United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
Honorable William L, Campbell, Jr., District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BARBARA D. HOLMES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Order entered July 18, 2019 (Docket Entry No. 7), the Court
referred this pro se and in forma pauperis
prisoner civil rights action to the Magistrate Judge for
pretrial proceedings under 28 U.S.C. §§ 636(b)(1),
Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the
Local Rules of Court.
Plaintiff's complaint was a motion for a Temporary
Restraining Order (Docket Entry No. 3), which has been
directed to the attention of the Magistrate Judge. For the
reasons set out below, the undersigned Magistrate Judge
respectfully recommends that the motion be denied.
Michael Atha (“Plaintiff”) is prisoner within the
Tennessee Department of Correction (“TDOC”) who
is currently confined at the South Central Correctional
Facility(“SCCF”) in Clifton, Tennessee. He filed
this lawsuit on June 28, 2019, raising numerous claims of
wrongdoing against several prison officials. The general
thrust of his lawsuit is that prison officials have failed to
protect him from violence at the hand of other inmates and
that he has been retaliated against in various forms because
of his requests for protective custody and his pursuit of
prison grievances and lawsuits. He further alleges that his
religious rights have been violated. See Memorandum
entered July 18, 2019 (Docket Entry No. 6).
the initial frivolity review of the complaint was completed,
process was directed to issue to ten defendants on
Plaintiff's failure to protect claims, retaliation
claims, and religious exercise claims under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 and on claims under the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”), 42
U.S.C. § 2000cc. Defendants Kelsey Carter, Damon
Hininger, Jason Holmes, Elizabeth Lopez, Patrick Swindell,
and Russell Washburn have recently been granted an extension
of time to respond to the complaint. See Docket
Entry No. 25. The other four Defendants remain
unserved. In a separately entered order, Plaintiff
has been granted leave to amend his complaint, adding new
claims and defendants and identifying defendants who were
unnamed in his original complaint.
motion for a temporary restraining order, Plaintiff seeks an
order (1) directing prison officials to place him in
protective custody to protect him from immediate harm or
death and (2) directing that he be housed at the Trousdale
Turner Correctional Center (“TTCC”) until this
lawsuit is settled. See Docket Entry No. 4.
MOTION FOR A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER
has not satisfied the stringent showing required for the
relief he requests. Temporary restraining orders and
preliminary injunctions are considered preventive,
prohibitory, or protective measures taken pending resolution
on the merits, see Clemons v. Board of Educ., 228
F.2d 853, 856 (6th Cir. 1956), and are extraordinary relief.
Detroit Newspaper Publishers Ass'n v. Detroit
Typographical Union No. 18, Int'l Typographical
Union, 471 F.2d 872, 876 (6th Cir. 1972). Plaintiff, as
the moving party, has the burden of proving that the
circumstances “clearly demand” an injunctive
order. Overstreet v. Lexington-Fayette Urban Cnty.
Gov't, 305 F.3d 566, 573 (6th Cir. 2002). In
determining whether to grant a preliminary injunction or
temporary restraining order, the Court must consider whether
Plaintiff has established: (1) a strong likelihood of success
on the merits; (2) that he will suffer irreparable injury
absent injunctive relief; (3) that issuance of an injunction
would not cause substantial harm to others; and (4) that the
public interest would be served by the issuance of the
injunction. Leary v. Daeschner, 228 F.3d 729, 736
(6th Cir. 2000); See also Ohio Republican Party v.
Brunner, 543 F.3d. 357, 361 (6th Cir. 2008) (noting that
the same four factors apply in determining whether to grant a
temporary restraining order). These factors are to be
balanced against one another. Leary, supra;
Nader v. Blackwell, 230 F.3d 833, 834 (6th Cir.
instant case, several factors weigh against the issuance of
the order requested by Plaintiff. First and foremost, there
appears to be no immediate or urgent need for the requested
order because a recent filing made by Plaintiff indicates (1)
that he is no longer confined at the TTCC, having been
transferred to the South Central Correctional Facility
(“SCCF”), and (2) he is currently being confined
in solitary confinement. See Motion for the
appointment of counsel (Docket Entry No. 7). Furthermore,
although Plaintiff has made serious allegations, he has not
shown a strong likelihood of success on the merits of his
claims. Plaintiff has also not made a compelling showing that
the public interest would be served by the issuance of the
requested order. Finally, absent extraordinary and urgently
compelling reasons, the Court should defer to the expertise
of prison officials in such matters as the day-to-day
operations in a correctional facility. See Kendrick v.
Bland, 740 F.2d 432, 438, n. 3 (6th Cir. 1984).
Plaintiff has not shown extraordinary or urgently compelling
on the foregoing, the undersigned Magistrate Judge
respectfully RECOMMENDS that Plaintiffs motion for a
temporary restraining order (Docket Entry No. 3) be DENIED.
OBJECTIONS to this Report and Recommendation must be filed
within fourteen (14) days of service of this Report and
Recommendation and must state with particularity the specific
portions of this Report and Recommendation to which objection
is made. See Rule 72(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure and Local Rule 72.02(a). Failure to file
written objections within the specified time can be deemed a
waiver of the right to appeal the District Court's Order
regarding the Report and Recommendation. See Thomas v.
Arn,474 U.S. 140, 106 S.Ct. 466, 88 L.Ed.2d 435 (1985);
United States v. Walters,638 F.2d 947 (6th ...