ROWE v. MIZE et al - Document 148
Entry Discussing Motion for Preliminary Injunction - The plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction 110 and his motion for a hearing on the motion for preliminary injunction 112 are each denied. (**SEE ENTRY**). (copy to Plaintiff via US Mail). Signed by Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson on 4/5/2012. (JKS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
JEFFREY ALLEN ROWE,
SUPT. BRETT MIZE, et al.,
Entry Discussing Motion for Preliminary Injunction
The plaintiff, a state prisoner, seeks the issuance of a preliminary injunction.
“[A] preliminary injunction is an extraordinary and drastic remedy, one that
should not be granted unless the movant, by a clear showing, carries the burden of
persuasion.” Mazurek v. Armstrong, 520 U.S. 968, 972 (1997) (citation omitted). An
injunction is an equitable remedy so its issuance is one which falls within the sound
discretion of the district court. See Hecht Co. v. Bowles, 321 U.S. 321, 329 (1944). A
court may issue a stay pending appeal or an order granting interim injunctive relief
only when the movant demonstrates: (a) he is likely to succeed on the merits; (b) that
he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief; (c) that the
balance of equities tips in his favor; and (d) that an injunction is in the public
interest. Winter v. NRDC, Inc., 129 S. Ct. 365, 374 (2008). The “movant has the
burden to show that all four factors . . . weigh in favor of the injunction.” Davis v.
Pension Benefit Guar. Corp., 571 F.3d 1288, 1292 (D.C.Cir. 2009).
The plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction  and his motion for a
hearing on the motion for preliminary injunction  are each denied. The reasons
for this ruling include the following:
In his motion, the plaintiff seeks an order compelling prison authorities
to change his housing assignment to protective custody. He seeks this action because
of his anticipation that he will be assaulted by other inmates.
The defendants who have appeared in the action have explained,
however, that they are cognizant of their responsibility under the Eighth
Amendment to take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of the inmates.
Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994), and that the unit to which the plaintiff
is assigned (protective custody) actually has more restrictive inmate-to-inmate
contact and access than does the protective custody unit to which the plaintiff seeks
to be transferred. The plaintiff disputes the character of the protective custody unit
in some respects, but no prison unit runs without tension and the risk of violence.
“Although there are very many varieties of prisons with different degrees of security,
we must realize that in many of them the inmates are closely supervised and their
activities controlled around the clock. Guards and inmates co-exist in direct and
intimate contact. Tension between them is unremitting. Frustration, resentment,
and despair are commonplace.” Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 562 (1974). As
noted below, the different views on which housing unit operates under which
protocols, and how successfully, is precisely the reason why this court’s intervention
The relief sought by the plaintiff would not be consistent with the
Supreme Court’s directions that “federal courts . . . afford appropriate deference and
flexibility to state officials trying to manage a volatile environment[.]” Sandin v.
Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 483 (1995). Where a plaintiff requests an injunction that would
require the court to interfere with the administration of a state prison, “appropriate
consideration must be given to principles of federalism in determining the
availability and scope of equitable relief.” Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 379 (1976).
The federal courts are not overseers of the day-to-day management of prisons. Prison
officials require broad discretionary authority as the “operation of a correctional
institution is at best an extraordinarily difficult undertaking.” Wolff, 418 U.S. at 566.
Accordingly, prison administrators should be accorded wide-ranging deference in the
adoption and execution of policies and practices that are needed to preserve internal
order and to maintain institutional security. Beard v. Banks, 548 U.S. 521, 528
(2006); Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 527 (1979). See Peterson v. Shanks, 149 F.3d
1140, 1144 (10th Cir. 1998) (“it is not the role of the federal judiciary to scrutinize
and interfere with the daily operations of a state prison[.]”). As noted in Fox v.
Rodgers, 2009 WL 891719 (E.D.Mich. 2009), any injunction issued against prison
officials dealing with the day-to-day operation of the prison system may cause
substantial harm to both public and private interests.
The plaintiff has not shown that there is a reasonable likelihood of
success on the merits of his claim of improper housing assignment at present. An
injunction may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to
relief. Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 129 S. Ct. 365, 376 (2008)
(citation omitted)(emphasis added). His motion for a preliminary injunction  is
therefore denied, as is his motion for a hearing  on his motion for preliminary
IT IS SO ORDERED.
JEFFREY ALLEN ROWE
PENDLETON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
4490 West Reformatory Road
PENDLETON, IN 46064
All Electronically Registered Counsel
Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana