United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
A. TRAUGER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is plaintiff John Anthony Gentry's Objection
(Doc. No. 72) to the magistrate judge's June 5, 2017
Report and Recommendation ("R&R") (Doc. No.
70), recommending that Mr. Gentry's Emergency Motion for
a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction
("TRO Motion") (Doc. No. 19) be denied. For the
reasons set forth herein, the court will overrule the
Objection and deny the TRO Motion.
plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed his original
Verified Complaint in this court on January 9, 2017, alleging
claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on alleged
violations of his constitutional rights. (Doc. No. 1.) He
named as defendants the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct
("TBJC"), the Honorable Judge Chris Craft, Timothy
R. Discenza, Unnamed Members of Investigative Panel, Unnamed
Liability Insurance Carrier(s), and the State of Tennessee.
On January 11, 2017, the undersigned entered an Order
referring the case to the magistrate judge for case
management, decision on all pretrial, non-dispositive
motions, and report and recommendation on all dispositive
motions under 28 U.S.C. § 626(b)(1) and Rule 72 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Doc. No. 4.)
February 27, 2017, the plaintiff filed his TRO Motion,
requesting that the court preliminarily enjoin the TBJC,
Judge Chris Craft, Timothy Discenza, and "all persons
acting on behalf of the [TBJC]" from "destroying,
disposing of, or in any way hiding or concealing hard copy
original documents or electronic copies of (1) any complaints
filed against judges with the [TBJC], (2) notices or letters
disposing or dismissing complaints, (3) names or lists of
names and addresses of complainants, and (4) and
communications between members of the [TBJC] regarding
dispositions and or determinations of dispositions of
complaints." (Doc. No. 19, at 1-2.) In support of this
request, the plaintiff asserts that, "unless enjoined by
this Honorable Court, Defendants will likely destroy, dispose
or otherwise conceal evidence necessary to Plaintiffs
case" and that a TRO is necessary to preserve the status
quo. (Id. at 2-3.) In his Memorandum in support of
the TRO Motion, the plaintiff argues that he is likely to
succeed at trial, resulting in embarrassment and exposure of
corruption on the part of the defendants against whom the TRO
is sought. On this basis, the plaintiff asserts that the
defendants "will most certainly make every effort to
prevent discovery and there is a substantial likelihood that
Defendant will even destroy, or otherwise dispose of,
evidence to hide their wrongful conduct." (Doc. No. 20,
March 13, 2017, the defendants filed their Response in
Opposition to the TRO Motion (Doc. No. 29), arguing that the
request was moot because they were already complying with
their obligation to preserve relevant information and that
there was a high likelihood that their then-pending Motion to
Dismiss would be granted.
plaintiff filed a first Amended Verified Complaint (Doc. No.
32) on March 16, 2017, and a Second Amended Verified
Complaint (Doc. No. 36) on March 27, 2017. In both of these,
the plaintiff abandoned his claims against the TBJC, Judge
Chris Craft, Timothy Discenza, and the Unnamed Members of
Investigative Panel of the TB JC, and he asserted new claims
against lawyers Pamela Anderson Taylor, Brenton Hall
Lankford, and Sarah Richter Perky. The only defendants common
to both the original and amended pleadings are the State of
Tennessee and Unnamed Liability Insurance Carrier(s).
magistrate judge recommends that the TRO Motion be denied on
the grounds that (1) the motion has been rendered moot by the
plaintiffs filing of an Amended Complaint that no longer
names as defendants those individuals whose conduct is the
focus of the TRO Motion; and (2) the plaintiff has not shown
that any of the relevant factors weigh in favor of his
request for preliminary injunctive relief.
Objections, the plaintiff disputes that his TRO Motion has
been mooted, arguing that "pages 49 through 54 . . .
include the same facts and allegations contained in
Plaintiffs original complaint but strengthened with
additional facts and causes of action." (Doc. No. 19, at
4.) He also insists that the allegations in his Memorandum in
support of the TRO Motion as well as his Amended Complaint
demonstrate that he will suffer irreparable harm if the
requested relief is not granted.
Review of the Plaintiffs Motion
standard of review to be employed by the court when examining
a Report and Recommendation is set forth in 28 U.S.C. §
636. The court is to "make a de novo
determination of those portions of the report or specified
proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is
made." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The court "may
accept, reject or modify, in whole or in part, the findings
or recommendations made by the magistrate." Id.
plaintiffs Objections were timely, and he has filed specific
objections to the R&R. This court has reviewed the TRO
Motion de novo in light of the plaintiffs Objections
and finds that the plaintiff is not entitled to the relief
restraining orders and preliminary injunctions are
extraordinary remedies "which should be granted only if
the movant carries his or her burden of proving that the
circumstances clearly demand it." Overstreet v.
Lexington-Fayette Urban Co. Gov't, 305 F.3d 566, 573
(6th Cir. 2002). As a threshold matter, as the magistrate
judge correctly noted, a federal court generally may not
enter an injunction against a person who is not a party to
the case before it. See In re N.A.A.C.P., 849 F.2d
1473 (Table), 1988 WL 61504, at *3 (6th Cir. June 13, 1988)
(noting that a court's decree is generally only binding
on parties). The TBJC, Chris Craft, and Timothy Discenza are
not named in the Second Amended Complaint, which
"supersedes all previous complaints." Parry v.
Mohawk Motors of Mich., Inc., 236 F.3d 299, 306 (6th
Cir. 2000). It therefore appears that the TBJC, Craft, and
Discenza are no longer parties to this action.
Sixth Circuit has acknowledged that a court may exercise
jurisdiction over a ...