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Butler v. Bessinger

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division

April 9, 2018

LAVADRE BUTLER, Plaintiff,
v.
TREVOR BESSINGER, LISA YOUNG, GREGORY WASHINGTON, MR. ESCALYNE, MR. SUAREZ, MR. BRADDY, MR. SHORTER, MR. WILLIAMS, MR. WILSON, Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          THOMAS E. ROGERS, III UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This is a civil action filed pro se by Lavadre Butler (“Plaintiff”). Plaintiff is currently housed at the Lieber Correctional Institution (LCI). This matter is currently before the court on Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction filed February 2, 2018.[1] (ECF #101). In the amended complaint, (ECF #99), Plaintiff alleges a violation of his constitutional rights by the use of excessive force and medical indifference during his confinement at Broad River Correctional Institution.

         Plaintiff requests a preliminary injunction against the Defendants and their counterparts throughout SCDC ordering them to “immediately cease all deprivation of the Plaintiff's rights and basic human needs. . . ” (ECF #101).

         Defendants Bessinger, Young, Washington, Esterline, Suarez, Braddy, Shorter, and Williams (hereinafter “Defendants”)[2] filed a response in opposition asserting that Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate that any of the four factors required by Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 19 (2008) weigh in his favor.

         DISCUSSION

         In the motion for preliminary injunction, Plaintiff asserts that his current housing unit at LCI has deteriorated in a manner that has hindered his efforts and progress in this case and “may very well violate the Plaintiff's constitutional rights.” (ECF #101 at 2). Plaintiff alleges that he is not “allowed a desk, chair, or work table for handwritten tasks nor proper electricity in the cell and unit Plaintiff is housed” in at LCI. Id. The Defendants are/were employed at Broad River Correctional Institution and not LCI. Plaintiff specifically states that “[t]hough these Defendants may not be directly responsible for the current housing and treatment of Plaintiff, Plaintiff is under the supervision and control of the Defendants SCDC Counterparts who are including but not limited to their predecessors, successors in office, agents and employees, as well as other persons throughout SCDC who may potentially acting in concert and participation with them knowingly and willingly.” (ECF #101 at 2).[3]

The standard articulated in Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 129 S.Ct. 365, 172 L.Ed.2d 249 (2008), governs the issuance of preliminary injunctions. See Real Truth About Obama, Inc. v. Fed. Election Comm'n, 607 F.3d 355 (4th Cir.2010) (per curiam) (“On further consideration, we now reissue Parts I and II of our earlier opinion in this case, 575 F.3d at 345-347, stating the facts and articulating the standard for the issuance of preliminary injunctions.”). Under the Winter standard, Plaintiff must demonstrate ‘“[1] that he is likely to succeed on the merits, [2] that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, [3] that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and [4] that an injunction is in the public interest.' ” Id. at 346 (quoting Winter, 555 U.S. at 20). All four requirements must be satisfied. Id. Furthermore, to obtain injunctive relief, Plaintiff must demonstrate more than the “possibility” of irreparable harm because the “possibility of irreparable harm” standard is inconsistent with the Supreme Court's characterization of injunctive relief as an extraordinary remedy that may only be awarded upon a clear showing that a plaintiff is entitled to such relief. Id.

         Here, Plaintiff fails to satisfy the four factors. Other than his own self-serving statements, he fails to show irreparable harm or that the equities tip in his favor. Decisions relating to the day-to-day operation of prisons are entrusted to the officials of the particular institution or correctional system. See Olim v. Wakinekona, 461 U.S. 238, 103 S.Ct. 1741, 75 L.Ed. 813 (1983). Thus, Plaintiff fails to show that an injunction would be in the public interest. Accordingly, it is recommended that Plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order be denied at this time.[4]

         CONCLUSION

         Based on the foregoing, it is recommended that Plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction (ECF #101) be DENIED.

         The plaintiff's attention is directed to the Notice on the next page.

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Notes:

[1] All pretrial proceedings in this case were referred to the undersigned pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. ยง 636(b)(1)(A) and (B) and Local Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d), DSC. Because this motion seeks injunctive relief, the report and ...


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