United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
TERRANCE D. GODFREY, Plaintiff,
PAMELA SCOTT, LACY REAMS, RICHARD HARRIS, and BRUCE GUTREUTER, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER YANDLE, District Judge:
M. YANDLE United States District Judge
Terrance Godfrey, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois
Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), filed this
lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his
constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated
at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”). More
specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Gutreuter and
Harris subjected him to excessive force while he was
attempting to escape from custody, and failed to ensure he
received medical treatment for the injuries they caused.
Plaintiff also alleges that Defendants Scott and Reams
violated the Eighth Amendment by posting or commenting on a
nude photo of him online.
matter is now before the Court on an “Emergency
Letter” filed by Plaintiff, construed by the Court as a
motion for temporary restraining order or preliminary
injunction (Doc. 49). For the following reasons,
Plaintiff's Motion is DENIED.
motion for injunctive relief alleges that individuals at his
current institution, Pontiac Correctional Center
(“Pontiac”), are retaliating against him by
stealing his legal documents for this case. In particular,
Plaintiff asserts his legal documentation has been taken in
order to stop him from writing attorneys for legal
assistance. He also generally alleges that officials at
Pontiac are harassing, torturing, and assaulting him, but he
does not offer any details or facts to support these
allegations. Plaintiff asks the Court to order Pontiac prison
officials to transfer him to Dixon Correctional Center to
keep him safe.
Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) may issue
without notice only if: (1) specific facts in an affidavit or
verified complaint clearly show that immediate and
irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the movant
before the adverse party can be heard in opposition; and (2)
the movant's attorney certifies in writing any efforts
made to give notice and the reasons why it should not be
required. Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b).
preliminary injunction is also an “extraordinary and
drastic remedy” for which there must be a “clear
showing” that Plaintiff is entitled to relief.
Mazurek v. Armstrong, 520 U.S. 968, 972 (1997)
(quoting 11A Charles Alan Wright, Arthur R Miller, & Mary
Kay Kane, Federal Practice and Procedure §2948 (5th ed.
1995)). The purpose of such an injunction is “to
minimize the hardship to the parties pending the ultimate
resolution of the lawsuit.” Faheem-El v.
Klincar, 841 F.2d 712, 717 (7th Cir. 1988). In order to
obtain a preliminary injunction, Plaintiff has the burden of
demonstrating: (1) a reasonable likelihood of success on the
merits; (2) no adequate remedy at law; and (3) irreparable
harm absent the injunction. Planned Parenthood v.
Commissioner of Indiana State Dept. Health, 699 F.3d
962, 972 (7th Cir. 2012).
Plaintiff meets his burden, the Court must then weigh
“the balance of harm to the parties if the injunction
is granted or denied and also evaluate the effect of an
injunction on the public interest.” Id.
Additionally, the Prison Litigation Reform Act provides that
a preliminary injunction must be “narrowly drawn,
extend no further than necessary to correct the harm . . .,
” and “be the least intrusive means necessary to
correct that harm.” 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(2).
Finally, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
65(d)(2), a preliminary injunction binds only the parties,
their officers or agents, or persons in active concert with
the parties or their agents.
Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate that a
TRO and/or preliminary injunction is warranted in this case.
Notably, there is no apparent relationship between the facts
and allegations contained in Plaintiff's motion and those
in the Complaint. Indeed, the only defendants in this case
are Pamela Scott, Lacy Reams, Richard Harris, and Bruce
Gutreuter, who are not mentioned in Plaintiff's motion.
Moreover, Defendants were or are employed at Menard, while
Plaintiff is currently housed at Pontiac. As the main purpose
of a preliminary injunction is “to preserve the
relative positions of the parties until a trial on the merits
can be held, ” University of Texas v.
Camenisch, 451 U.S. 390, 395 (1981), it is not clear how
the relief Plaintiff seeks would accomplish such purpose.
motion for preliminary injunction is not a proper avenue to
pursue additional claims or to name additional defendants.
Although Plaintiff contends his legal documents in this case
have been stolen, this circumstance does not appear to have
prevented him from pursuing his claims as he has been
actively litigating this matter and recently sought an entry
of default and default judgment against defendants. Finally,
because Plaintiff is no longer incarcerated at Menard, an
injunction directed at employees of Menard would be
ineffective to accomplish Plaintiff's goals. If Plaintiff
wishes to pursue claims against staff at Pontiac, he is not
without recourse - he may file a new lawsuit if appropriate.