United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Christopher Todd Landeck, Pro Se Plaintiff.
OPINION AND ORDER
P. Jones, United States District Judge.
matter is before me on the plaintiff's motion seeking
interlocutory injunctive relief and leave to amend for a
third time. After review of the record, I conclude that the
motion must be denied.
plaintiff, a Virginia inmate, filed this civil rights action
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that prison officials
at Coffeewood Correctional Center (“CCC”) had
violated his constitutional rights by withholding temporarily
the July/August issue of a magazine Landeck claims is
essential to his practice of secular humanism. In his First
Amended Complaint, Landeck added a claim that CCC officials
had retaliated against him because of his secular humanist
beliefs and this lawsuit by transferring him in December 2017
to Haynesville Correctional Unit 17 (“HCU”), a
work camp without access to a law library or his Common Fare
diet. In a Second Amended Complaint, Landeck added
retaliation and religious discrimination claims concerning
events at HCU and at Marion Correctional Treatment Center
(“MCTC”). The defendants have filed a Motion for
Landeck filed the present 28-page motion for a preliminary
injunction and to further amend his Complaint, together with
112 pages of exhibits. This motion complains that a new
policy concerning inmates' computer usage discriminates
against him “because of his disability, ” in
violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the
Rehabilitation Act (“ADA/RA”). Mot. 1, ECF No.
41. Under the new policy, effective October 1, 2018, inmates
in the custody of the Virginia Department of Corrections can
no longer create and save documents on prison law library
research computers, as some inmates had been allowed to do in
the past. Landeck has a joint disease that makes it painful
for him to handwrite documents, but does not affect his
ability to type. At MCTC, officials accommodated
Landeck's disability by providing him access to a
typewriter with a one-line correction memory.
seeks to amend his Complaint to add claims under the ADA/RA
about this new computer usage policy and officials'
alternative accommodation of his disability. He contends that
interlocutory injunctive relief is warranted because his
inability to create and save documents on a computer is
“denying him meaningful access to the courts, causing
him severe physical pain, and causing him to abandon his
claims and forfeit his case in the instant civil
matter.” Id. at 1-2. In addition, he complains
that MCTC officials recently refused to comply with medical
orders for the use of flex cuffs, and use of regular
handcuffs caused him injury. Finally, Landeck raises new
retaliation claims. He suggests that the computer policy
change may have been retaliation for his Second Amended
Complaint. He also states that in late October, other inmates
reported overhearing a comment between staff members that
“Landeck was being shipped to get rid of him.”
Id. at 10. Landeck asserts, “It appears
another retaliatory transfer is imminent.” Id.
On November 27, 2018, Landeck notified the court of his
transfer to Deep Meadow Correctional Center
(“DMCC”). As relief in this motion, Landeck asks the
court to bar the defendants from violating his rights under
the ADA/RA and to order them to accommodate his disability.
preliminary injunction may never issue to prevent an injury
or harm which not even the moving party contends was caused
by the wrong claimed in the underlying action.”
Omega World Travel, Inc. v. Trans World Airlines,
111 F.3d 14, 16 (4th Cir. 1997); Therefore, “a party
moving for a preliminary injunction must necessarily
establish a relationship between the injury claimed in the
party's motion and the conduct asserted in the
complaint.” Id. (citation omitted).
Second Amended Complaint under § 1983 alleges First
Amendment violations related to an incoming publication dated
July-August, 2017 and subsequent, allegedly retaliatory acts
taken against him at CCC, HCU, and MCTC. Landeck does not
state facts showing any causal relationship between those
past events and the new VDOC-wide computer usage policy.
See Adams v. Rice, 40 F.3d 72, 74 (4th Cir. 1994)
(holding that merely conclusory allegations of retaliation
are insufficient to state § 1983 claim). He also fails
to show that any of the current defendants had any personal
involvement in the policy change or the decision to transfer
him to DMCC in November of 2018.
an inmate's transfer or release from a particular prison
moots his claims for injunctive relief with respect to his
incarceration there. See Incumaa v. Ozmint, 507 F.3d
281, 286-87 (4th Cir. 2007); see also Williams v.
Griffin, 952 F.2d 820, 823 (4th Cir. 1991) (transfer
rendered moot a prisoner's claims for injunctive and
declaratory relief). Landeck is no longer confined under the
authority of the MCTC defendants in this action. Thus, his
demands for interlocutory injunctive relief regarding their
attempts to accommodate his disability after the policy
change are moot. Landeck also fails to show that the VDOC
administrators named in this case have any personal
involvement in arranging disability accommodations for
conclude that Landeck has not stated a factual basis showing
that the extraordinary interlocutory relief he seeks bears
the necessary connection to the underlying claims in this
action. Accordingly, I will deny his motion for such relief.
I will also deny Landeck's motion to the extent that it
seeks to amend the already voluminous Second Amended
Complaint to add additional claims to this lawsuit. I find no
indication that the defendants have consented to these new
amendments. Moreover, the only form of relief Landeck
seeks through these amendments is either moot because of ...