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MATTA-BALLESTEROS STOLAR v. HENMAN

May 25, 1988

JUAN RAMON MATTA-BALLESTEROS, ON THE RELATION OF MARTIN R. STOLAR, ATTORNEY, PETITIONER,
v.
GARY L. HENMAN, WARDEN, UNITED STATES PENITENTIARY AT MARION, ILLINOIS, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Stiehl, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Before the Court is an application for a preliminary injunction filed on behalf of Juan Ramon Matta-Ballesteros, a detainee at the United States Penitentiary, Marion, Illinois, which is located within this district. Matta has filed a petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. He also requests that the Bureau of Prisons be enjoined from transferring him from the Marion facility pending the resolution of his habeas petition, claiming that a failure to do so will require Matta to litigate the issues raised in a number of different jurisdictions where he is subject to prosecution.

In his habeas petition, Matta, a resident of Honduras, challenges the legality of his custody, and claims that he was illegally and unconstitutionally kidnapped from his home in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The petitioner alleges that, among others, agents of the United States directed and participated in his forcible removal to the United States, and that Matta was tortured by his captors enroute to this country. Matta asks the Court to order his release.

FINDINGS OF FACT

1. Petitioner is currently incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary at Marion, Illinois.

2. Petitioner in 1971, was incarcerated at the United States Prison Camp at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida where he was serving a sentence for violating the United States' passport laws. Petitioner did not complete service of that sentence.

3. Petitioner was removed from his home in Honduras, and transported to the United States against his will in early April, 1988.

4. Petitioner faces charges under five separate indictments in four different federal districts throughout the United States; four of the indictments involve drug-related offenses, and the fifth is for his alleged escape from imprisonment at Eglin.

5. Petitioner has retained attorneys in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, as well as in the Southern District of Illinois.

PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION STANDARD

The key case in this circuit on the standard for injunctive relief is Roland Machinery Co. v. Dresser Industries, Inc., 749 F.2d 380 (7th Cir. 1984). While there are more recent cases, i.e. American Hospital Supply v. Hospital Products, Inc., 780 F.2d 589 (7th Cir. 1986) and Lawson Products, Inc. v. Avnet, Inc., 782 F.2d 1429 (7th Cir. 1986), Roland Machinery acts as the foundation upon which these cases build their decisions.

For a petitioner to be entitled to a preliminary injunction, he must show five things: (1) that he has no adequate remedy at law, (2) that he will suffer irreparable harm if the injunction is denied, (3) that the harm potentially suffered by the petitioner if the injunction does not issue is greater than the harm the respondent will suffer if the injunction is granted, (4) that the petitioner has a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits, and (5) that the injunction will not harm the public interest. Roland Machinery.

LACK OF ADEQUATE REMEDY AT LAW

It is apparent Matta is seeking to enjoin his transfer from this district pending the resolution of his habeas petition, because it would be logistically and financially burdensome to pursue his claim in each federal district in which he faces an indictment. This concern notwithstanding, Matta failed to show that he lacks an adequate remedy at law. In fact, each district court in which an indictment is pending provides petitioner with a forum in which to redress his grievance as to each indictment. Moreover, these courts provide potentially adequate remedies in that they have the jurisdiction to dismiss the indictment before them. The fact that this Court is more convenient to act as a sort of "clearinghouse" for the petitioner's claims does not make this ...


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