United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON PENDING MOTIONS
R. UNDERHILL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, Pedro Gonzalez Torres (“Gonzalez”),
has filed three motions to compel seeking various relief. In
addition, inmate Jose Ramos (“Ramos”) has filed a
motion seeking to represent Gonzalez in this case, and
Gonzalez has filed two motions to compel the Department of
Correction to allow Ramos to file court documents on
Motion to Compel [Doc. No. 11]
first motion to compel, Gonzalez asks the Court to order the
defendants to preserve the video recording of the morning on
October 21, 2016, when Gonzalez sat in the medical unit
waiting room for over three hours instead of receiving
immediate medical attention for complaints of chest pain and
shortness of breath.
Department of Correction routinely re-cycles the tapes from
stationary video cameras every thirty days unless a request
is submitted to preserve the footage. See Holloway v.
Dep't of Corr., 2013 WL 628648, at *4 (D. Conn. Feb.
20, 2013) (noting defendants' response to motion to
compel production of video footage that tapes from stationary
cameras are recycled every thirty days). Gonzalez did not
file his motion until seven months after the incident and
does not state whether he submitted a request to have the
footage preserved. Absent evidence that the footage even
exists, I deny Gonzalez's motion.
Motion to Compel [Doc. No. 13]
second motion to compel, Gonzalez states that in May 2017,
the Department of Correction implemented a new policy under
which inmates are no longer given the envelopes in which
legal mail is sent. Gonzalez complains that, as a result of
the policy, inmates do not have envelopes in which to store
their legal materials. He asks the Court to order the
defendants to give him his original legal envelopes.
styled a motion to compel, Gonzalez's second motion
actually seeks preliminary injunctive relief. District courts
may grant interim injunctive relief in the form of a
preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order
“where a plaintiff demonstrates irreparable harm and
meets one of two related standards: either (a) a likelihood
of success on the merits, or (b) sufficiently serious
questions going to the merits of its claims to make them fair
ground for litigation, plus a balance of the hardships
tipping decidedly in favor of the moving party.”
Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians v. N.Y. State Dep't
of Fin. Servs., 769 F.3d 105, 110 (2d Cir. 2014)
(citations and internal quotation marks omitted). When the
moving party seeks mandatory relief that “alters the
status quo by commanding some positive act, ” however,
the burden is higher. Cacchillo v. Insmed, Inc., 638
F.3d 401, 406 (2d Cir. 2011) (citation and internal quotation
marks omitted). The court should not grant mandatory
injunctive relief absent “a clear showing that the
moving party is entitled to the relief requested, or where
extreme or very serious damage will result from the denial of
preliminary relief.” Id. (citation omitted).
district court has wide discretion in determining whether to
grant preliminary injunctive relief. Moore v. Consol.
Edison Co. of N.Y., 409 F.3d 506, 511 (2d Cir. 2005).
“In the prison context, a request for injunctive relief
must always be viewed with great caution so as not to immerse
the federal judiciary in the management of state
prisons.” Fisher v. Goord, 981 F.Supp. 140,
167 (W.D.N.Y. 1997) (citing Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 846-47 (1994)) (other citations omitted).
injunctive relief is available only to redress injuries that
are related to the conduct giving rise to the complaint.
De Beers Consol. Mines v. United States, 325 U.S.
212, 220 (1945) (preliminary injunction appropriate to grant
intermediate relief of “the same character as that
which relief may be granted finally, ” but
inappropriate where the injunction “deals with a matter
lying wholly outside the issues in the suit.”);
Trowell v. Upstate Correctional Facility, 2016 WL
7156559, at *7 (N.D.N.Y. Dec. 7, 2016) (citations omitted);
see also Lebron v. Armstrong, 289 F.Supp.2d 56, 60
(D. Conn. 2003) (preliminary injunction is designed to
“preserve the status quo and prevent irreparable harm
until the court has an opportunity to rule on the
claims in this action relate to Gonzalez' medical care.
Gonzalez's second motion to compel concerns legal
envelopes. As the motion is unrelated to the underlying
claims, preliminary injunctive relief is not warranted. If
Gonzalez wishes to challenge the change in policy, then he
may do so in a separate action.
Motion to Compel [Doc. No. 19] and Motion for Permission to
Appear [Doc. No. 23]
Gonzalez has filed a motion asking the court to order that a
motion completed by Ramos seeking to represent Gonzalez in
this case be emailed to the court for filing. That document
has been filed. Thus, Gonzalez's third motion to compel
is denied as moot.
Motion for Permission to Appear [Doc. No. 23] and Motions to