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Daniels v. Walker

November 9, 2006

BRION DANIELS, INMATE #K75631, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROGER E. WALKER, JR., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This action comes before the Court on Plaintiff's motions for appointment of counsel (Doc. 3), for ink pens, writing paper, and envelopes (Doc. 9), for law library services and materials (Doc. 10), to amend the complaint (Doc. 11), for law library services, pens, and photocopies (Doc. 12), and for pens, law library services, and envelopes (Doc. 13).

APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL

The Court has previously granted Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis, and Plaintiff has also filed a motion for appointment of counsel (Doc. 3). However, until the Court has completed a preliminary review of the complaint, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, this request is premature. Therefore, the motion for appointment of counsel is DENIED without prejudice. Once the Court has completed that preliminary review, Plaintiff may renew his request at that time.

INK PENS,WRITING PAPER,ENVELOPES, AND ACCESS TO LAW LIBRARY SERVICES

Plaintiff has filed four motions seeking materials and access to law library services. In the first (Doc. 9), Plaintiff moves the Court to order officials at Menard Correctional Center to provide him with ink pens, paper, envelopes, and money vouchers for postage. Plaintiff contends that he is being deliberately denied these items in an attempt to stop him from contacting his family, the Governor of Illinois, other elected state officials, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other "outside agencies and authorities." He states that he has received ink pens, but that they are "very small defective ink pens" and "only write two or three pages before going out." Furthermore, the pens "appear to have ink in them but they are empty." Plaintiff includes one such pen in his motion.

In the second motion (Doc. 10), Plaintiff seeks an order compelling Illinois Department of Corrections officials to provide him with photocopies, and writing materials. Plaintiff claims that he has been denied these services and materials and has been denied access to the commissary so he cannot purchase them himself.

In the third motion (Doc. 12), Plaintiff again seeks photocopies, pens, paper, and envelopes. He claims he has been denied them and claims that he is unable to prosecute the action without them. In the fourth motion (Doc. 13), Plaintiff asks again for pens, law library services, and envelopes. He also complains of the destruction of his grievances and of his outgoing legal mail.

The Court construes each of these motions as seeking injunctive relief. In considering whether to grant injunctive relief, a district court is obligated to weigh the relative strengths and weaknesses of a plaintiff's claims in light of a five-part test that has long been part of the Seventh Circuit's jurisprudence. Specifically, a plaintiff must establish: (1) that there is a reasonable or substantial likelihood that he would succeed on the merits; (2) that there is no adequate remedy at law; (3) that absent an injunction, he will suffer irreparable harm; (4) that the irreparable harm suffered by plaintiff in the absence of the injunctive relief will outweigh the irreparable harm that defendants will endure were the injunction granted; and (5) that the public interest would be served by an injunction. Teamsters Local Unions Nos. 75 and 200 v. Barry Trucking, 176 F.3d 1004, 1011 (7th Cir. 1999).

Without expressing any opinion on the merits of Plaintiff's claims for relief in his complaint, the Court is of the opinion that a preliminary injunction is not warranted at this time. Therefore, these motions (Docs. 9, 10, 12, and 13) are DENIED. The Court notes that despite his contentions that he is being denied materials, Plaintiff has managed to file six motions and has written two letters to the court in the six-month period since the filing of the complaint. Furthermore, at this point in the litigation, Plaintiff does not need to file any additional materials in the case. The Court is in possession of Plaintiff's almost 200-page complaint and will soon review it pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. If, after the Court has completed this threshold review, Plaintiff cannot obtain materials he needs to prosecute the case, he may at that time file a motion seeking to compel officials to provide him with what he needs.

MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT

Plaintiff sent a letter to the undersigned informing the Court that since he has filed his complaint, Defendants have continued to retaliate against him, interfere with his mail, deny him medical treatment, destroy his grievances, and deny him law library services. The Court construes this letter (Doc. 11) as a motion to amend the complaint.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) dictates that leave to amend a pleading "shall be given whenever justice so requires," see Sanders v. Venture Stores, Inc., 56 F.3d 771, 773 (7th Cir. 1995); and, indeed, the rule expressly grants a plaintiff one opportunity to amend her ...


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