United States District Court, D. Oregon
Michael H. Simon, United States District Judge
an inmate at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution
("EOCI"), brings this civil rights action pro
se. Currently before the Court is Plaintiffs Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order (ECF No. 48). For the reasons
that follow, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs motion.
seeks a seeks a temporary restraining order requiring the Law
Librarian at EOCI to "preserve the plaintiffs
'legal' data-files, stored on a state-owned
'thumb-drive' (#339 at EOCI's Law Library)."
In support of his motion, Plaintiff submits a Declaration
indicating that the EOCI Law Librarian has instituted a
policy of erasing inmate legal information from thumb drives
because they are for temporary use only and she does not
believe they should be available medium- or long-term
deciding whether to grant a motion for temporary restraining
order ("TRO"), courts look to substantially the
same factors that apply to a court's decision on whether
to issue a preliminary injunction. See Stuhlbarg
Int'l Sales Co. v. John D. Brush & Co., 240 F.3d
832, 839 n.7 (9th Cir. 2001). A preliminary injunction is an
"extraordinary remedy that may only be awarded upon a
clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such
relief." Winter v. Nat. Res. Def Council, 555
U.S. 7, 22 (2008). A plaintiff seeking a preliminary
injunction generally must show that: (1) the plaintiff is
likely to succeed on the merits; (2) the plaintiff is likely
to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary
relief; (3) the balance of equities tips in favor of the
plaintiff; and (4) an injunction is in the public interest.
Winter, 555 U.S. at 20 (rejecting the Ninth
Circuit's earlier rule that the mere
"possibility" of irreparable harm, as opposed to
its likelihood, was sufficient, in some circumstances, to
justify a preliminary injunction).
Supreme Court's decision in Winter, however, did
not disturb the Ninth Circuit's alternative "serious
questions" test. All for the Wild Rockies v.
Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1131 -32 (9th Cir. 2011). Under
this test, "'serious questions going to the
merits' and a hardship balance that tips sharply toward
the plaintiff can support issuance of an injunction, assuming
the other two elements of the Winter test are also met."
Id. at 1132. Thus, a preliminary injunction may be
granted "if there is a likelihood of irreparable injury
to plaintiff; there are serious questions going to the
merits; the balance of hardships tips sharply in favor of the
plaintiff; and the injunction is in the public
interest." M.R. v. Dreyfus, 697 F.3d 706, 725
(9th Cir. 2012) (citing Cottrell, 632 F.3d at
preliminary injunction will not issue unless necessary to
prevent threatened injury that would impair the court's
ability to grant effective relief in a pending action.
Sierra On-Line, Inc. v. Phoenix Software, Inc., 739
F.2d 1415, 1422 (9th Cir. 1984); Gon v. First State Ins.
Co., 871 F.2d 863 (9th Cir. 1989). A preliminary
injunction represents the exercise of a far reaching power
not to be indulged except in a case clearly warranting it.
Dymo Indus, v. Tapeprinter, Inc., 326 F.2d 141, 143
(9th Cir. 1964).
a preliminary injunction maintains the status quo pending a
final decision on the merits. University of Texas v.
Camenisch, 451 U.S. 390, 395 (1981). A "mandatory
injunction" altering the status quo by granting such a
motion, before trial, is appropriate only in extraordinary
circumstances. LGS Architects, Inc. v. Concordia Homes of
Nevada, 434 F.3d 1150, 1158 (9th Cir. 2006),
overruled on other grounds by Perfect 10, Inc. v. Google,
Inc., 653 F.3d 976 (9th Cir. 2011). Moreover, in cases
brought by prisoners involving conditions of confinement, any
preliminary injunction "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 the harm." 18 U.S.C. §
seeks mandatory relief in the form of an order requiring the
EOCI Law Librarian, who is not a party to this action, to
preserve Plaintiffs legal work stored on a thumb drive.
Plaintiffs Complaint, however, alleges claims of Fourteenth
Amendment Due Process violations in connection with a prison
disciplinary proceeding. As such, Plaintiff cannot establish
the likelihood of success on the merits of a challenge to the
means of storing his legal work pending the outcome of this
action. See Klassy v. Feather, Case No.
3:13-cv-00434-BR, 2013 WL 6827925, *l-2 (D. Or., Dec. 20,
2013) (plaintiff alleging denial of religious freedom rights
under First Amendment not entitled to preliminary injunctive
relief requiring prison officials to provide access to legal
has not established he is entitled to the temporary
restraining order requested, Accordingly, the Court denies
these reasons, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs Motion for