United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
ANDRE' L. MAYFIELD, Plaintiff,
DELMAR MAXWELL, et al., Defendants.
Magistrate Judge, Alistair Newbern
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR TEMPORARY
RESTRAINING ORDER AND PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION 
J. MICHELSON, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Mayfield has recently sought a temporary restraining order
and preliminary injunction. (See R. 91, 92.) Given
the nature of the relief sought, the Court ordered expedited
briefing. (R. 95.) Having reviewed the briefs (R. 97, 98),
the Court will deny Mayfield's motion. Mayfield has not
shown that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm. Further,
any irreparable harm that Mayfield might suffer would not be
at the hands of the named defendants. So enjoining them would
do Mayfield little good.
events giving rise to this suit begin in June 2016. Mayfield
was then a prisoner at the Trousdale Turner Correctional
Center, a prison run by CoreCivic, Inc. (formerly Corrections
Corporation of America). (See R. 16, PID 90.)
Mayfield requested protective custody on the basis that gang
members-including those in prison-were under a state-wide
order to kill him “on site” for raping a gang
member's relative. (R. 16, PID 90-91.) Allegedly,
Mayfield was not provided with protective custody and his
fear reached the point where he attempted suicide.
(See R. 16, PID 91.)
November 2016, Mayfield was transferred to Whiteville
Correctional Facility, another prison run by CoreCivic, Inc.
(R. 16, PID 92.) Allegedly, Mayfield again sought protective
custody, which, again, was not immediately provided.
(See R. 12, PID 68; R. 21, PID 104; R. 41, PID 178.)
In February 2017, a protective-custody panel determined that
Mayfield required protective custody, but Whiteville
allegedly continued Mayfield in segregation where “15
or more Crip gang members, ” including the family
member of one of the women Mayfield had raped, also resided.
(R. 41, PID 178; see also R. 57, PID 227.)
around April 2017, Mayfield was transferred to the Northeast
Correctional Facility (NECX). (See R. 73, PID 292.)
NECX, unlike the Turner and Whiteville facilities, is
operated by the Tennessee Department of Corrections, not
CoreCivic, Inc. (See R. 94.) Soon after Mayfield
arrived at the facility, NECX placed Mayfield in its
protective-custody housing unit. (See R. 73, PID
Mayfield remains in protective custody at NECX, he believes
that could soon change. (R. 91, PID 384.) He says he has
filed a grievance “challenging his living
conditions” and thus “fears being transferred and
forced off protective custody.” (Id.) Mayfield
seeks an order from this Court “enjoining the
defendants, their successors in office, TDOC agents and
employees at the Northeast Correctional Complex and all other
persons acting in concert and participating with them, from
transferring and/or removing [him] from protective custody
pending the outcome of [his] 42 U.S.C.§1983
complaint.” (R. 91, PID 383.)
request for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary
injunction will be denied as he has not demonstrated that
“irreparable injury is likely in the absence
of an injunction, ” Winter v. Nat. Res. Def.
Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 22 (2008). Even assuming that
gang members have been ordered to kill Mayfield “on
site” such that his removal from protective custody
would put him at risk of harm, his fear that NECX may remove
him from protective custody because he is challenging his
living conditions is speculative. Mayfield offers nothing to
substantiate his belief that NECX intends to engage in
unlawful retaliation and therefore that an injunction is
necessary. See Collins Inkjet Corp. v. Eastman Kodak
Co., 781 F.3d 264, 279 (6th Cir. 2015) (providing that
for a preliminary injunction to issue, there must be a
“realistic prospect of irreparable harm”);
Abney v. Amgen, Inc., 443 F.3d 540, 552 (6th Cir.
2006) (“To demonstrate irreparable harm, the plaintiffs
must show that unless [an injunction issues], they will
suffer actual and imminent harm rather than harm that is
speculative or unsubstantiated.” (internal quotation
there is a second problem with Mayfield's request for
injunctive relief: enjoining the named defendants will not
prevent any harm. According to Mayfield, the named defendants
worked at Turner or Whiteville-two CoreCivic, Inc.
facilities-during the events giving rise to this case.
(See R. 16, 76.) And according to Defendants,
“CoreCivic, Inc. (‘CoreCivic') does not
operate NECX. Defendants are employees of CoreCivic, and
Defendants do not work at NECX.” (R. 94, PID 393.)
Thus, even if the Court were to enjoin Defendants, that would
not restrain NECX from changing Mayfield's protective
to the extent that Mayfield seeks to enjoin those at
NECX-individuals who are not even parties to this suit and
might not even know about it-the Court declines to do so. To
be sure, in limited circumstances a court may issue a
temporary restraining order “without written or oral
notice to the adverse party or its attorney.”
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(1). But that requires
Mayfield to “clearly show” that he will suffer
“immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage . .
. before the adverse party can be heard in opposition”
and to “certif[y] in writing any efforts made to give
notice and the reasons why it should not be required.”
See id.; Hollowell v. Bornkempt, No.
3:17-CV-606 JD, 2017 WL 3446676, at *2 (N.D. Ind. Aug. 10,
2017) (“Although [Rule 65(b)(1)(B)'s certification]
rule applies on its face to attorneys only, courts across the
country have held pro se litigants who seek a
temporary restraining order to the same requirement.”).
As Mayfield has not shown that he is likely to suffer
irreparable harm, he certainly has not “clearly
show[n]” that he will suffer “immediate and
irreparable injury . . . before [NECX] can be heard in
opposition.” See Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(1)(A).
And Mayfield has not informed the Court of “any efforts
made to give notice” of his request for a restraining
order to those at NECX. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
reasons given, the Court DENIES Mayfield's Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order and ...