer United States District Judge
before the Court are the transcribed Report and
Recommendation (Docket Nos. 14 and 15) of Magistrate Judge
Susan Paradise Baxter from the March 17, 2017, hearing on
Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction and/or
Temporary Restraining Order (Docket No. 11), Plaintiff's
Objections (Docket No. 16) thereto, and Defendants'
Response (Docket No. 18). Magistrate Judge Baxter recommends
denying Plaintiff's Motion due to his conflicting claims
regarding sexual assault, his inability to abide by the rules
of the prison's Special Needs Unit (“SNU”),
his disciplinary record, and his failure to demonstrate the
likelihood of irreparable harm. (Docket No. 15 at 8 - 9).
Court notes that:
[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, 117 S.Ct.
1865, 138 L.Ed.2d 162 (1997) (emphasis deleted). Furthermore,
the Court must recognize that an “[i]njunction is an
equitable remedy which should not be lightly indulged in, but
used sparingly and only in a clear and plain case.”
Plain Dealer Publishing Co. v. Cleveland Typographical
Union # 53, 520 F.2d 1220, 1230 (6th Cir.1975), cert.
denied, 428 U.S. 909, 96 S.Ct. 3221, 49 L.Ed.2d 1217 (1977).
As a corollary to the principle that preliminary injunctions
should issue only in a clear and plain case, the Court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit has observed that “upon
an application for a preliminary injunction to doubt is to
deny.” Madison Square Garden Corp. v.
Braddock, 90 F.2d 924, 927 (3d Cir.1937).
Hall v. Smith, 2015 WL 75042, at *2 (W.D. Pa. Jan.
6, 2015) (quoting Emile v. SCI-Pittsburgh, 2006 WL
2773261, at *6 (W.D. Pa. Sept. 24, 2006)).
cites to the Prison Rape Elimination Act, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 15601, et seq. (“PREA”),
generally, and Pennsylvania Department of Corrections policy,
specifically, to support his request to be removed from the
general population and be placed in the SNU. (Docket No. 16).
According to DC-ADM 802 § 1(A)(3)(d), “Alternative
Placements can include, but are not limited to, any one, or
combination of, the following temporary options:
a. Moving to a different housing unit;
b. Placement in a cell closer to the Corrections
Officer's desk within the unit;
c. Placement in a single cell (Z Code); and
d. Placement in the Special Needs Unit (SNU).”
No. 18 at 2). Plaintiff argues that due to his youthful
appearance, he is at risk for, and has been the victim of,
sexual assault. (Docket No. 16). The sexual assault
purportedly took place after Plaintiff was initially removed
from the SNU. (Docket No. 15 at 2). Plaintiff filed a
grievance through the PREA, but to no avail. (Id. at
when questioned by Magistrate Judge Baxter, Plaintiff
provided conflicting testimony regarding the time of his
sexual assault, and could not identify the perpetrator.
(Docket No. 3 - 4, 7). Additionally, Defendants indicated
that when an investigation into the matter was attempted,
Plaintiff was uncooperative and denied that an assault had
occurred. (Id. at 4, 6). Plaintiff contested this
account. (Id. at 7).
Swanson, the SNU counselor, testified that while in SNU,
Plaintiff exhibited behavioral issues, threatened other
inmates in SNU, attempted to extort other inmates in SNU, and
was not compliant with medications prescribed while in SNU.
(Docket No. 15 at 5). Plaintiff also did not actively
participate in mental health groups offered by the SNU.
(Id.). Medication compliance and attendance at
mental health sessions are both important criteria when ...