United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON PENDING MOTIONS
A. Dooley United States District Judge
plaintiff, James Pena (“Pena”), currently
incarcerated at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional
Institution (“MacDougall-Walker”), brings this
civil rights complaint against Counselor Supervisor Aldi,
Unit Manager Tammaro, Captain Kelly, Lieutenant Bragdon,
Correctional Officers Nichols, John Doe #1 and John Doe #2
and Mental Health Worker J. Brennan. He alleges that during his
confinement at Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Institution
(“Corrigan”) from January to November 2018,
several of the defendants failed to protect him from assault
by another inmate and used excessive force against him. He
also asserts retaliation claims as well as claims that one or
more of the defendants was deliberately indifferent to his
medical needs. See Initial Review Order (“IRO”),
ECF No. 12 at 18.
13, 2019, Pena filed a document titled “Order to Show
Cause and Temporary Restraining Order.” See
Motion, ECF No. 10. The Clerk docketed the order as a motion
for order to show cause and temporary restraining order
(“TRO”). On May 16, 2019, the court directed
Counselor Supervisor Aldi to file a response to the motion.
See Order, ECF No. 11. On June 19, 2019, Pena filed
a motion for TRO and preliminary injunction. See
Motion, ECF No. 21. Pena has also filed a motion for
appointment of counsel.
in the IRO, the court advised Pena that the Clerk could not
serve the complaint on the two John Doe defendants without
knowing their first and last names. See IRO at 19.
The court allowed Pena ninety days to file a notice
identifying each Doe defendant by his first and last name and
cautioned Pena that failure to file a timely notice would
result in dismissal of the claims against the Doe defendants.
See Id. Pena has not notified the Clerk of the first
and last name of either Doe defendant. Accordingly, the
claims against Correctional Officer John Doe #1 and
Correctional Officer John Doe #2 are dismissed without
prejudice pursuant to Rule 4(m), Fed. R. Civ. P.
to Show Cause and for TRO and Preliminary Injunction [ECF
Nos. 10, 21]
first motion, Pena seeks a TRO directing the defendants to
transfer him to MacDougall-Walker and to place him on
recreation-alone status at that facility. In the second
motion, Pena seeks a TRO and a preliminary injunction in the
form of orders directing the defendants to provide him with
mental health treatment and therapy, to re-prescribe
medications for him and to transfer him back to
MacDougall-Walker and to place him on recreation-alone status
at that facility. In response, Defendant Aldi asserts that
Pena has not demonstrated that he will be irreparably harmed
if the relief requested is not granted and that Pena has
failed to establish that he is likely to succeed on the
merits of his claims.
to Rule 65(b)(1), Fed. R. Civ. P., a district court may issue
a TRO “if 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 the movant certifies in
writing any efforts made to give notice and the reasons why
it should not be required.” Id. Thus, the
“[t]he purpose of a temporary restraining order is to
preserve an existing situation in status quo until
the court has an opportunity to pass upon the merits of the
demand for a preliminary injunction.” Garcia v.
Yonkers School Dist., 561 F.3d 97, 107 (2d Cir. 2009)
(internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
injunction is a drastic and extraordinary remedy, which
should not be granted as a matter of course.”
Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms, 561 U.S. 139,
165 (2010) (citation omitted). To warrant preliminary
injunctive relief, the moving party must demonstrate (a) that
he or she will suffer “irreparable harm” in the
absence of an injunction, and (b) either (1) a
“likelihood of success on the merits or (2)
sufficiently serious questions going to the merits [of the
case] to make them a fair ground for litigation and a balance
of hardships tipping decidedly toward the party requesting
preliminary injunctive relief.” Cacchillo v.
Insmed, Inc., 638 F.3d 401, 405-06 (2d Cir. 2011)
(internal quotation marks omitted). When considering a
request for a preliminary injunction and an application for a
temporary restraining order together, the same standard is
applicable. See Stagliano v. Herkimer Cent. Sch.
Dist., 151 F.Supp.3d 264, 272 (N.D.N.Y. 2015) (citing
inter alia Local 1814, Int'l Longshoremen's
Ass'n, AFL-CIO v. N.Y. Shipping Ass'n, 965 F.2d
1224, 1228 (2d Cir. 1992)).
movant seeks a “mandatory preliminary injunction that
alters the status quo by commanding some positive act,
” rather than a “prohibitory injunction seeking
only to maintain the status quo” then the burden of
proof is even greater. Cacchillo, 638 F.3d at 406
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Such a
mandatory injunction “should issue only upon a
clear showing that the moving party is entitled to
the relief requested, or where extreme or very
serious damage will result from a denial of preliminary
support of his motions, Pena alleges that on November 28,
2018, prison officials at Corrigan transferred him to
MacDougall-Walker and placed him on recreation-alone
status. On March 28, 2019, prison officials at
MacDougall-Walker transferred Pena back to Corrigan. On April
28, 2019, an inmate member of the Bloods gang assaulted Pena.
Officials sent Pena to the restrictive housing unit because
he had fought with the inmate who had assaulted him. Pena
claims that Mental Health Worker Brennan subsequently
discontinued prescriptions ...