United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Deborah Stout, Pro Se Plaintiff;
A. Sessoms, Office of the Attorney General, Richmond,
Virginia, for Defendants.
AMENDED  OPINION AND ORDER
P. JONES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, Deborah Stout, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro
se, filed this civil rights action under 28 U.S.C. §
1983, alleging that the defendant, Lt. Raelyn Haight, bullied
and harassed Stout, retaliated against her, and failed to
protect her. Stout has moved for a court order (1) directing
Haight “to refrain from any actions of bullying,
intimidating, or harassing Plaintiff and her witnesses or
facilitating said acts through other staff and offenders,
” and (2) requiring Haight's removal from Fluvanna
Correctional Center for Women (“FCCW”) until the
resolution of this lawsuit. Mot. Prelim. Inj. 1, ECF No. 57.
Liberally construing Stout's motion as seeking a
temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction, I
find that the motion must be summarily denied.
support of Stout's motion, she alleges that in January of
2019, in retaliation for this lawsuit, Haight told other
inmates unspecified “information about” the case
and the witnesses. Id. at 2-3. When the unit manager
investigated Stout's informal complaint about
Haight's action, Haight denied talking to the inmates,
but the unit manager did not interview the inmates
themselves. Mot. Addendum, ECF No. 58. Stout also complained
that Haight was “questioning/giving information to
inmates who have written Affidavits on [Stout's]
behalf.” Id. at Attach. 1, 12, ECF No. 58-1.
Stout complains that Haight's actions create “a
security risk because [Stout was] being approached and
receiving conflict from her actions.” Id. at
14. Stout also offers a letter from Inmate McSlaughter, dated
April 4, 2019, stating, “I have been confronted or
spoken to by Lt. Haight in regards to being part of a lawsuit
against her. . . . I feel I am being harassed by her for no
just reason and that she is spreading this fabrication to
other staff in an effort to cause me undue harm and
stress.” Id. at Attach. 3, 1, ECF No. 58-3.
to all these events, Stout contends that Haight “has
continued the bullying and harassment and increased her
victimization, beyond [Stout], extending to anyone who would
tell the truth on behalf of” Stout. Mot. Prelim. Inj.
3, ECF No. 57. Stout also asserts, “this is detrimental
to the safety of the witnesses, ” to her own safety,
and “to the integrity of the case.” Id.
She argues that Haight's actions constitute
“tactics to prevent the Court from obtaining all
preliminary injunctive relief is an extraordinary remedy, the
party seeking such relief must make a clear showing
“that [s]he is likely to succeed on the merits, that
[s]he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of
preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in
h[er] favor, and that an injunction is in the public
interest.” Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council,
Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008). To qualify as irreparable,
the feared harm must be “neither remote nor
speculative, but actual and imminent, ” Tucker
Anthony Realty Corp. v. Schlesinger, 888 F.2d 969, 975
(2d Cir. 1989) (internal quotation marks and citations
omitted), such that it poses a real and immediate threat,
Dan River, Inc. v. Icahn, 701 F.2d 278, 283 (4th
motion is constructed entirely of conclusory assertions
unsupported by facts. She does not describe what specific
topics Haight discussed with other inmates, or what effect
these alleged conversations had on Stout or her lawsuit.
Moreover, the only such encounters Stout mentions occurred
more than six months ago. Without any factual detail to back
up her claims, Stout fails to show any likelihood that she
will suffer irreparable harm, to herself or her lawsuit, in
the absence of court intervention or that any risk of such
harm is imminent. She also fails to demonstrate how ordering
Haight to leave FCCW would be fair to Haight in the balance
of the equities or be in the public interest. Because
Stout's motion thus fails to make the four showings under
Winter, she is not entitled to the relief she
reasons stated, it is ORDERED that the
motion, ECF No. 57, is DENIED.
 This Amended Opinion and Order merely
corrects a typographical error on page 4 to address the
correct motion, ECF No. 57.
 Temporary restraining orders are
issued only rarely, when the movant proves that she will
suffer injury if relief is not granted before the adverse
party could be notified and have opportunity to respond.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b). Such an order would only
last until such time as a hearing on a preliminary injunction
could be arranged. As it is clear from the outset that Stout
is not entitled to a preliminary ...