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Gregory J. Turley v. David Rednour

May 18, 2011


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


A. Introduction and Overview of Claims In this suit based on 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Gregory Turley -- an inmate at Menard Correctional Center in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections -- asserts that correctional officials at Menard harassed him and retaliated against him, and that conditions at Menard are abusive. On threshold review, the Court concluded that Turley had stated a claim for retaliation against Defendants Rednour, Cowan, Spiller, Quillman, Schnicker, Lawrence and Hamilton as well has a claim for excessive force against Defendant Lindenburg.

On March 7, 2011, Turley filed an emergency motion for a pretrial conference and for a temporary restraining order (TRO) (Doc. 47). On March 21, 2011, Turley filed a second emergency motion for a TRO (Doc. 51).

In Turley's first motion (Doc. 47), he alleges that he is at high risk of being either physically assaulted or "set-up" for a false disciplinary report, or both. He states that since Defendants were given "notice" of the instant action on February 11, 2011, he has been subjected to three extensive cell searches, wherein "case evidence" was stolen and not documented on the shakedown slip. Turley contends that if he goes into protective custody he will be separated from all of his personal property immediately and that "staff enemies" work in that unit. Turley seeks a pretrial conference so that he can show the Court that he is not a troublemaker and that he was always listed as "low aggression" until he received a false disciplinary report for threatening and cursing out an officer on August 29, 2009.

In Turley's second motion (Doc. 51), he claims that he is subject to continuing acts of retaliation, intimidation and harassment by Danny Bedinger.

By Report issued April 1, 2011 (Doc. 54), Magistrate Judge Williams recommends that the undersigned District Judge deny Turley's motion for a pretrial conference and for a TRO (Doc. 47) and deny Turley's second emergency motion for a TRO (Doc. 51). Turley objected to certain recommendations within the Report and Recommendation (R&R) on April 15, 2011 (Doc. 58).*fn1

A timely objection having been filed, the undersigned Judge undertakes de novo review of the portions of the R&R to which specific written objection was made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3); Southern District of Illinois Local Rule 73.1(b). The Court may accept, reject or modify the recommended decision, receive further evidence, or return the matter to the Magistrate Judge with instructions. Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3); Local Rule 73.1(b). With the issues thoroughly addressed and the motions fully ripe, the Court now resolves the motions and R&R, beginning with reference to the standards governing the undersigned Judge's review.

B. Analysis

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65 authorizes the issuance of TROs and preliminary injunctions. Temporary injunctive relief is an extraordinary remedy that is only granted where there is a clear showing of need. Cooper v. Salazar,196 F.3d 809, 813 (7th Cir. 1999), citing Mazurek v. Armstrong, 520 U.S. 968, 972 (1997) ("[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."). District courts within this Circuit hold that the standard for granting a TRO and the standard for granting a preliminary injunction are identical. See, e.g., Charter Nat'l Bank and Trust v. Charter One Financial, Inc., 2001 WL 527404 (N.D. Ill. May 15, 2001) (unreported). To prevail on a motion for a TRO, the moving party must show (1) a likelihood of success on the merits, (2) a lack of an adequate remedy at law, and (3) an irreparable harm that will result if the injunction is not granted. Lambert v. Buss, 498 F.3d 446, 451 (7th Cir. 2007). If the movant satisfies the first three showings, then the district court balances the "relative harms that could be caused to either party," if the injunction is granted or not granted. Id., citing Incredible Tech., Inc. v. Virtual Tech, Inc., 400 F.3d 1007, 1011 (7th Cir. 2005).

In a 2008 per curiam opinion, the Seventh Circuit articulated the movant's threshold showing slightly differently (then culminating in the same balance-of-harms analysis which the court turns to only if the movant met his burden on the threshold showing):

A party seeking a preliminary injunction must demonstrate that he is reasonably likely to succeed on the merits, that he is experiencing irreparable harm that exceeds any harm his opponent will suffer if the injunction issues, that he lacks an adequate remedy at law, and that the injunction would not harm the public interest.

Coronado v. Valleyview Public School District 365-U, 537 F.3d 791, 794-95 (7th Cir. 2008).

One additional principle guides the Court's analysis in a the specific context of a prisoner's motion for preliminary injunction. A section of the PLRA entitled "Requirements for Relief," provides:

Preliminary injunctive relief must be narrowly drawn, extend no further than necessary to correct the harm the court finds requires preliminary relief, and be the least intrusive means necessary to correct that harm. The court shall give substantial weight to any adverse impact on public safety or the operation of a criminal justice system caused by the preliminary relief.... 18 U.S.C. ยง 3626(a)(2). In the case at bar, Judge Williams methodically addressed the standard for issuing a TRO and ...

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