The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Norah McCann King
Plaintiffs, inmates in the custody of the State of Ohio, bring this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Religious Land Use and Incarcerated Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc et seq., alleging various violations of their Constitutional rights. With the consent of the parties, 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), this matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Blankenship's Notice of Retaliation for this Legal Action, and Motion for Preliminary Injunction Enjoining Same ("Blankenship's Motion for Preliminary Injunction"). Doc. No. 194. For the reasons that follow, Blankenship's Motion for Preliminary Injunction is DENIED.
On January 9, 2007, plaintiff Blankenship filed a motion for preliminary injunction, in which he states the he would like to "notify" the Court that his legal materials were confiscated by the staff of the Allen Correctional Institution, where he is currently incarcerated. Blankenship contends that the confiscation of his legal materials was done in retaliation for filing this action and was meant to be harassing. Moreover, Blankenship argues that the confiscation of his legal materials ultimately denies him his constitutional right of access to the courts.
Blankenship requests that this Court issue a preliminary injunction enjoining defendants from harassing or retaliating against him by disciplining him for possessing legal files or by confiscating his legal materials.
II. PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION STANDARD
Blankenship's motion is governed by F.R. Civ. P. 65. The decision whether or not to grant a request for interim injunctive relief falls within the sound discretion of the district court. Friendship Materials, Inc. v. Michigan Brick, Inc., 679 F.2d 100, 102 (6th Cir. 1982). A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy that should be granted only after consideration of the following four factors:
(1) whether the movant has a "strong" likelihood of success on the merits; (2) whether the movant would otherwise suffer irreparable injury; (3) whether issuance of a preliminary injunction would cause substantial harm to others; and (4) whether the public interest would be served by issuance of a preliminary injunction.
Leary v. Daeschner, 228 F.3d 729, 736 (6th Cir. 2000) (citing McPherson v. Michigan High Sch. Athletic Ass'n, 119 F.3d 453, 459 (6th Cir. 1997) (en banc), quoting Sandison v. Michigan High Sch. Athletic Ass'n, 64 F.3d 1026, 1030 (6th Cir. 1995)). Although these four considerations are factors to be balanced, Michigan Bell Tel. Co. v. Engler, 257 F.3d 587, 592 (6th Cir. 2001); Monongahela Power Co. v. Schriber, 322 F. Supp.2d 902, 918 (S.D. Ohio 2004) (J. Sargus), the first factor is often determinative:
[C]courts have often recognized that the first factor is traditionally of greater importance than the remaining three. See Roth v. Bank of the Commonwealth, 583 F.2d 527, 537 (6th Cir.1978). In fact, the Sixth Circuit has held that when the proponent of the injunctive relief has no chance of success on the merits of the claim, the Court may dismiss the motion without considering the other three factors. See Michigan State AFL-CIO v. Miller, 103 F.3d 1240, 1249 (6th Cir. 1997). Failure to do so is reversible error. See id.; Sandison v. Michigan High School Athletic Ass'n, 64 F.3d 1026, 1037 (6th Cir.1995).
Stanley v. Ohio Dep't of Rehab. & Corr., Case No. C2-02-178, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21996, *8-9 (S.D. Ohio August 12, 2002) (J. Sargus) (denying motion for injunctive relief after evaluation only of chance of success on the merits factor).
Blankenship's request for interim injunctive relief is based on his allegations that defendants have harassed and retaliated against him for filing this lawsuit, and, as a result of their actions, he is being denied his constitutional right of access to the courts. Turning to the first factor of the four-part test, the Court concludes that Blankenship has demonstrated little opportunity for success on the merits of these claims.
The Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996, 42 U.S.C. §1997e(a) ("PLRA"), requires a prisoner to exhaust administrative remedies available to the prisoner prior to filing an action in a ...