United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston 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. 48) recommending
that Plaintiffs motions for injunctive relief (Dkt. Nos. 29,
35, 43) be denied. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
adopts the R & R as the Order of the Court and denies
Collins ("Plaintiff) is an incarcerated person
proceeding pro se to allege under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 that Defendants violated his constitutional rights by
denying proper medical treatment and outdoor recreation at
the Broad River Correctional Institution. (Dkt. No. 1 at 4.)
March 18, 2019, Plaintiff filed a "Motion for
Injunction" requesting that the Court order Defendants
to provide him one hour of outside recreation for the
duration of his lawsuit. (Dkt. No. 29.) On March 20, 2019,
Plaintiff filed a "Motion for Injunctive Relief
requesting that the Court stop Defendants from retaliating
against him for brining suit by refusing visitations, access
to the prison law library, and transfer after Plaintiff
claimed his life was in danger at the Dorm Wateree. (Dkt. No.
35.) On March 27, 2019, Plaintiff filed a "Memorandum in
Support of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining
Order," seeking an injunction (1) "to give
Plaintiff at least one hour of outside recreation 5 (five)
days a week"; (2) "to restrain [Defendants] from
retaliation; and (3) to give Plaintiff access to the law
library to prosecute this lawsuit. (Dkt. No. 41.) On April 5,
2019, Plaintiff filed a "Motion to Compel"
requesting that the Court "intercede and compel
Defendants" to allow Plaintiff to access the law
library. (Dkt. No. 43.) On April 8, 2019, Plaintiff filed a
brief in support of his motions for injunctive relief. (Dkt.
April 1, 2019, Defendants filed a response in opposition to
Plaintiffs motions, in support of which Warden Stephon
affirms that Plaintiff is in the Wateree Unit as a result of
his behavior history; that he may be considered for a
transfer if behavior changes; that Plaintiff may leave his
cell three times per week to shower, access the law library
or make a sick call; that Plaintiff may exercise in his cell;
and that Plaintiff is not denied visitations or access to the
law library, including where Plaintiff visited the library on
instances as recent as March 25, 2019. (Dkt. No. 42-1.)
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.
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 the
plaintiff objects to the R&R, the Court "makes a
de novo determination of those portions of the
report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to
which objection is made." Id. Where the
plaintiff 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; see also Camby v.
Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983) ("In the
absence of objection ... we do not believe that it requires
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'I Info. Sys., Inc.
v. Am. Home Realty Network, Inc., 722 F.3d 591, 595 (4th
Cir. 2013). This clear demonstration is required because the
interim relief sought is "an extraordinary remedy
involving 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 ably addressed the
issues and correctly concluded that Plaintiffs motions should
be denied. The Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge's
finding that Plaintiffs motions seek four different
injunctions, each of which does not satisfy the
Winter standard. First, Plaintiff seeks an order
enjoining Defendants to give him one hour of outdoor
recreation five days a week for the duration of this lawsuit,
but a restriction on out-of-cell exercise may be justified by
penological considerations and, therefore, does not
constitute a constitutional violation for which Plaintiff has
demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits. Next,
Plaintiff also seeks to enjoin Defendants from barring his
access to the law library, for which Plaintiff has not
demonstrated an injury in part because the record reflects
multiple visits during the pendency of this litigation.
Third, Plaintiff seeks to enjoin Defendants from denying him
visitation, but this request for injunctive relief fails
because Plaintiff makes only a conclusory allegation of one
visit being denied and he does not have a constitutional
right to visitation. Last, Plaintiff requests that he be
transferred to another institution, but the placement and
transfer of incarcerated persons is at the discretion of the
correctional institution and, therefore, Plaintiff cannot
demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits.
objects to the R & R, raising that his behavioral history
does not warrant any limitation on outdoor recreation. (Dkt.
No. 55 at 1.) Warden Stephon stated that Plaintiff is
"not locked in his cell and is not forced to stay in his
cell 24 hours per day" and that inmates in the Wateree
Unit "are not allowed to go outside to the rec field to
be with the general population." (Dkt. No. 42-1 at 2-3.)
Because, contrary to Plaintiffs objections, inmates do not
have a constitutional right to an opportunity for regular
outdoor recreation, the record does not support finding that
Plaintiff demonstrated to the Winter standard that
Defendants should be enjoined to provide that opportunity.
Plaintiff also raises that because Defendants impeded his
access to the law library, he was not aware of the
Winter standard (Dkt. No. ...