United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division
ORDER AND OPINION
Richard Mark Gergel United States District Court Judge.
the Court is the report and recommendation ("R &
R") of the Magistrate Judge (Dkt. No. 32) recommending
that Petitioner's motion (Dkt. No. 29), construed as a
motion for preliminary injunction, be denied. For the reasons
set forth below, the Court adopts the R & R as the Order
of the Court and denies Petitioner's motion.
is an incarcerated person at Broad River Correctional
Institution in Columbia, South Carolina. Petitioner proceeds
pro se and seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254 on the basis of ineffective assistance
of state court trial counsel and Brady violations.
(Dkt. No. 1 at 5-6.) Defendant Stirling, Agency Director of
the South Carolina Department of Corrections, moved for
summary judgment on the pleadings (Dkt. No. 20), which is
fully briefed by the parties. At issue here is
Petitioner's motion, docketed as a "motion for
copies at no expense." (Dkt. No. 29.) Petitioner did not
object to the R & R that this motion be denied.
Legal Standard A. Review of R&R
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court
that has no presumptive weight and the responsibility to make
a final determination remains with the Court. See, e.g.,
Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). The Court
may "accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the
findings or recommendations made by the magistrate
judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). Where a
petitioner has not objected to the R & R, the Court
reviews the R & R to "only satisfy itself that there
is no clear error on the face of the record in order to
accept the recommendation." Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory
committee's note. In the absence of objections to the R
& R, the Court need not give any explanation for adopting
the Magistrate Judge's analysis and recommendation.
See, e.g., Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th
Cir. 1983) ("In the absence of objection ... we do not
believe that it requires any explanation.").
Motion for Preliminary Injunction
seeking a preliminary injunction must make a "clear
showing" that (1) he is likely to succeed on the merits,
(2) he is likely to suffer imminent and irreparable harm
absent preliminary relief, (3) the balance of equities tip in
his favor, and (4) an injunction is in the public interest.
Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7,
20-22 (2008); see also Metro. Reg'l Info. Sys., Inc.
v. Am. Home Realty Network, Inc., 722 F.3d 591, 595 (4th
Cir. 2013). Such relief involves "the exercise of a very
far-reaching power, which is to be applied only in the
limited circumstances which clearly demand it."
Direx Israel, Ltd. v. Breakthrough Med. Corp., 952
F.2d 802, 811 (4th Cir. 1991) (citations and internal
quotation marks omitted).
Court finds that the Magistrate Judge fully addressed the
issues and correctly concluded that Petitioner's motion
should be denied. Petitioner requests a "court order
from the judge to be able to go to mail room and to the law
library [because] it's impossible [ ] to look up case
law." (Dkt. No. 29 at 1.) This request is properly
construed as a motion for preliminary injunction, which is an
"extraordinary remedy." Winter, 555 U.S.
at 24. Liberally construing this pro se
Petitioner's motion, he has not demonstrated that such
relief is warranted in that (1) he is likely to succeed on
the merits and (2) otherwise likely to suffer irreparable
harm, nor that (3) the balance of equities tip in favor of an
injunction, (4) which is also in the public interest. See
Id. at 20. It is unclear what irreparable harm
Petitioner will continue to suffer absent an Order that he
access the prison mail room and library. For example, as the
Magistrate Judge noted, there is no indication that
Petitioner missed a filing deadline or that the prison
policies have otherwise "hindered his effort to pursue a
legal claim." Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 351
(1996). To the contrary, Petitioner has filed numerous
motions and responses, including four filings since October
2018. See Long v. Vaughan, 652 Fed.Appx. 176, 178
(4th Cir. 2016) ("To prevail on a claim of denial of
access to the court, prisoners must demonstrate actual
also contends that he is being confined with no sunlight, no
recreation and weekly access to showers. (Dkt. No. 29 at 2.)
The Court takes seriously such allegations, but finds they do
not here warrant injunctive intervention and emphasizes the
availability and necessity of exhausting the prison's
administrative remedies. See S.C. Dep't Corrs.,
Inmate Grievance System, Policy GA-01.12 (providing
grievance procedure); 42 U.S.C. § 1997(e)(a) ("No
action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions
under section 1983 of this title, or any other Federal law,
by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other
correctional facility until such administrative remedies as
are available are exhausted.").
these reasons, the Magistrate Judge appropriately concluded
that Petitioner's motion should be denied.
foregoing reasons, the Court ADOPTS the R
& R (Dkt. No. 32) as the Order of the Court and
DENIES Petitioner's motion, construed as