United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
MAUREEN P. KELLY CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
William Tierno (“Plaintiff”), an inmate at the
State Correctional Institution at Greene (ASCI-Greene@), has
presented a civil rights complaint, which he has been granted
leave to prosecute without prepayment of costs, alleging that
Defendants violated his rights provided by the Eighth
Amendment to the United States Constitution. Plaintiff
contends that, despite having informed Defendants that he had
been labeled as a “snitch” and was in danger,
Defendants failed to protect him resulting in Plaintiff being
assaulted by another inmate on January 17, 2017.
before this Court is a Motion for Preliminary Injunction and
a supplemental Motion for Preliminary Injunction submitted by
Plaintiff, ECF Nos. 24 and 26, wherein Plaintiff complains
that Defendants are still failing to protect him by
contemplating his return to general population and that a
misconduct has been fabricated against him in retaliation for
filing this lawsuit and a grievance regarding access to the
law library. Plaintiff asks the Court to order Defendant
Gilmore “and all line staff to cease from placing
Plaintiff back into general population, and to cease any
further retaliation against Plaintiff.” ECF No. 24, at
preliminary injunction is an extraordinary and drastic remedy
that "should not be lightly indulged in, but used
sparingly and only in a clear and plain case." Emile
v. SCI-Pittsburgh, No. 04-974, 2006 WL 2773261, at *6
(W.D. Pa. Sept. 24, 2006), quoting Plain Dealer
Publ'g Co. v. Cleveland Typographical Union #53, 520
F.2d 1220, 1230 (6th Cir. 1975). See AT&T
v. Winback and Conserve Prog. Inc., 42 F.3d 1421,
1426-27 (3d Cir. 1994). "[G]reat caution" and
"judicial restraint" are particularly called for in
the prison context where "complex and intractable
problems of prison administration" are implicated.
Goff v. Harper, 60 F.3d 518, 520 (8th Cir. 1995).
See Bailey v. Gagnon, No. 06-1154, 2009 WL 982694,
at *1 (W.D. Pa. April 9, 2009).
determining whether a preliminary injunction is warranted,
the District Court is to consider “(1) whether the
movant has a reasonable probability of success on the merits;
(2) whether irreparable harm would result if the relief
sought is not granted; (3) whether the relief would result in
greater harm to the non-moving party, and (4) whether the
relief is in the public interest.” Monroe v.
Bryan, No. 12-1627, 2012 WL 2478375, at *1 (3d Cir. June
29, 2012), quoting Swartzwelder v. McNeilly, 297
F.3d 228, 234 (3d Cir. 2002). See Abu-Jamal v.
Price, 154 F.3d 128, 133 (3d Cir. 1998) (for an inmate
to sustain his burden of proof that he is entitled to a
preliminary injunction, he must demonstrate both a reasonable
likelihood of success on the merits and that he will be
irreparably harmed if the requested relief is not granted).
"[I]t is the movant's burden to show that the
'preliminary injunction must be the only way of
protecting the plaintiff from harm.'" Emile v.
SCI-Pittsburgh, 2006 WL 2773261, at *6, quoting
Campbell Soup Co. v. ConAgra, Inc., 977 F.2d 86, 91 (3d
Cir. 1992). Indeed, because "[t]he purpose of a
preliminary injunction is to preserve the status
quo, not to decide the issues on their merits[, ]
Anderson v. Davila, 125 F.3d 148, 156 (3d Cir.
1997), irreparable harm is established by showing that the
plaintiff will suffer injury that "cannot be redressed
by a legal or an equitable remedy following trial."
Messner v. Bunner, No. 07-112E, 2009 WL 1406986, at
*4 (W.D. Pa. May 19, 2009), quoting Instant Air Freight
Co. v. C.F. Air Freight, Inc., 882 F.2d 797, 801 (3d
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has
found, these four factors suggest that “there must be a
relationship between the injury claimed in the party's
motion and the conduct asserted in the complaint.”
Ball v. Famiglio, 396 F. App'x 836, 837 (3d Cir.
2010), quoting Little v. Jones, 607 F.3d 1245, 1251
(10th Cir. 2010). See Adams v. Freedom Forge
Corp., 204 F.3d 475, 489-90 (3d Cir. 2000) (affirming
the denial of injunctive relief where the harm alleged was
insufficiently related to the complaint); Spencer v.
Stapler, No. 04-1532, 2006 WL 2052704, at *9 (D. Ariz.
July 21, 2006) (“Plaintiff's motion [for injunctive
relief] concerns events that are unrelated to the subject of
his complaint and that concerns conduct of persons other than
the Defendants. Plaintiff's request will therefore be
denied”). Moreover, there is a “general rule that
a court may not enter an injunction against a person who has
not been made a party to the case before it.”
Additive Controls & Measurement Sys., Inc. v.
Flowdata, Inc., 96 F.3d 1390, 1394 (Fed. Cir. 1996),
citing Scott v. Donald, 165 U.S. 107, 117 (1897)
(“[t]he decree is also objectionable because it enjoins
persons not parties to the suit”).
Plaintiff is unable to meet his burden. Indeed, Defendants
have submitted the Declaration of Mark DiAlesandro, the
Deputy Superintendent for Centralized Services at SCI-Greene
and chair of the Program Review Committee
(“PRC”), who is familiar with Plaintiff's
history and housing status, in which he states that
“despite extensive investigation by Security staff,
inmate Tierno's self-reported level of risk could never
be verified, ” and that “[c]ontrary to what
inmate Tierno is suggesting in this case, there is no
evidence that he was assaulted or attacked by anyone while in
general population at SCI-Greene, in January of 2017 or at
any other time.” ECF No. 29-1¶¶ 1-2, 4.
Deputy DiAlesandro also states that he personally
investigated Plaintiff's claims that other inmates are
calling him a “snitch” and his fears relative to
being returned to general population and found that there was
a single inmate in the Diversionary Treatment Unit
(“DTU”) who was verbally lashing out at Plaintiff
and calling him a snitch. Id. ¶ 4. That inmate
was told to stop and, when he refused, he was given a
misconduct and removed from the unit. Id. There have
been no other problems and thus Deputy DiAlesandro has
concluded that Plaintiff is not at risk.
Deputy DiAlesandro declares that, although Plaintiff is
currently housed in the DTU, having received a misconduct in
early July, 2017, at the end of his disciplinary time
“he will not be forced to move to general population
block” even if the PRC determines that it is
appropriate. Id. ¶ 3. Indeed, Deputy
DiAlesandro states that Plaintiff has requested, and been
granted, protective custody on AC status many times.
Id. ¶ 2. It also appears that, although
Plaintiff has recently chosen to decline contact with the
PRC, he has had the opportunity, and will continue to have
the opportunity, to meet with the PRC on a weekly basis and
discuss his situation and any concerns he has. Id.
these circumstances, this Court is hard pressed to find that
Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits of his claims or
that he will be irreparably harmed if injunctive relief is
not granted. Not only does there appear to be a lack of
evidence to support Plaintiff's allegations of an assault
in January of 2017, but Plaintiff is not currently housed in
general population where he believes he is at risk. Moreover,
at such time as the PRC determines that it is appropriate to
send Plaintiff back to general population, he has the option
of declining his placement there.
with respect to Plaintiff's retaliation claim, not only
was Plaintiff found guilty of the misconduct, but Plaintiff
contends that the misconduct was issued by some unnamed
officer who is not a Defendant in this action. See
Bonaparte v. Beck, 441 F.App'x 830, 832-33 (3d Cir.
Aug. 3, 2011) (a finding of guilt of the underlying
misconduct necessarily establishes that the same action would
have been taken even if the plaintiff had not engaged in the
protected activity and precludes a finding that the
misconduct was issued in order to retaliate against him);
Israel v. Superintendent of SCI Fayette, No. 08-428,
2009 WL 693248, at *11 (W.D. Pa. Mar. 13, 2009). As such,
injunctive relief in this regard would be inappropriate.
Accordingly, the following Order is entered:
NOW, this 15th day of September, 2017, upon
consideration of Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary
Injunction and supplemental Motion for Preliminary Injunction
and Defendants' Response thereto, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED
that Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction and a
supplemental Motion for Preliminary Injunction, ECF Nos. 24
and 26, are DENIED.
 Deputy DiAlesandro also represents
that the absence of any evidence to support Plaintiff's
claims that he was assaulted or attacked by anyone in January
of 2017 evidences that Plaintiff is, in fact, simply
repeating his well-known and disingenuous “pattern of
manipulating for a transfer which he began late in 2016,
shortly after his transfer to SCI-Greene, ” and that
despite Plaintiff's increased efforts in this regard, ...