United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
WILLIAM A. WORTH, II, Plaintiff,
BRENDA WAMSLEY, et al., Defendants.
Algenon L. Marbley Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
ELIZABETH A. PRESTON DEAVERS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a civil rights action in which Plaintiff, William A. Worth
II, an Ohio inmate proceeding without the assistance of
counsel, alleges that Defendants violated his constitutional
rights to meaningful access to the courts under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. This matter is before the Court for
consideration Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary
Injunction and/or in the Alternative, for a Temporary
Restraining Order. (ECF No. 11.) For the reasons that follow,
it is RECOMMENDED that Plaintiff's
Motion be DENIED.
January 13, 2017, Plaintiff filed the instant action,
asserting a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants based on
an alleged policy to deny indigent Ohio prisoners notary
services in order to deny them meaningful access to the
courts. (ECF No. 1; the
“Complaint” or “Compl.”) More
specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants, employees of
Pickaway Correctional Institution (“PCI”),
improperly denied him notarization of the requisite court
affidavit for filing indigent motion papers in Ohio State
Court, requesting instead that Plaintiff submit a form from
the prison cashier and a six month financial certification
and statement of his prison account. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendants' conduct violated his substantive and
procedural due process rights to meaningful access to the
courts. Plaintiff further alleges that he complained about
the violations and exhausted his administrative remedies
prior to filing this action.
March 30, 2017, Plaintiff filed the subject Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction. (ECF
No. 11; “Pl.'s Mot.”.) Plaintiff alleges that
prison officials are refusing to allow another inmate,
Christopher R. Bruggeman (“Bruggeman”), who is
disabled and wheelchair dependent, access to the main law
library on the second floor of PCI. Plaintiff asserts that
disabled and handicapped inmates are only provided access to
the law computer and legal materials in a “make-shift
law library” within the unit in which they are housed,
separate and apart from the main law library. (Pl.'s Mot.
3.) Plaintiff further asserts that if his Motion is not
granted, he will suffer irreparable harm as “Bruggeman
is the only inmate [in PCI] capable of assisting Worth in
effectively and meaningfully prosecuting this suit in
court.” (Pl.'s Mot. 6.)
requests a temporary restraining order and a preliminary
injunction. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(a) and (b)
permit a party to seek injunctive relief when the party
believes it will suffer immediate and irreparable injury,
loss, or damage. Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(a) and (b).
district court considering the extraordinary remedy of a
preliminary injunction must consider and balance the
following four factors:
(1) whether the movant has shown a strong likelihood of
success on the merits;
(2) whether the movant will suffer irreparable harm if the
injunction is not issued;
(3) whether the issuance of the injunction would cause
substantial harm to others; and
(4) whether the public interest would be served by issuing
Overstreet v. Lexington-Fayette Urban Cty. Gov., 305
F.3d 566, 573 (6th Cir. 2002) (citing Leary v.
Daeschner, 228 F.3d 729, 736 (6th Cir. 2000).
“These factors are not prerequisites, but are factors
that are to be balanced against each other.”
Id. “Although no one factor is controlling, a
finding that there is simply no likelihood of success on the
merits is usually fatal.” Gonzales v. National Bd.
of Med. Exam'rs, 225 F.3d 620, 625 (6th Cir. 2000)
(citation omitted); see also Michigan State AFL-CIO v.
Miller, 103 F.3d 1240, 1249 (6th Cir. 1997)
(“While, as a general matter, none of these four
factors are given controlling weight, a preliminary
injunction issued where there is simply no likelihood of
success on the merits must be reversed.”).
movant's burden is even more difficult to satisfy where,
as here, a prison inmate seeks an injunction to obtain
affirmative relief beyond maintenance of the status quo.
See 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(2) (“In any civil
action with respect to prison conditions . . . [p]reliminary
injunctive relief must be narrowly drawn, extend no further
than necessary to correct the harm the court finds requires
preliminary relief, and be the least intrusive means
necessary to correct that harm.”); Texas v.
Camenisch, 451 U.S. 390, 395 (1981) ...