United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Eastern Division
EDDIE MILTON GAREY, JR. PLAINTIFF Reg. #91876-020
RHONDA LANGLEY, et al. DEFENDANTS v.
KRISTINE G. BAKER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Court has received and reviewed the Findings and Partial
Recommendation ("Partial Recommendation") submitted
by United States Magistrate Judge Patricia Harris (Dkt. No.
120). Plaintiff Eddie Milton Garey, Jr., filed objections to
the Partial Recommendation (Dkt. No. 128). Mr. Garey's
objections were untimely filed, but this Court will consider
the objections. After careful consideration of the Partial
Recommendation, Mr. Garey's untimely objections, and a
de novo review of the record, the Court concludes
that the Partial Recommendation should be, and hereby is,
approved and adopted in its entirety as this Court's
findings in all respects.
Court writes separately to address Mr. Garey's objections
(Dkt. No. 128). Mr. Garey argues that he properly presented
an access-to-courts claim (Id., at 1). He further
argues that Forrest City Federal Correctional
Institution's contraband policy implemented March 30,
2018, via a memorandum from Deputy Captain M. Price
prevents Mr. Garey from accessing the courts because it
restricts him from using the prison library (Id., at
1-4). As Judge Harris found in the Partial Recommendation,
Mr. Garey's assertions regarding access to the prison
library are unrelated to this case (Dkt. No. 120, at 2).
Judge Harris also explained that, "[t]o proceed against
multiple defendants, a plaintiff must satisfy [Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure] 20, which allows claims against multiple
defendants when the claims against them arise out of the same
series of occurrences, and present questions of fact common
to all defendants." (Id.) (citing Mosley v.
Gen. Motors Corp., 497 F.2d 1330, 1333 (8th Cir. 1974)
(Rule 20 permits "all reasonably related claims for
relief by or against different parties to be tried in a
second amended complaint, Mr. Garey alleges that on October
27, 2016, separate defendant Officer P. Benson
"deliberately confiscated, stole, discarded, seized or
destroyed . . . legal documents which had been intercepted by
U.S. Marshals during pre-trial. .. ." (Dkt. No. 78, at
14). The events alleged in Mr. Garey's second amended
complaint occurred more than one year prior to the
implementation of the contraband policy, which was the focus
of his motion for preliminary injunction. Also, Mr.
Garey's allegation that Officer Benson confiscated legal
documents is unrelated to his later assertion that he cannot
access the prison library because of the contraband policy.
The Court agrees with Judge Harris' Partial
Recommendation. Accordingly, the Court denies Mr. Garey's
motion for preliminary injunction and finds that he must
bring a separate access-to-courts claim in a separate action
based on his allegations regarding the contraband policy, if
he chooses to pursue that claim.
Garey also argues that prison officials cannot regulate
access to prison libraries to the extent that the right
becomes meaningless (Dkt. No. 128, at 3). However, based on
the record before the Court at this time, Mr. Garey has not
alleged a specific instance when he was not allowed access to
the prison library. Pursuant to Article III of the United
States Constitution, the Supreme Court of the United State
has "repeatedly reiterated that threatened injury must
be certainly impending to constitute injury in fact,
and that allegations of possible future injury are
not sufficient." Clapper v. Amnesty Inter. USA,
568 U.S. 398, 410 (2013) (internal quotations omitted)
(emphasis in original). The Court agrees with Judge
Harris' determination that Mr. Garey has failed to show
that he would suffer a "certainly impending" injury
without this Court ordering injunctive relief (Dkt. No. 128,
Garey also contends that the contraband policy was
implemented in order to discourage inmates from complaining
about prison staff members bringing contraband into the
prison facility (Dkt. No. 128, at 5-6). In the Partial
Recommendation, Judge Harris appropriately applied the factor
test for injunctive relief, which requires the consideration
of "(1) the threat of irreparable harm to the movant;
(2) the state of the balance between this harm and the injury
that granting the injunction will inflict on other parties
litigant; (3) the probability that movant will succeed on the
merits; and (4) the public interest." Dataphase
Systems, Inc. v. CL Systems, Inc., 640 F.2d 109, 113
(8th Cir. 1981). Judge Harris analyzed the Dataphase
factors and determined that Mr. Garey "has not alleged
that the new contraband policy has restricted his access to
the courts; accordingly, he cannot show that he will suffer
an irreparable injury without injunctive relief." (Dkt.
No. 120, at 4). Judge Harris also noted that she would not
make such a determination until "after fully developing
the facts and resolving the issues." (Id.).
Court agrees with Judge Harris' determination under the
Dataphase factors. Mr. Garey has not shown that
irreparable harm will occur to him without the implementation
of a preliminary injunction against the contraband policy.
Mr. Garey's request is not supported by the
Dataphase factors. The Court agrees with Judge
Harris: the facts of this case must be more fully developed
before resolving this issue.
these reasons, the Court denies Mr. Garey's motion for