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Horvath v. Hall

March 22, 2007

JAMES E. HORVATH PLAINTIFF
v.
JIM HALL, POTTSVILLE POLICE OFFICER, ET AL. DEFENDANTS



ORDER

Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order.*fn1 See docket entry #6. For the reasons set forth herein, the Motion will be denied.

I. Background

On February 26, 2007, Plaintiff, who is currently being held in the Pope County Detention Center ("PCDC"), filed a pro se § 1983 Complaint alleging that Defendants violated his constitutional rights. See docket entry #2. On March 14, 2007, the Court ordered Plaintiff to file an Amended Complaint containing specific information the Court needs in order to complete the screening function mandated by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.*fn2 See docket entry #4.

On March 19, 2007, Plaintiff filed a Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order, asserting that the PCDC is: (1) failing to providing him with sufficient writing supplies and postage;*fn3 (2) refusing to provide him with access to legal materials or a law library; and (3) opening his legal mail. See docket entry #6. Accordingly, Plaintiff asks the Court to enter a Temporary Restraining Order prohibiting the PCDC from opening his legal mail and requiring them to provide him with "sufficient" writing materials so that he may properly pursue this matter, as well as several cases he has pending in state and federal court. Id. Importantly, Defendants have not yet been served with the Complaint or given an opportunity to respond to Plaintiff's Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order.

II. Discussion

A temporary restraining order is an extraordinary form of relief that is granted before the adverse party has been given notice and an opportunity to respond. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b). Accordingly, the court may enter a temporary restraining order if the moving party demonstrates that he or she will suffer "immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage." Id.

In regard to Plaintiff's allegations of insufficient writing supplies and postage, the Court notes that in the last month it has received from Plaintiff a Complaint form including nine pages of handwritten attachments and a four-page, handwritten Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order. See docket entries #2 and #7. Thus, it appears that Plaintiff has sufficient writing materials and postage to file a concise Amended Complaint containing the limited information requested by the Court in its March 14, 2007 Order. Additionally, Plaintiff does not need access to a law library or legal materials to prepare his Amended Complaint. Finally, contrary to Plaintiff's assertion, the PCDC may open his legal mail to inspect it for contraband. See Gardner v. Howard, 109 F.3d 427, 430-431 (8th Cir. 1997); Cooper v. Delo, 997 F.2d 376, 377 (8th Cir. 1993); Jenson v. Klecker, 648 F.2d 1179, 1182 (8th Cir. 1981). Accordingly, the Court concludes that Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate the type of "immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage" sufficient to justify the issuance of a temporary restraining order.

III. Conclusion

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT Plaintiff's Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (docket entry #6) is DENIED.

Dated this 22nd day of ...


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