United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division
REPORT OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE
F. MCDONALD, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the court on the plaintiff's motion to
order Broad River Correctional Institution
(“BRCI”) to let him go to the law library (doc.
45). The plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro
se, seeks relief pursuant to Title 42, United States
Code, Section 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of Title 28,
United States Code, Section 636(b)(1)(B), and Local Civ. Rule
73.02(B)(2)(d) (D.S.C.), this magistrate judge is authorized
to review all pretrial matters in cases filed under Title 42,
United States Code, Section 1983, and submit findings and
recommendations to the District Court.
motion, the plaintiff claims that he has written requests
asking to go to the law library and for certain law books,
but the BRCI staff “always [has] some type of
excuse.” He states that he needs to do research so that
he can “better prepare for [his] case.” He
requests that the court order BRCI that he “can go to
the library as well [as] be able to get law books”
(doc. 45 at 1). The plaintiff's complaint itself does not
raise a claim of denial of access to the courts (see
doc. 1). Notably, the plaintiff's motion is not directed
at the defendants in this case but rather to the institution
the relief the plaintiff seeks is injunctive in nature, the
court will treat this motion as seeking a preliminary
injunction. “Preliminary injunctions are not to be
granted automatically.” Wetzel v. Edwards, 635
F.2d 283, 286 (4th Cir. 1980) (citation omitted). Such relief
regarding the administration of a state prison should be
granted only in compelling circumstances. See Taylor v.
Freeman, 34 F.3d 266, 269-70 (4th Cir. 1994). Usually,
preliminary injunctions “aim to maintain the status quo
and prevent irreparable harm while a lawsuit remains
pending.” Pashby v. Delia, 709 F.3d 307, 319
(4th Cir. 2013). On the other hand, mandatory preliminary
injunctions, which compel action, “do not preserve the
status quo and normally should be granted only in those
circumstances when the exigencies of the situation demand
such relief.” Wetzel, 635 F.2d at 286
plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish the
following elements: 1) he is likely to succeed on the merits;
(2) he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of
preliminary relief; (3) the balance of equities tips in his
favor; and (4) an injunction is in the public interest.
Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7,
20 (2008); The Real Truth About Obama, Inc. v. Fed.
Election Comm'n, 575 F.3d 342, 346-47 (4th Cir.
2009), vacated on other grounds by 559 U.S. 1089
(2010), reinstated in relevant part on remand by 607
F.3d 355 (4th Cir. 2010). A plaintiff must make a clear
showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits of his
claim. Winter, 555 U.S. at 22; Real Truth,
575 F.3d at 345-46. Similarly, he must make a clear showing
that he is likely to be irreparably harmed absent injunctive
relief. Winter, 555 U.S. at 20-23; Real
Truth, 575 F.3d at 347. Only then may the court consider
whether the balance of equities tips in the plaintiff's
favor. See Real Truth, 575 F.3d at 346-47. Finally,
the court must pay particular regard to the public
consequences of employing the extraordinary relief of
injunction. Id. at 347 (quoting Winter, 555
U.S. at 24).
prevail on a claim of denial of access to the court,
prisoners must demonstrate actual injury.” Long v.
Vaughan, 652 Fed.Appx. 176, 178 (4th Cir. 2016) (citing
Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 350-51 (1996)).
“Thus, a prisoner must show that the prison policies
‘hindered his effort to pursue a legal
claim.'” Id. (quoting Lewis, 518
U.S. at 351). The plaintiff has failed to make such a
showing. The record in this case reflects that the plaintiff
has filed numerous motions, replies, and objections since the
filing of this case just over six months ago (see
docs. 23, 27, 44, 55, 58, 59). The above record belies any
assertion that the plaintiff is likely to suffer irreparable
harm in the absence of preliminary relief. In addition, the
balance of the equities does not tip in the plaintiff's
favor, and he has not shown that an injunction would be in
the public interest. In so finding, the court adheres to the
well-established principle “that absent the most
extraordinary circumstances, federal courts are not to
immerse themselves in the management of state prisons or
substitute their judgment for that of the trained penological
authorities charged with the administration of such
facilities.” Taylor, 34 F.3d at 268.
plaintiff also states in the motion that he is now
incarcerated in the same prison (BRCI) where the incident at
issue in this case occurred and that one of the
defendants “has been around [him]” (doc. 45 at
1). To the extent that the plaintiff is requesting that the
court order that he be transferred to another prison, the
motion should be denied. The plaintiff has not satisfied the
required elements for a preliminary injunction and has failed
to demonstrate that the circumstances warrant the
extraordinary remedy he seeks. Winter, 555 U.S. at
22 (stating that a mere possibility of harm is not sufficient
to warrant injunctive relief).
based upon the foregoing, the plaintiff's motion (doc.
45) should be denied. IT IS SO RECOMMENDED.
attention of the parties is directed to the important notice
on the next page.
of Right to File Objections to Report and
parties are advised that they may file specific written
objections to this Report and Recommendation with the
District Judge. Objections must specifically identify the
portions of the Report and Recommendation to which objections
are made and the basis for such objections. “[I]n the
absence of a timely filed objection, a district court need
not conduct a de novo review, but instead must ‘only
satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of
the record in order to accept the recommendation.'”
Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416
F.3d 310 (4th Cir. 2005) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory
written objections must be filed within fourteen 871 F.Supp.
(14) days of the date of service of this Report and
Recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(a), (d). Filing by mail
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5 may be
accomplished by mailing objections to:
Robin L. Blume, Clerk
United States District ...