United States District Court, D. Oregon
A. Hernandez, United States District Judge.
an inmate at the Two Rivers Correctional Institution, brings
this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
pro se. Currently before the court is Plaintiffs
Motion for Emergency Preliminary Injunction (ECF No. 21). For
the reasons that follow, the court DENIES Plaintiffs Motion.
Complaint alleges that Defendants violated Plaintiff s rights
by collecting monies from Plaintiffs prison trust account to
satisfy judgments for state court filing fees Plaintiff
incurred by filing two state post-conviction relief
("PCR") proceedings. In each of the two cases, the
Umatilla County Circuit Court issued a limited money judgment
directing the Oregon Department of Corrections
("ODOC") to place liens against Plaintiff s ODOC
trust account, which were payable when funds were available
toward the satisfaction of the liens. Plaintiff does not
dispute that he filed the state PCR proceedings or that he
owed the filing fees to the state court, but alleges that in
using funds from his prison trust account to pay the fees,
Defendants violated his right to be free from illegal search
and seizure, cruel and unusual punishment, equal protection,
due process, and to be free from forms of slavery and the
"Oregon Poverty Rule." In his Motion for Emergency
Preliminary Injunction, Plaintiff requests an order
"immediately halt[ing] all debt collection until the
resolution of [this] case," including debt collection
for "outside debt like child support, court fees or some
garnishment/lien." Plaintiff does not allege that he has
or is likely to suffer any irreparable harm as a result of
ODOC s debt collection practices; he says that he is
"constantly living in poverty" due to the repayment
of his court debts.
party seeking a preliminary injunction must meet one of two
variants of the same standard." Alliance for the
Wild Rockies v. Pena, 865 F.3d 1211, 1217 (9th Cir.
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). 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. Alliance for the Wild
Rockies, 865 F.3d at 1217.
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), cert,
denied, 565 U.S. 1245 (2012). 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. §
has not established a likelihood of success on the merits of
his claim. In light of administrative rules authorizing ODOC
to manage inmate funds and to assess an inmate's account
for court-ordered costs and fees in state PCR cases,
Plaintiff does not have any reasonable expectation of privacy
sufficient to support a claim of illegal search and seizure.
See Jackson v. SCI-Camp Hill, No. 1:11-cv-l 135,
2012 WL 3990888, at *6 (M.D. Pa. Sept. 11, 2012) (plaintiff
has no Fourth Amendment rights in his prison financial
account), aff'd 530 Fed.Appx. 150 (3rd Cir.
2013); Edmondson v. Fremgen, 17 F.Supp.3d 833, 836
(E.D. Wise. 2014) (rejecting an inmate's argument that
the freezing of his prison trust account constituted an
illegal seizure because "freezing [the] account [was]
part of a process Plaintiff himself initiated by asking to
proceed in forma pauperis on his appeals"),
aff'd 590 Fed.Appx. 613 (7th Cir. 2014). Nor did
the withdrawal of funds from Plaintiffs trust account rise to
the level of cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the
Eighth Amendment. See Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S.
1, 9 (1992) (only those deprivations denying the minimal
civilized measure of life's necessities are sufficiently
grave to form the basis of an Eighth Amendment violation).
Plaintiff also does not establish that Defendants violated
his equal protection rights as he has not demonstrated that
Defendants discriminated against him on the basis of his
membership in a protected class or that they intentionally
treated him differently from similarly situated individuals
without a legitimate state purpose for doing so. Lee v.
City of Los Angeles, 250 F.3d 668, 686 (9th Cir. 2001);
Village of Willowbrook v. Olech, 528 U.S. 562, 564
(2000). Finally, Plaintiff received all the process due in
connection with the collection of monies from his trust
account to satisfy the state court judgments because he was
provided with the opportunity for administrative review after
ODOC collected the funds and applied them toward his debt in
accordance with ODOC administrative rules. See United
States v. Poff 727 Fed.Appx. 249, 253 (9th Cir. 2018)
(plaintiff whose inmate trust account funds were encumbered
without prior notice was not entitled under Due Process
Clause to a pre-deprivation hearing where the encumbered
funds were not needed for subsistence and where the entirety
of the funds was subject to ajudgment lien, the amount of
which had been previously determined through judicial
process), pet 'n for cert, filed, No. 18-195
(Aug. 14, 2018).
Plaintiff has not established that he will suffer any harm,
let alone irreparable harm, in the absence of preliminary
injunctive relief. Although Plaintiff suggests that he is
"living in poverty" due to the repayment of his
court debts, there is no dispute that Plaintiff is an ODOC
inmate whose housing, meals, and healthcare are provided.
Moreover, even assuming for the sake of argument that
Plaintiffs debts were incorrectly corrected, Plaintiff makes
no showing that monetary relief would not make him whole.
See Edge Games, Inc. v. Elec. Arts, Inc., 745
F.Supp. 2dll01, 1117(N.D. Cal. 2010) ("[i]n the context
of preliminary injunctive relief, irreparable harm is
established when a plaintiff is unlikely to be made whole by
an award of monetary damages or some other legal remedy at a
later date, in the ordinary course of litigation")
(citing California Pharmacists Ass'n v.
Maxwell-Jolly, 563 F.3d 847, 851-52 (9th Cir. 2009)
overruled on other grounds by Douglas v. Independent
Living Center of So. California, Inc., 565 U.S. 606
Plaintiff has not shown he is likely to prevail on the merits
or to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary
relief, the court "need not address the ... remaining
elements of the preliminary injunction standard."
Ctr. For Food Safety v. Vilsack, 636 F.3d 1166, 1174
(9th Cir. 2011) (citing Winter, 555 U.S. at 19).
Accordingly, the court denies Plaintiffs motion.
these reasons, the court DENIES Plaintiffs Motion for