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Lyles v. Stirling

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

July 3, 2019

CLIFTON DONELL LYLES, Plaintiff,
v.
BRYAN STIRLING, RICHARD CATHEREN, GARY LEAMON, COACH SPEIGHT, SALLY ELLIOTT, and DELORIS BLACK, Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Thomas E. Rogers, III United States Magistrate Judge.

         This action has been filed by the Plaintiff, pro se, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging a violation of his constitutional rights. He alleges that Defendants failed to allow him sufficient exercise time as prescribed by his doctor and failed to allow him access to courts. Presently before the court is Plaintiff's Motion for Injunctive Relief (ECF No. 37). All pretrial proceedings in this case were referred to the undersigned pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and (B) and Local Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d), DSC. This Report and Recommendation is entered for review by the District Judge.

         Plaintiff asserts that he had not been allowed to use the institutional law library since January of 2018, which is, in part, the basis for this action. Prior to his PCR hearing on January 18, 2018, he was allowed only two hours to prepare. He asserts that, due to riots in April of 2018, the institutional law library has been shut down and inmates are only allowed to use the law computer located in the Restrictive Housing Unit if their Unit Manager or Counselor is willing to take them. He asserts that he has only been allowed to use the law computer three times since April of 2018. Plaintiff snuck into the law library in February of 2019 and saw that it actually was operational. Thereafter, he requested to use the law library but Defendant Black failed to respond to his request. Plaintiff also asserts that he has been moved to a unit with no desk or electrical outlets for his typewriter.

         Plaintiff asserts that his main concern is that he will not be able to meet his court deadlines for this court, the U.S. Supreme Court, the South Carolina Supreme Court, and the Court of Common Pleas. He believes the employees at the Turbeville institution where he is held are retaliating against him. He asks the court to transfer him to a different institution where he can exercise his constitutional rights without retaliation.

         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. Plaintiff fails to address these requirements in his motion. He states only that he is concerned he will miss deadlines. 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. Further, genearlly transfer to another facility is not in the public interest. 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). Substantial deference is to be given to the judgment of prison administrators. See Overton v. Bazzetta, 539 U.S. 126, 132 (2003). Functions of prison management and security must be left to the broad discretion of prison administrators to enable safe and effective management. See, e.g., Gaston v. Taylor, 946 F.2d 340, 343 (4th Cir.1991); Wetzel v. Edwards, 635 F.2d 283, 288 (4th Cir. 1980). Courts should grant preliminary injunctive relief involving the management of correctional institutions only under exceptional and compelling circumstances. See Taylor v. Freeman, 34 F.3d 266, 269 (4th Cir. 1994). The circumstances presented by Plaintiff fail to rise to the level of exceptional and compelling.

         Therefore, the injunctive relief requested by Plaintiff is not proper.

         For these reasons, it is recommended that Plaintiff's Motion for ...


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