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Booker v. McDuffie

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Lubbock Division

July 22, 2019

DARRELL BOOKER, Institutional ID No. 2143709, SID No. 3432284, Plaintiff,
CHARLES MCDUFFIE, et al., Defendants.



         Before the Court is a document filed July 18, 2019, by pro se Plaintiff Darrell Booker in which he asks the Court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO).[1] ECF No. 43. After considering Booker's motion and applicable law, the Court recommends that the motion be DENIED without prejudice to Booker's right to request injunctive relief in the future should circumstances change.

         I. Legal Standard

         "An injunction is an extraordinary remedy and should not issue except upon a clear showing of possible irreparable harm." Lewis v. S.S. Baune, 534 F.2d 1115, 1121 (5th Cir. 1976). When a plaintiff requests injunctive relief that would require the court to interfere with the administration of a state prison, "appropriate consideration must be given to principles of federalism in determining the availability and scope of equitable relief." Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 379 (1976). In assessing whether injunctive relief serves the public interest, prison administrators must be afforded deference in the manner in which they operate the prison. Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 547 (1979). An injunction "is an extraordinary and drastic remedy, not to be granted routinely, but only when the movant, by a clear showing, carries the burden of persuasion." White v. Carlucci, 862 F.2d 1209, 1211 (5th Cir. 1989); see Miss. Power & Light Co. v. United Gas Pipe Line Co., 760 F.2d 618, 621 (5th Cir. 1985) (citing cases for support) (explaining that "[t]he decision to grant a preliminary injunction is to be treated as the exception rather than the rule").

         To secure a TRO, a movant must satisfy the substantive requirements for a preliminary injunction:

1. A substantial likelihood of success on the merits of his case;
2. A substantial threat of irreparable injury if the injunction is not granted;
3. The threatened injury to the movant outweighs any damage the injunction will cause the non-movant; and
4. The injunction will not have an adverse effect on the public interest.

Women's Med. Ctr. v. Bell, 248 F.3d 411, 418-20 (5th Cir. 2001); Hay v. Waldron, 834 F .2d 481, 484 (5th Cir. 1987).

         II. Analysis

         Initially, the Court observes that Booker has not provided notice of his TRO request to the opposing party. See PL's Mot. 6, ECF No. 43. Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b)(1), the Court may issue a temporary restraining order without notice to the adverse party only if: (1) "specific facts in an affidavit or a verified complaint clearly show that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the movant before the adverse party can be heard in opposition"; and (2) the movant "certifies in writing any effort made to give notice and the reasons why it should not be required." Booker has not satisfied these two requirements. For this reason alone, his motion should be denied. See, e.g., Lindsey v. Dall. Cty. Jail Sheriff's Dep't, No. 3:18-CV-1588-M-BH, 2018 WL 3654775, at *1 (N.D. Tex. July 6, 2018) (recommending denial of plaintiff s TRO because he had not satisfied the elements of Rule 65(b)).

         More importantly, Booker improperly attempts to obtain a TRO based on claims wholly unrelated to his original Complaint. "Although the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has not specifically addressed this issue, district courts within this circuit have found that a request for preliminary injunction must also be based on allegations related to the claims in the complaint." Bucklew v. St. Clair, Civil Action No. 3:18-CV-2117-N (BH), 2019 WL 2251109, at *2 (N.D. Tex. May 15, 2019) (citing Gill v. Neaves, 657 F.Supp. 1394, 1399 (W.D. Tex. 1987)). Where a plaintiffs "motion raises issues different from those presented in the complaint, the court has no jurisdiction over the motion." Infinite Fin. Sols., Inc. v. Strukmyer, LLC, Civil Action No. 3:14-CV-354-N, 2014 WL 12586282, at *9 (N.D. Tex. July 29, 2014) (quoting Adair v. England, 193 F.Supp.2d 196, 200 (D. D.C. 2002)); see also State v. U.S. Army Corps of Eng'rs, 424 F.3d 1117, 1134 (11th Cir. 2005) (explaining that "injunctive relief must relate in some fashion to the relief requested in the complaint").

         Here, Booker asserts that officers at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Nathaniel J. Neal Unit (Neal Unit) in Amarillo, Texas, have denied him showers prior to attending Jumah and Eid ul Fitr-a practice required by his religion. See PL's Mot. 1-5, ECF No. 43 (describing four instances in November 2018 as well as January, May, and June 2019, in which officers denied Booker the opportunity to shower prior to attending Jumah and Eid ul Fitr as required by his Islamic faith). In his original Complaint, which is the live pleading before the Court, Booker asserts claims against Defendant Charles McDuffie, Warden of the TDCJ Formby and Wheeler Units. Compl. 3, ECF No. 1; ECF No. 39 (directing Warden McDuffie to answer or otherwise plead to certain claims). Thus, the relief Booker seeks in the instant motion has no relation to the claims raised in his Complaint, [2] and the Court has no jurisdiction over such a claim. See ...

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