United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MARCO A. MICHALSKI and PATRICK S. CAMERA, Plaintiffs,
SCOTT SEMPLE, MONICA RINALDI, et al., Defendants.
ORDER ON MOTION TO ENJOIN INTERFERENCE WITH LEGAL
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
A. Michalski and Patrick S. Camera (“Plaintiffs”)
bring this action pro se against Commissioner Scott
Semple, Assistant Deputy Commissioner Monica Rinaldi, Warden
Scott Erfe, Deputy Warden Richard Laffargue, Reverend Anthony
Bruno, Imam Shamma, Unit Manager Valeriano, Captain Torres,
Captain Bailey, Correction Officer Williams, Correction
Officer Mataos, Correction Officer Milio, Correction Officer
Yaharey, Correction Officer St. John, Correction Officer
Tello, Correction Officer Edwards, Correction Officer Sterno,
Correction Officer Lawler, Correction Officer Viska,
Correction Officer Robinson, Correction Officer “John
Doe, ” Correction Officer King, Correction Officer
Buckland, Correction Officer Little, Correction Officer
Rowald, Correction Officer Ellis, Correction Officer
Whitehead, Correction Officer Lopes, and Correction Officer
Salgado (collectively, “Defendants”).
before the Court is Mr. Michalski's letter raising
complaints regarding the electronic filing procedures at
Cheshire Correctional Facility (“Cheshire”),
which the Court construes as a motion to enjoin interference
with Mr. Michalski's legal mail. ECF No. 11. For the
reasons that follow, the Court DENIES Mr. Michalski's
motion without prejudice.
Michalski's letter raises several allegations that proper
electronic filing procedures are not being properly followed
at Cheshire. Specifically, he makes several allegations
against “FOI Liaison Officer McMahon, ” who does
not appear to be named among the Defendants in this case.
See Motion at 1, ECF No. 11. Mr. Michalski alleges,
among other things, that Liaison Officer McMahon redacts the
notices of electronic filing before providing them to
inmates; that she provides copies of legal documents to other
prison officials, including those who are named as
Defendants; and he further alleges that these and other
practices at Cheshire are against proper electronic filing
policy and procedure. Id. at 1-2. Mr. Michalski also
alleges that, because of Liaison Officer McMahon's
actions, the Department of Correction will have “the
upper hand and a head start in destroying evidence or
covering up actions.” Id. at 2. Mr.
Michalski's letter requests various forms of relief,
including information regarding whether these practices at
Cheshire are in fact against policy. Id. at 2-3.
There is no accompanying memorandum of law in support of the
requests in Mr. Michalski's letter.
extent that Mr. Michalski's letter is a motion to enjoin
interference with Mr. Michalski's legal mail, the Court
construes it as a motion requesting a Temporary Restraining
Order (“TRO”) under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 65(b). See Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(1)
(“The court may issue a temporary restraining order
without written or oral notice to the adverse party . . .
only if: (A) specific facts in an affidavit or a 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 (B) the movant's
attorney certifies in writing any efforts made to give notice
and the reasons why it should not be required.”).
“It is well established in this Circuit that the
standard for an entry of a TRO is the same as for a
preliminary injunction.” Andino v. Fischer,
555 F.Supp.2d 418, 419 (S.D.N.Y. 2008). “A party
seeking a preliminary injunction must demonstrate (1)
irreparable harm in the absence of the injunction and (2)
either (a) a likelihood of success on the merits or (b)
sufficiently serious questions going to the merits to make
them a fair ground for litigation and a balance of hardships
tipping decidedly in the movant's favor.”
MyWebGrocer, LLC v. Hometown Info, Inc., 375 F.3d
190, 192 (2d Cir. 2004).
document filed pro se is to be liberally construed,
and a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded,
must be held to less stringent standards than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Even taking into account
Mr. Michalski's pro se status and liberally
construing his filing, without much more in support of his
claim, his motion fails to make the required showing for the
Court to impose the extraordinary remedy of a Temporary
Restraining Order based on his motion, ECF No. 11.
Michalski's letter also requests that the Court
“inform me if there [sic] are any violations to the
electronic filing procedures” at Cheshire based on the
allegations in his letter and inform him about “how to
go about filing a complaint (informal or formal) about
it.” Motion at 2. He further requests clarification
regarding whether the complaint is in the public record.
Id. at 3. The Court cannot provide litigants with
Michalski's letter further requests that the Court
provide him with a copy of the docket sheet for this case,
which the Court construes as a motion for a free photocopy of
the docket sheet. Parties do not have a constitutional right
to free photocopies, see, e.g., Collins v.
Goord, 438 F.Supp.2d 399, 416 (S.D.N.Y.2006) (“As
an initial matter, as some courts in this Circuit have
concluded, an inmate has no constitutional right to free
copies.” (internal citations omitted)), and Mr.
Michalski's in forma pauperis status also does
not entitle him to free copies of documents in the
court's file. See, e.g., Guinn v. Hoecker, 43
F.3d 1483 (10th Cir.1994) (explaining that 28 U.S.C. §
1915 does not include right to free copy of any document in
record and that a court may constitutionally require indigent
plaintiff to demonstrate need for free copy) (Table),
cert. denied, 514 U.S. 1118 (1995); Douglas v.
Green, 327 F.2d 661, 662 (6th Cir.1964) (state that 28
U.S.C. § 1915 does not include the right to receive
copies of court orders without payment).
extent that Mr. Michalski requests a free copy of the docket
sheet in this case, that motion is denied without prejudice.
He may contact the Clerk of the Court to determine the cost
of the copy and, if he cannot pay the required fee, he may
file a motion explaining his need for the particular
documents requested and attach evidence demonstrating his
lack of funds. See Damato v. Murphy, No. 3:08-CV-855
(SRU) (WIG), 2009 WL 581562, at *1-2 (D. Conn. Mar. 5, 2009)
(requiring pro se plaintiff to either pay the fee for copies
or show need to receive free copies).
foregoing reasons, The Court DENIES Mr.