United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
April 9, 2014
TRAVIS JAMES WEBB, Plaintiff,
MICHAEL BROYLES, Defendant.
Travis James Webb, Pro Se Plaintiff.
JAMES P. JONES, District Judge.
The plaintiff, a state inmate proceeding pro se, has filed a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the defendant, a corrections employee, deprived plaintiff of his religious diet by falsely reporting that he witnessed plaintiff eating from a regular diet tray on November 19, 2014. Plaintiff now moves for interlocutory injunctive relief. (ECF No. 11-1.) Specifically, the plaintiff asks the court to direct that the defendant and other prison officials be prohibited from "inflicting physical and mental harm" on plaintiff, from making verbal threats or tampering with plaintiff's food, and from interfering with plaintiff's ability to access the law library and receive photocopies of legal work.
Because interlocutory injunctive relief is an extraordinary remedy, a party seeking the preliminary injunction must make a clear showing " that he is likely to succeed on the merits;  he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief;  that the balance of equities tips in his favor; and  an injunction is in the public interest." Real Truth About Obama, Inc. v. Fed. Election Comm'n , 575 F.3d 342, 346-47 (4th Cir. 2009), vacated on other grounds by 559 U.S. 1089 (2010), reinstated in relevant part by 607 F.3d 355, 355 (4th Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Each of these four factors must be satisfied. 575 F.3d at 347. Thus, plaintiff's assertion that he will possibly incur irreparable harm in the absence of court intervention is insufficient grounds for relief. Id.
Plaintiff's request for interlocutory relief merely states his desire for court-ordered protection from prison officials' possible reprisals for this lawsuit. Plaintiff does not state any facts indicating that the defendant or any other official has taken, or is likely to take, any adverse action against him because he has chosen to exercise his right to access the court. Plaintiff's speculative fear that officials might possibly retaliate against him in some way because of this lawsuit is insufficient under the required test to warrant the extraordinary court relief he requests. Therefore, I must deny his motion.
A separate Order will be entered herewith. The clerk will send a copy of that Order and this Opinion to the plaintiff.