United States District Court, D. Oregon
DANIEL J. MATTHEWS, Plaintiff,
J. TAYLOR, et al., Defendants.
A. Hernandez United States District Judge
an inmate at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution
(EOCI), brings this civil rights action complaining that
Defendants violated his First, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth
Amendment rights by denying him adequate mental health care,
subjecting him to excessive force, refusing properly to
process his grievances, mishandling his mail, and subjecting
him to harassment and retaliation. See Pl.'s Am.
Compl. (ECF No. 23) at ¶ 280. Currently before the Court
is Plaintiffs Motion for Preliminary Injunction (ECF No. 72).
For the reasons set forth below, this Court denies the
party seeking a preliminary injunction must meet one of two
variants of the same standard." All for the
Wild Rockies v. Pena, No. 16-35856, 2017 WL 3259670, at
*3 (9th Cir. Aug. 1, 2017). Under the original standard, a
plaintiff must establish that (1) he is likely to succeed on
the merits; (2) he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in
the absence of preliminary relief; (3) the balance of
equities tip in his favor; and (4) an injunction is in the
public interest. Id.; Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council,
Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008); Garcia v. Google,
Inc., 786 F.3d 733, 740 (9th Cir. 2015); Ass'n
des Eleveurs de Canards et d'Oies du Quebec v.
Harris, 729 F.3d 937, 944 (9th Cir. 2013). Alternately,
if a plaintiff can demonstrate only that there are serious
questions going to the merits (a lesser showing than a
likelihood of success on the merits), a preliminary
injunction still may issue if the balance of hardships tips
sharply in the plaintiffs favor and he demonstrates
irreparable harm and that the injunction is in the public
interest. All. for the Wild Rockies, 2017 WL
3259670, at *3; Nat'l Inst. of Family and Life
Advocates v. Harris, 839 F.3d 823, 834 (9th Cir. 2016),
pet. for cert. filed (Mar. 21, 2017).
moving for a preliminary injunction must establish a
relationship between the injury claimed in the motion for
injunctive relief and the conduct asserted in the complaint.
Voth v. Laney, No. 2:16-cv-00779-AC, 2016 WL
8677345, at *3 (D. Or. Dec. 2, 2016); see Pasha v.
McCarthy, 936 F.2d 579, 579 n.l (9th Cir. 1991) (finding
sufficient nexus between the plaintiffs claim that the
defendants denied him access to the courts and allegations in
his motion that the defendants were retaliating against him
for filing the current action and to impede his ability to
prosecute it). Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
65(d), an injunction binds only the parties to the action,
their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys,
and other persons in active concert or participation with
them. Zepeda v. U.S. Immigration and Naturalization
Serv., 753 F.2d 719, 727 (9th Cir. 1985).
moves for a preliminary injunction to "stop EOCI staff
from harassing and searching Plaintiff, and from moving his
bunks and housing units in retaliation." Pl.'s Mot.
for Prelim. Inj. at 1. Plaintiff alleges that Lieutenant
Tackett ordered seven cell searches in the last three months
and that personal items have been damaged by staff during the
course of the searches. Id. Additionally, Plaintiff
alleges that several "incentive moves" were delayed
and that Assignment Lieutenant Carey and Correctional Officer
have ordered three "inconvenience moves" in the
last five to six weeks. Id. at 1-2. Plaintiff
alleges that the cell moves exacerbated his PTSD and
insomnia, and he fears that Carey is planning to send him to
segregation. Id.; Pl.'s Suppl. Mot. and Decl. at
13, 15. Plaintiff alleges that the actions of Tackett, Carey,
and Wing (none of whom is a defendant) were in retaliation
for his "recent filings in his legal cases."
Pl.'s Mot. for Prelim. Inj. at 1.
that there is a sufficient connection between the claims set
forth in Plaintiffs Amended Complaint and the allegations of
retaliation set forth in his Motion for Preliminary
Injunction, this Court concludes that Plaintiff has failed to
demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of a
retaliation claim against Tackett, Carey, or Wing, or that
there are serious questions going to the merits.
order to prevail on a retaliation claim, Plaintiff must
allege and prove that Tackett, Carey, or Wing (1) subjected
him to abusive cell moves and searches and denied his
requests for incentive transfers because of his court
filings; and (2) that the retaliatory action did not advance
legitimate penological goals or was not narrowly tailored to
achieve those goals. Shepard v. Quillen, 840 F.3d
686, 688-89 (9th Cir. 2016); Pratt v. Rowland, 65
F.3d 802, 806 (9th Cir. 1995). Mere speculation that they
acted out of retaliation does not suffice. Wood v.
Yordy, 753 F.3d 899, 905 (9th Cir. 2014).
has offered no evidence of a causal connection between his
court filings and the alleged conduct by Tackett, Carey, or
Wing. Assignment Lieutenant Carey, in contrast,
states in his Declaration that "[u]ntil recently [he]
was unaware that there was a lawsuit pending, " and he
denied Plaintiffs request for cell moves "due to
[Plaintiffs] lack of clear conduct and/or the moves did not
meet the needs of the institution." Decl. of Jeff Carey
(ECF No. 86) at 3. Additionally, Legal Information Officer
Jackie Peek declares that many inmates were searched "at
least twice if not three times during [the relevant] time
period, " and that "[t]he units that [Plaintiff]
was housed on have been searched several times over the past
few months due to concerns about contraband." Decl. of
Jackie Peck (ECF No. 85) at 2-3. The "Shakedown
Reports" and "Daily Housing Unit Cell Search
Sheets" offered by the parties reveal that correctional
officials seized contraband from Plaintiff s cell during the
majority of the searches in question. See Peck Decl.
at 2 & Attach. 1 at 13, 26, & 54; Pl.'s Suppl.
Mot. and Decl., Attachs. 13-15, 17-20.
regardless of the dispute concerning the number of times
Plaintiff s cell was searched between May 2017 and July 17,
2017,  Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate a
causal connection between his protected conduct and the
correctional officers' actions. Further, Carey and Peck
have offered legitimate penological reasons for the
challenged actions. See Pratt, 65 F.3d at 807
(holding that courts must evaluate retaliation claim with
appropriate deference and flexibility to prison
officials' proffered legitimate penological reasons for
challenged conduct). Plaintiff therefore has failed to
demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of a
retaliation claim, or that there are serious questions going
to the merits. This Court concludes for the same reasons, and
particularly given the evidence that contraband was seized
repeatedly from Plaintiffs cell, that the issuance of an
injunction is in the public interest.
on the foregoing, Plaintiffs Motion for a Preliminary