United States District Court, D. South Carolina
Darrell L. Goss, Plaintiff,
Bryan P. Stirling; Charles Williams; Joel Anderson; Aaron Joyner; Michael Stephen; Scott Lewis; Willie Davis; Richard Cothran; Levern Cohen; Donnie E. Stonebreaker; Terrie Wallace; Gary Lane; John Pate; Patricia Yeldell, Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
V. HODGES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
L. Goss (“Plaintiff), proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, filed this action alleging increased violence in 13
institutions of the South Carolina Department of Corrections
(“SCDC”) resulting from an influx of gang
members, prison overcrowding, and understaffing. [ECF No. 1].
This matter comes before the court on Plaintiffs motion for a
preliminary injunction. [ECF No. 131].
pretrial proceedings in this case were referred to the
undersigned pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
636(b) and Local Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d) (D.S.C.). Because
the motion requests injunctive relief, it is dispositive, and
this Report and Recommendation is entered for the district
Factual and Procedural Background
motion, Plaintiff requests an order from this court requiring
the defendants to photocopy his handwritten legal papers for
his own use in responding to future motions in this case.
[ECF No. 131]. He argues that he used to receive these
copies, but was informed he will no longer receive them. He
argues that this refusal violates South Carolina Department
of Corrections (“SCDC”) policy GA-01.03, Section
12.1, which “explains that inmates may receive
photocopies of documents that are related to
‘challenging or appealing the inmate's
sentence' or challenging the ‘conditions of his/her
confinement.'” Id. at 2. He also cites
Section 12.2, which qualifies Section 12.1 by stating that
“[d]ocuments that have been solely originated,
generated, written, typed or created by an inmate” will
not be photocopied. Id.
response cites Section 12.2's exclusion of inmates'
handwritten documents from SCDC's copy policy. [ECF No.
139 at 3]. Defendants note that, while copying of handwritten
documents was previously provided to Plaintiff, it was
stopped because Plaintiff is in arrears to SCDC for $6,
271.45, a sum that included costs for copies from litigation
efforts dating back to 2012. Id. at 4.
Standard of Review
seeking a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining
order must establish all four of 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. Natural
Resources Defense Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008);
The Real Truth About Obama, Inc. v. Federal Election
Comm'n, 575 F.3d 342, 346-47 (4th Cir. 2009),
overruling Blackwelder Furniture Co. of Statesville v.
Seilig Mfg. Co., 550 F.2d 189 (4th Cir.
1977). 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 19‒20; Real
Truth, 575 F.3d at 347. Only then may the court consider
whether the balance of equities tips in the party'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. Real Truth, 575
F.3d at 347 (quoting Winter, 555 U.S. at 19-23).
Plaintiff has not demonstrated a clear likelihood of success
on the merits. His motion for a preliminary injunction is
unrelated to the facts of this case, and he seeks to
improperly bootstrap his claim regarding photocopying rights
to this case. Additionally, in his motion he fails to include
any arguments as to the likelihood of success on the merits
of his underlying claims.
has also failed to show that he is likely to suffer
irreparable injury if relief is not granted. Plaintiff's
only injury will be that he will need to forego copies of
documents he submits or will be forced to make a handwritten
fails to show that the balance of equities tips in his favor,
as he has failed to pay SCDC for the substantial litigation
costs he has accumulated. Nor does an injunction serve the
Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate he is entitled to a