United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”) of United States Magistrate Judge
Reona J. Daly, recommending that Plaintiff's motions for
preliminary injunctive relief (Docs. 59, 71 and 81) be denied
(Doc. 150). Plaintiff filed a timely objection (Doc. 158).
For the following reasons, the Court ADOPTS
Judge Daly's R&R in its entirety.
Steven Curry, an inmate currently incarcerated at Menard
Correctional Center (“Menard”), filed this action
alleging deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He seeks monetary and injunctive
relief in the form of a transfer to another prison facility
for failure to protect and deliberate indifference to his
safety pursuant to the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.
is currently housed in a single-man cell in the segregation
unit. He alleges that he has received threats from members of
the Black Disciples, a prison gang. The first incident
occurred in January 2015 when Curry received an unaddressed
threatening letter. The next incidents occurred in February
2016 when Curry was involved in two separate altercations
with members of the Black Disciples. The final incident took
place in March 2016 when Curry was involved in an altercation
with another inmate. All three altercations resulted in Curry
addition, Curry asserts that Menard is frequently on lockdown
resulting in delays receiving legal mail, that he has been
subjected to multiple unwarranted shakedowns of his cell, and
that he continues to receive threats from other inmates.
Following an evidentiary hearing on Curry's motions,
Judge Daly issued her R&R.
R&R details the nature of the evidence presented by the
parties as well as the applicable law. Judge Daly considered
the evidence and concluded that Curry failed to establish the
elements required to obtain a preliminary injunction
(see Doc. 150). Specifically, Judge Daly found that
Curry's likelihood of success on the merits of his Eighth
Amendment claim is low because he cannot show that the
defendants acted with deliberate indifference to his serious
needs. Judge Daly also found that Menard officials have
repeatedly investigated Curry's concerns regarding his
safety and reasonably determined that a prison transfer was
Curry filed a timely objection, the undersigned must
undertake a de novo review of Judge Daly's
recommendation to deny Curry's motions for preliminary
injunction. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), (C); Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b); SDIL-LR 73.1(b); Harper v. City of Chicago
Heights, 824 F.Supp. 786, 788 (N.D. Ill. 1993); see
also Govas v. Chalmers, 965 F.2d 298, 301 (7th Cir.
1992). De novo review requires the district judge to
“give fresh consideration to those issues to which
specific objections have been made” and make a decision
“based on an independent review of the evidence and
arguments without giving any presumptive weight to the
magistrate judge's conclusion.” Harper,
824 F.Supp. at 788 (citing 12 Charles Alan Wright et al.,
Federal Practice and Procedure § 3076.8, at p.
55 (1st ed. 1973) (1992 Pocket Part)); Mendez v. Republic
Bank, 725 F.3d 651, 661 (7th Cir. 2013). The Court
“may accept, reject or modify the magistrate
judge's recommended decision.” Harper, 824
F.Supp. at 788. Consistent with these standards, the Court
has reviewed Judge Daly's R&R de novo.
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). The
purpose of such an injunction is to minimize the hardship to
the parties pending the ultimate resolution of the
lawsuit.” Fahenm-El v. Klincar, 841 F.2d 712,
717 (7th Cir. 1988). In order to obtain a preliminary
injunction, Curry has the burden of establishing that: (1) he
is likely to succeed on the merits of his claim; (2) he has
no adequate remedy at law; and (3) he is likely to suffer
irreparable harm without the injunction. Planned
Parenthood of Indiana, Inc. v. Comm'r of Indiana State
Dep't Health, 699 F.3d 962, 972 (7th Cir. 2012),
citing Am. Civil Liberties Unions of Ill. v.
Alvarez, 679 F.3d 583, 589-90 (7th Cir. 2012).
context of prisoner litigation, the scope of the Court's
authority to enter an injunction is circumscribed by the
Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”).
Westefer v. Neal, 682 F.3d 679, 683 (7th Cir. 2012).
Under the PLRA, 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.” 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(2); see also
Westefer, 682 F.3d at 683 (noting the PLRA
“enforces a point repeatedly made by the Supreme Court
in cases challenging prison conditions: prisons officials
have broad administrative and discretionary authority over
the institutions they manage”) (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted).
his lengthy response in opposition, Curry does not make
specific objections to the Report and Recommendation. Rather,
he generally objects to Judge Daly's finding that he is
not in imminent danger - asserting that if a preliminary
injunction is not granted, he will likely be harmed at some
point by other inmates. Curry does, however, challenge Judge
Daly's findings that he was not a credible witness during
the evidentiary hearing.
hearings over which they preside, judges, including
magistrate judges, are obviously in a position to assess a
witness's credibility because they have the opportunity
“to observe the verbal and nonverbal behavior of the
witnesses . . . [including their] reactions and responses to
the interrogatories, their facial expressions, attitudes,
tone of voice, eye contact, posture and body
movements.” Kraushaar v. Flanigan, 45 F.3d
1040, 1052-53 (7th Cir. 1995). Here, the Court finds no
reason in the record to second-guess Judge Daly's
credibility determinations. Goffman v. Gross, 59
F.3d 668, 671 (7th Cir. 1995) (“The district court is
not required to conduct another hearing to review the
magistrate judge's findings or credibility
Court also agrees with Judge Daly's finding that there is
no evidence that Curry will suffer irreparable harm if the
injunction is not granted. Prison officials have repeatedly
investigated Curry's concerns and, due to his placement
in segregation, his interactions with other inmates are
limited. Further, it has been over a year since Curry was in
any physical altercation. It is well-established that
preliminary injunctions are an “extraordinary and
drastic remedy” ...