United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
H. RAMBO United States District Judge
se Plaintiff Mark-Alonzo Williams is currently confined
at State Correctional Institution Forest, Marienville,
Pennsylvania (“SCI-Forest”). The case, raising
claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, is proceeding on
the basis of an amended complaint filed on January 3, 2017.
(Doc. No. 7.) Plaintiff names as Defendants several employees
of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
(“DOC”), and alleges, inter alia, that
while confined at SCI-Dallas, the Defendants failed to
protect him from an assault in violation of his rights under
the Eighth Amendment.
19, 2017, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to
state a claim (Doc. No. 23) and filed a brief in support.
(Doc. No. 28.) On June 30, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion for
preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. (Doc.
No. 29). In the instant motion, Plaintiff claims that his
property and papers were seized and that he has been put into
a special management unit (“SMU”). He requests
that he be released from SMU and placed back into general
population. Notably, Plaintiff has not filed a brief in
support of his motion as required by Local Rule 7.5.
Defendants have filed a brief in opposition to
Plaintiff's instant motion. (Doc. No. 30.)
Rule 7.5 requires that a party file a brief in support of any
motion. Moreover, if “the motion seeks a protective
order, a supporting brief shall be filed with the
motion.” Local Rule 7.5. “If a supporting brief
is not filed within the time period provided in this rule the
motion shall be deemed to be withdrawn.” Id.
Because Plaintiff has not filed a brief in support of his
motion in accordance with the Local Rules of Court, his
motion will be deemed withdrawn. Nevertheless, even if this
Court were to address the merits of Plaintiff's claims,
it finds that Plaintiff has not demonstrated an entitlement
to such extraordinary relief.
injunctive relief is extraordinary in nature, and is
discretionary with the trial judge. Orson, Inc. v.
Miramax Film Corp., 836 F.Supp. 309, 311 (E.D. Pa. 1993)
(citing Skehan v. Bd. of Tr. of Bloomsburg State
Coll., 353 F.Supp. 542 (M.D. Pa. 1973)). In determining
whether to grant a motion seeking preliminary injunctive
relief, courts in the Third Circuit consider the following
four factors: (1) the likelihood that the applicant will
prevail on the merits; (2) the extent to which the movant is
being irreparably harmed by the conduct complaint; (3) the
extent to which the non-moving party will suffer irreparable
harm if the preliminary injunction is issued; and (4) whether
granting preliminary injunctive relief will be in the public
interest. S & R Corp. v. Jiffy Lube Int'l,
Inc., 968 F.2d 371, 374 (3d Cir. 1992) (citing
Hoxworth v. Blinder, Robinson & Co., 903 F.2d
186, 197-98 (3d Cir. 1990)). It is the moving party that
bears the burden of demonstrating these factors. See
Dorfman v. Moorhous, No. 93-CV-6120, 1993 WL 483166, at
*1 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 24, 1993). “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).
Plaintiff has not made the demanding showing for this
extraordinary form of relief. First, while inmates frequently
invite federal courts to entertain preliminary injunctions
directing their jailers to allow them greater access to legal
materials, these requests have rarely been embraced by the
courts. See, e.g., Edmonds v. Sobina, 296
F. App'x 214, 216 n.3 (3d Cir. 2008); Wesley v.
Vaughn, No. 99-1228, 2001 WL 1391254 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 7,
2001); see Kelly v. Karnes, 2011 WL 703556, at *4
(M.D. Pa. Jan. 10, 2011) (stating that granting such a
preliminary injunction would effectively have federal courts
making ad hoc, and individual decisions concerning
access to legal materials for a single prisoner, which could
harm Defendants' and public's interest in penological
order); Monroe v. Beard, 536 F.3d 198, 210 (3d Cir.
2008) (affirming denial of preliminary injunction and
providing that grievance system is available to prisoners to
challenge seizure of property).
Plaintiff has not demonstrated that his placement in SMU was
improper, nor are there any facts to suggest that his
placement in SMU subjected him to “atypical or
significant hardship.” See Sandin v. Conner,
414 U.S. 472, 484 (1995) (holding that in a prison setting,
protected liberty interests are generally limited to freedom
from restraint that “impose  atypical and significant
hardship on the inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents
of prison life.”); Torres v. Fauver, 292 F.3d
141, 150-51 (3d Cir. 2002) (providing that placement in the
SMU is within “the ordinary incidents of prison
life” and, thus, not a violation of constitutional
rights); Griffin v. Vaughn, 112 F.3d 703, 707 (3d
Cir. 1997) (holding that exposure to the conditions of
administrative custody, even for periods as long as 15
months, “falls within the expected parameters of the
sentence imposed [on a prisoner] by a court of law.”).
for the reasons set forth above, Plaintiff's motion for
preliminary injunction and restraining order will be denied.
An appropriate order follows.
NOW, this 18th day of July, 2017, in accordance with the
accompanying Memorandum, IT IS ORDERED THAT Plaintiff's
motion for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining
order (Doc. No. 29), is DENIED.